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Sample records for red fox vulpes

  1. Abdominal Cysticercosis in a Red Fox ( Vulpes vulpes ).

    PubMed

    Whipp, Christopher James; Daoust, Pierre-Yves; Conboy, Gary; Gelens, Hans

    2017-01-01

    A large abdominal mass containing numerous cysticerci identified as those of Taenia crassiceps (=Cysticercus longicollis) was found in the pelvic region of the abdominal cavity of a severely constipated and emaciated red fox ( Vulpes vulpes ) in Prince Edward Island, Canada. Cysticercosis has not previously been reported in a wild canid in North America.

  2. Systemic AA amyloidosis in the Red fox (Vulpes vulpes).

    PubMed

    Rising, Anna; Cederlund, Ella; Palmberg, Carina; Uhlhorn, Henrik; Gaunitz, Stefan; Nordling, Kerstin; Ågren, Erik; Ihse, Elisabet; Westermark, Gunilla; Tjernberg, Lars; Jörnvall, Hans; Johansson, Jan; Westermark, Per

    2017-08-09

    Amyloid A (AA) amyloidosis occurs spontaneously in many mammals and birds, but the prevalence varies considerably among different species, and even among subgroups of the same species. The Blue fox and the Gray fox seem to be resistant to the development of AA amyloidosis, while Island foxes have a high prevalence of the disease. Herein, we report on the identification of AA amyloidosis in the Red fox (Vulpes vulpes). Edman degradation and tandem MS analysis of proteolyzed amyloid protein revealed that the amyloid partly was composed of full-length SAA. Its amino acid sequence was determined and found to consist of 111 amino acid residues. Based on inter-species sequence comparisons we found four residue exchanges (Ser31, Lys63, Leu71, Lys72) between the Red and Blue fox SAAs. Lys63 seems unique to the Red fox SAA. We found no obvious explanation to how these exchanges might correlate with the reported differences in SAA amyloidogenicity. Furthermore, in contrast to fibrils from many other mammalian species, the isolated amyloid fibrils from Red fox did not seed AA amyloidosis in a mouse model. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. © 2017 The Protein Society.

  3. Trichinella britovi in a red fox (Vulpes vulpes) from Portugal.

    PubMed

    Lopes, Ana Patrícia; Vila-Viçosa, Maria João; Coutinho, Teresa; Cardoso, Luís; Gottstein, Bruno; Müller, Norbert; Cortes, Helder C E

    2015-06-15

    Trichinellosis is one of the most important foodborne parasitic zoonoses, caused by nematodes of the genus Trichinella. Pigs and other domestic and wild animals, including red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), are sources of Trichinella infection for human beings. Trichinella britovi is the major agent of infection in sylvatic animals and the most important species circulating in the European wildlife. The present study aimed at assessing Trichinella spp. infection in red foxes from the North of Portugal. Forty-seven carcasses of wild red foxes shot during the official hunting season or killed in road accidents were obtained between November 2008 and March 2010. In order to identify the presence of Trichinella spp. larvae in red foxes, an individual artificial digestion was performed using approximately 30 g of muscle samples. Larvae of Trichinella spp. were detected in one (2.1%) out of the 47 assessed foxes. After a multiplex polymerase chain reaction analysis, T. britovi was molecularly identified as the infecting species. The recognition of T. britovi in a red fox confirms that a sylvatic cycle is present in the North of Portugal and that the local prevalence of Trichinella infection in wildlife must not be ignored due to its underlying zoonotic risks.

  4. A behavioral audiogram of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes).

    PubMed

    Malkemper, E Pascal; Topinka, Václav; Burda, Hynek

    2015-02-01

    We determined the absolute hearing sensitivity of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) using an adapted standard psychoacoustic procedure. The animals were tested in a reward-based go/no-go procedure in a semi-anechoic chamber. At 60 dB sound pressure level (SPL) (re 20 μPa) red foxes perceive pure tones between 51 Hz and 48 kHz, spanning 9.84 octaves with a single peak sensitivity of -15 dB at 4 kHz. The red foxes' high-frequency cutoff is comparable to that of the domestic dog while the low-frequency cutoff is comparable to that of the domestic cat and the absolute sensitivity is between both species. The maximal absolute sensitivity of the red fox is among the best found to date in any mammal. The procedure used here allows for assessment of animal auditory thresholds using positive reinforcement outside the laboratory.

  5. Red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in Romania are carriers of Toxoplasma gondii but not Neospora caninum.

    PubMed

    Şuteu, Ovidiu; Mihalca, Andrei Daniel; Paştiu, Anamaria Ioana; Györke, Adriana; Matei, Ioana Adriana; Ionică, Angela; Balea, Anamaria; Oltean, Miruna; D'Amico, Gianluca; Sikó, Sándor Barabási; Ionescu, Dan; Gherman, Călin Mircea; Cozma, Vasile

    2014-07-01

    Brain samples from 182 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) from Romania were examined using a standard PCR technique. Results provide evidence of Toxoplasma gondii (11 foxes=6.0%) and Neospora caninum (1 fox=0.5%) DNA in red foxes from Romania. No coinfections were found.

  6. Neglected intravascular pathogens, Babesia vulpes and haemotropic Mycoplasma spp. in European red fox (Vulpes vulpes) population.

    PubMed

    Koneval, Martina; Miterpáková, Martina; Hurníková, Zuzana; Blaňarová, Lucia; Víchová, Bronislava

    2017-08-30

    Wild animals, especially canids, are important reservoirs of vector-borne pathogens, that are transmitted by the ticks and other bloodsucking arthropods. In total, 300 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), shot by the hunters in eastern and northern Slovakia, were screened for the presence of vector-borne pathogens by PCR-based methods Blood samples were obtained from nine red foxes and tissue samples originated from 291 animals (the liver tissue samples from 49 foxes and spleen samples from 242 red foxes). Babesia vulpes and haemotropic Mycoplasma species were identified by amplification and sequencing of 18S rRNA and 16S rRNA gene fragments, respectively. Overall, the presence of these pathogens was recorded in 12.3% of screened DNA samples. Altogether 9.7% (29/300) of investigated foxes carried DNA of Babesia spp. In total, 12 out of 29 Babesia spp. PCR - positive amplicons were further sequenced and identified as B. vulpes (41.4%; 12/29), remaining 17 samples are referred as Babesia sp. (58.6%; 17/29). Overall prevalence of B. vulpes reached 4.0% (n=300). Thirteen (4.3%) samples tested positive for distinct Mycoplasma species. To the best of our knowledge, this study brings the first information on B. vulpes infection in red foxes in Slovakia, and the first data on the prevalence and diversity of haemotropic Mycoplasma spp. in European red fox population. Moreover, co-infections with B. vulpes and Mycoplasma spp. were confirmed in 1.7% of tested DNA samples. The relatively high rates of blood pathogen' prevalence and species diversity in wild foxes indicate the role of the fox population in the maintenance of the parasites in sylvatic cycles and strengthen the assumption that foxes play an important role in spreading of infectious microorganisms within and outside the natural foci. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Occurrence of Giardia in Swedish Red Foxes ( Vulpes vulpes ).

    PubMed

    Debenham, John J; Landuyt, Hanne; Troell, Karin; Tysnes, Kristoffer; Robertson, Lucy J

    2017-03-31

    Giardia duodenalis is an intestinal protozoan capable of causing gastrointestinal disease in a range of vertebrate hosts. It is transmitted via the fecal-oral route. Understanding the epidemiology of G. duodenalis in animals is important, both for public health and for the health of the animals it infects. We investigated the occurrence of G. duodenalis in wild Swedish red foxes ( Vulpes vulpes ), with the aim of providing preliminary information on how this abundant predator might be involved in the transmission and epidemiology of G. duodenalis . Fecal samples (n=104) were analysed for G. duodenalis using a commercially available direct immunofluorescent antibody test. Giardia duodenalis cysts were found in 44% (46/104) of samples, with foxes excreting 100 to 140,500 cysts per gram of feces (mean, 4,930; median, 600). Molecular analysis, using PCR with sequencing of PCR amplicons, was performed on fourteen samples, all containing over 2,000 cysts per gram feces. Amplification only occurred in four samples at the tpi gene, sequencing of which revealed assemblage B in all four samples. This study provides baseline information on the role of red foxes in the transmission dynamics of G. duodenalis in Sweden.

  8. Intestinal parasites of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) in Slovenia.

    PubMed

    Vergles Rataj, Aleksandra; Posedi, Janez; Zele, Diana; Vengušt, Gorazd

    2013-12-01

    In the present study, 428 foxes were collected and examined for intestinal helminths using the washing-out method. Parasites were found in 93.2% of the examined animals. The most frequently identified nematodes were Uncinaria stenocephala (58.9%), Toxocara canis (38.3%) and Molineus patens (30.6%). Other nematodes found were Pterygodermatites affinis (4.2%), Capillaria sp. (2.8%), Crenosoma vulpis (2.8%), Toxascaris leonina (2.5%), Trichuris vulpis (0.7%) and Physaloptera sp. (0.2%). Mesocestoides sp. (27.6%) and Taenia crassiceps (22.2%) were the most prevalent cestodes, followed by T. polyacantha (6.5%), Hymenolepis nana (2.1%), T. pisiformis (2.1%) and Dipylidium caninum (1.4%). The study also revealed four trematode species: Rossicotrema donicum (1.6%), Heterophyes heterophyes (1.1%), Metagonimus yokogawai (1.1%), Prohemistomum appendiculatum (0.4%) and two protozoan species: oocysts of Sarcocystis (2.8%) and Isospora (0.4%). This is the first extensive study on the intestinal parasites of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) in Slovenia. The 2.6% prevalence of Echinococcus multilocularis in the same sample population as investigated herein has been reported previously (Vergles Rataj et al., 2010).

  9. Antibodies to Rickettsia spp. and Borrelia burgdorferi in Spanish Wild Red Foxes (Vulpes vulpes).

    PubMed

    Lledó, Lourdes; Serrano, José Luis; Isabel Gegúndez, María; Giménez-Pardo, Consuelo; Saz, José Vicente

    2016-01-01

    We examined 314 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) from the province of Soria, Spain, for Rickettsia typhi, Rickettsia slovaca, and Borrelia burgdorferi infection. Immunofluorescence assays showed 1.9% had antibodies to R. typhi, 6.7% had antibodies to R. slovaca, and 8.3% had antibodies to B. burgdorferi. Serostatus was not correlated with sex or age. Because red foxes can be infected by Rickettsiae and B. burgdorferi, presence of red foxes may be and indicator for the presence of these pathogens.

  10. [Red fox (Vulpes vulpes) as reservoir of parasites and source of zoonosis].

    PubMed

    Okulewicz, Anna; Hildebrand, Joanna; Okulewicz, Jerzy; Perec, Agnieszka

    2005-01-01

    Red fox (Vulpes vulpes) as reservoir of parasites and source of zoonosis. This review presents data from Europe and Poland on the prevalence of helminth and protozoan parasites in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes). The most common nematodes were geohelminths: Uncinaria stenocephala, Toxocara canis and Toxocara leonina. As concerning Trichinella genus T. britovi was found more often than T. spiralis. Among tapeworms the following species were recorded: Mesocestoides lineatus, Taenia sp., and Echinococcus multilocularis. Detected cases of E. multilocularis together with an increase of fox population during last few years create a potential human risk of infection. The results of many studies indicate rare presence of trematodes (Alaria alata) and protozoan parasites (Toxoplasma gondii, Neospora caninum, Leishmania spp., Eimeria spp.) in red foxes.

  11. Aujeszky's disease in red fox (Vulpes vulpes): phylogenetic analysis unravels an unexpected epidemiologic link.

    PubMed

    Caruso, Claudio; Dondo, Alessandro; Cerutti, Francesco; Masoero, Loretta; Rosamilia, Alfonso; Zoppi, Simona; D'Errico, Valeria; Grattarola, Carla; Acutis, Pier Luigi; Peletto, Simone

    2014-07-01

    We describe Aujeszky's disease in a female of red fox (Vulpes vulpes). Although wild boar (Sus scrofa) would be the expected source of infection, phylogenetic analysis suggested a domestic rather than a wild source of virus, underscoring the importance of biosecurity measures in pig farms to prevent contact with wild animals.

  12. Infectious canine hepatitis in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in the United Kingdom.

    PubMed

    Thompson, H; O'Keeffe, A M; Lewis, J C M; Stocker, L R; Laurenson, M K; Philbey, A W

    2010-01-23

    The pathological findings are described in three cases of infectious canine hepatitis in free-ranging red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in England. The foxes died after short periods of clinical illness. Mild jaundice and hepatic congestion were evident grossly. On histopathological examination, intranuclear inclusion bodies were visible in hepatocytes, in association with hepatocyte dissociation and necrosis, as well as in renal glomeruli, renal tubular epithelial cells and vascular endothelial cells. Canine adenovirus type 1 (CAV-1) was isolated from all three foxes. In a serological study, antibodies to CAV-1 were detected in tissue fluid extracts taken from 11 of 58 (19 per cent) frozen red fox carcases from England and Scotland.

  13. Angiostrongylus vasorum infection in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in southern Italy.

    PubMed

    Santoro, Mario; D'Alessio, Nicola; Di Prisco, Francesca; Neola, Benedetto; Restucci, Brunella; Pagano, Teresa B; Veneziano, Vincenzo

    2015-06-01

    Angiostrongylus vasorum (Nematoda: Angiostrongylidae) infection was detected at post-mortem examination in the pulmonary arteries and hearts of 34/102 (33,3%) of red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) from the Campania Region in southern Italy. Pathological changes consisted of granulomatous interstitial pneumonia caused by larvae and intravascular pulmonary adult nematodes. These changes confirm that angiostrongylosis infection in red foxes has a mainly chronic course, in which the infected host may disperse parasite larvae in the environment over its lifetime. Results suggest that the life cycle of A. vasorum is well established in the red fox in the Campania Region representing a potential infection risk for dogs.

  14. Toxigenic Corynebacterium ulcerans isolated from a free-roaming red fox (Vulpes vulpes).

    PubMed

    Sting, Reinhard; Ketterer-Pintur, Sandra; Contzen, Matthias; Mauder, Norman; Süss-Dombrowski, Christine

    2015-01-01

    Corynebacterium (C.) ulcerans could be isolated from the spleen of a red fox (Vulpes vulpes) that had been found dead in the state of Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Pathohistological examination suggested that the fox had died of distemper, as was confirmed by PCR. The isolate was identified biochemically, by MALDI-TOF MS, FT-IR and by partial 16S rRNA, rpoB and tox gene sequencing. Using the Elek test the C. ulcerans isolate demonstrated diphtheria toxin production. FT-IR and sequencing data obtained from the C. ulcerans isolate from the red fox showed higher similarity to isolates from humans than to those from wild game.

  15. Molecular evidence of kobuviruses in free-ranging red foxes (Vulpes vulpes).

    PubMed

    Di Martino, Barbara; Di Profio, Federica; Melegari, Irene; Robetto, Serena; Di Felice, Elisabetta; Orusa, Riccardo; Marsilio, Fulvio

    2014-07-01

    Red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) are susceptible to viral diseases of domestic carnivores. In this study, by screening rectal swabs collected from 34 red foxes in Italy, we identified kobuvirus RNA in five samples. Based on analysis of partial RdRp and full-length VP1 genes, all of the strains shared the highest identity with canine kobuviruses (CaKVs) recently detected in the US, the UK and Italy. These findings provide the first evidence of the circulation of these novel viruses in foxes.

  16. Eucoleus boehmi infection in red fox (Vulpes vulpes) from Italy.

    PubMed

    Veronesi, Fabrizia; Morganti, Giulia; di Cesare, Angela; Lepri, Elvio; Cassini, Rudi; Zanet, Stefania; Deni, Dario; Chiari, Mario; Ferroglio, Ezio

    2014-12-15

    In the last decade an increase of the number of red foxes in anthropized habitats across European countries, including Italy, has been observed. This pones implications in terms of disease transmission between wildlife and domestic animals; in fact, there are evidences of the role of foxes as reservoirs and amplifiers of a broad spectrum of parasites infecting pets. The present study evaluated the prevalence of Eucoleus boehmi, an emerging extra-intestinal nematodes of the Capillariinae subfamily, in red foxes. The nasal passages and sinuses of 179 red foxes culled from several areas of northern and central Italy were inspected and the mucosal surfaces were scrapped and examined for adult nematodes and eggs, microscopically and genetically identified. Overall 55 foxes (30.7%) were found to be infected with E. boehmi, i.e. 27 on inspection of the nasal passages and sinuses and 28 on mucosal flush and scraping. The occurrence of E. boehmi was significantly (p < 0.05) correlated to the sampling location, the age and gender of the animals examined; the higher rates of prevalence were observed in animals culled in Piedmont (43.3%) and in female (60.6%) and adult (38.1%) subjects. A total of 184 adult parasites were recovered, with a mean intensity of infection of 3.34, and a more frequent localization of E. boehmi in the nasal passages rather than in the sinuses. A significant (p < 0.05) relationship was found between the parasite burden and body condition and age of the animals; the intensity of infection was significantly higher in juveniles (mean: 6.3 specimens) and in animals showing poor fox body condition (mean: 7.8 specimens). These results show that E. boehmi is highly prevalent in the red fox populations of certain areas of Italy. Epidemiological implications are discussed, with a special focus on the role that this wild canid may have in the increasing transmission of nasal eucoleosis to domestic dogs.

  17. Clinical picture and antibody response to experimental Sarcoptes scabiei var. vulpes infection in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes).

    PubMed

    Bornstein, S; Zakrisson, G; Thebo, P

    1995-01-01

    Three red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) were experimentally infected with Sarcoptes scabiei isolated from a naturally infected wild red fox. A fourth red fox served as a control. The first signs of sarcoptic mange became evident on the 31st day post infection (dpi). The signs gradually increased thereafter and between dpi 49 and 77 characteristic lesions of hyperkeratosis developed. Two of the infected foxes developed severe sarcoptic mange, and one of these animals died on dpi 121. The third fox developed a chronic hyperkeratotic lesion on its back, at the site where the mites had been applied. On dpi 127 the surviving foxes were treated systemically with ivermectin, and within 4 weeks the skin lesions had healed except on the pinnae of one animal. Antibodies to S. scabiei var. vulpes were demonstrated in the infected foxes by an ELISA with which seroconversion was seen around 4 weeks post infection (wpi). Western blot analysis of sequential sera of the infected animals demonstrated antibody activity consistently after the 2nd wpi. The fourth, non-infected, fox did not show any skin lesions throughout the experimental period nor any specific antibodies to S. scabiei var. vulpes.

  18. The complete mitochondrial genome sequence of the Tibetan red fox (Vulpes vulpes montana).

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jin; Zhang, Honghai; Zhao, Chao; Chen, Lei; Sha, Weilai; Liu, Guangshuai

    2015-01-01

    In this study, the complete mitochondrial genome of the Tibetan red fox (Vulpes Vulpes montana) was sequenced for the first time using blood samples obtained from a wild female red fox captured from Lhasa in Tibet, China. Qinghai--Tibet Plateau is the highest plateau in the world with an average elevation above 3500 m. Sequence analysis showed it contains 12S rRNA gene, 16S rRNA gene, 22 tRNA genes, 13 protein-coding genes and 1 control region (CR). The variable tandem repeats in CR is the main reason of the length variability of mitochondrial genome among canide animals.

  19. Detection of Angiostrongylus vasorum in Red Foxes (Vulpes vulpes) from Brandenburg, Germany.

    PubMed

    Härtwig, Vera; Schulze, Christoph; Barutzki, Dieter; Schaper, Roland; Daugschies, Arwid; Dyachenko, Viktor

    2015-08-01

    Angiostrongylus (A.) vasorum is a nematode that causes angiostrongylosis in domestic and wild canids. Red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) are suspected of providing a wildlife reservoir for A. vasorum infections in pet dogs. To obtain data on the occurrence of A. vasorum in wildlife, red fox and raccoon dog carcasses (hunted or found dead) were collected from January to September 2009 in the Federal State of Brandenburg, Germany. Lung tissue samples were subjected to DNA extraction and examined for the presence of A. vasorum DNA by means of real-time PCR. A. vasorum DNA was detected in 11 out of 122 (9.0 %) lungs of red foxes and in none of the lung samples of raccoon dogs. These data suggest that red foxes are a reservoir of A. vasorum infections for pet dogs in this area.

  20. Extraintestinal nematodes of the red fox Vulpes vulpes in north-west Italy.

    PubMed

    Magi, M; Guardone, L; Prati, M C; Mignone, W; Macchioni, F

    2015-07-01

    Extraintestinal nematodes of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) are a wide group of parasites that infect wild and domestic carnivores and occasionally humans. Nematodes in the cardiopulmonary system, stomach, urinary apparatus and muscle tissue of 165 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) from north-west Italy (Liguria and Piedmont) were investigated between 2009 and 2012. Of the cardiopulmonary nematodes, a high prevalence of Angiostrongylus vasorum and Eucoleus aerophilus (syn. Capillaria aerophila) was found, 78.2% and 41.8% respectively; Crenosoma vulpis (15.8%) and Filaroides spp. (4.8%) were also found. Spirocerca lupi (23.5%), Aonchotheca putorii (syn. Capillaria putorii) (8.6%) and Physaloptera spp. (2.5%) were detected in the stomach and Pearsonema plica (syn. Capillaria plica) (56.8%) in the bladder. Eucoleus boehmi (syn. Capillaria boehmi) was also detected in the nasal cavities of one of the two foxes examined. A coprological examination revealed eggs of E. aerophilus, A. putorii, S. lupi, Physaloptera spp. and eggs of intestinal parasites. Filarial worms were absent in all the 165 animals examined, nor was there evidence of Trichinella spp. in any of the foxes. The foxes were found to host a high prevalence of many species of extraintestinal nematodes. The prevalence of A. vasorum in foxes found in the present study is among the highest in Europe. In addition, to the best of our knowledge, E. boehmi and Filaroides spp. have never been reported before in this host in Italy.

  1. Predation by Red Foxes (Vulpes vulpes) at an Outdoor Piggery

    PubMed Central

    Fleming, Patricia A.; Dundas, Shannon J.; Lau, Yvonne Y. W.; Pluske, John R.

    2016-01-01

    Simple Summary Predation of piglets by red foxes is a significant risk for outdoor/free-range pork producers, but is often difficult to quantify. Using remote sensing cameras, we recorded substantial evidence of red foxes taking piglets from around farrowing huts, and found that piglets were most likely to be recorded as “missing” over their first week. These data suggest that fox predation contributed to the marked production differences between this outdoor farm and a similar-sized intensive farm under the same management, and warrant greater control of this introduced, invasive predator. Abstract Outdoor pig operations are an alternative to intensive systems of raising pigs; however for the majority of outdoor pork producers, issues of biosecurity and predation control require significant management and (or) capital investment. Identifying and quantifying predation risk in outdoor pork operations has rarely been done, but such data would be informative for these producers as part of their financial and logistical planning. We quantified potential impact of fox predation on piglets bred on an outdoor pork operation in south-western Australia. We used remote sensor cameras at select sites across the farm as well as above farrowing huts to record interactions between predators and pigs (sows and piglets). We also identified animal losses from breeding records, calculating weaning rate as a proportion of piglets born. Although only few piglets were recorded lost to fox predation (recorded by piggery staff as carcasses that are “chewed”), it is likely that foxes were contributing substantially to the 20% of piglets that were reported “missing”. Both sets of cameras recorded a high incidence of fox activity; foxes appeared on camera soon after staff left for the day, were observed tracking and taking live piglets (despite the presence of sows), and removed dead carcasses from in front of the cameras. Newly born and younger piglets appeared to be the most

  2. Molecular survey of Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Ehrlichia canis in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) from central Italy.

    PubMed

    Ebani, Valentina Virginia; Verin, Ranieri; Fratini, Filippo; Poli, Alessandro; Cerri, Domenico

    2011-07-01

    During the 2007-2008 hunting season, 150 spleen samples were collected from free-ranging red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in central Italy. The specimens were tested by two nested PCR assays to detect DNA of Anaplasma phagocytophilum, etiologic agent of granulocytic ehrlichiosis of animals and humans, and DNA of Ehrlichia canis, which causes the monocytic ehrlichiosis in canids. None of the foxes were PCR-positive for E. canis; 25 (16.6%) were positive for A. phagocytophilum. No specific gross alterations were detected at necropsy, and no histopathologic lesions found on PCR-positive spleen samples.

  3. Trichinella nativa in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) of Germany and Poland: possible different origins.

    PubMed

    Chmurzyńska, E; Różycki, M; Bilska-Zając, E; Nöckler, K; Mayer-Scholl, A; Pozio, E; Cencek, T; Karamon, J

    2013-11-15

    In Germany and Poland, the high population density of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) is considered a public health risk since this wild canid is one of the main reservoirs of Trichinella spp. In 2010 in Poland, a program to monitor the prevalence of Trichinella spp. in the red fox population was launched. After two years, Trichinella spp. larvae were detected in 44 (2.7%) out of 1634 foxes tested. In Germany in the period 2002-2011, Trichinella spp. larvae were in 27 foxes. The Trichinella species detected were: T. spiralis in 15 foxes from Germany (one co-infection with Trichinella britovi and one with Trichinella pseudospiralis) and in 9 foxes from Poland; T. britovi in 8 and 32 foxes from Germany and Poland, respectively; and T. pseudospiralis in 1 fox from Germany. The arctic species Trichinella nativa was detected in 3 foxes from Germany (one co-infection with Trichinella spiralis) and in 1 fox from Poland. The detection of T. nativa outside its known distribution area opens new questions on the ability of this Trichinella species to colonize temperate regions. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Screening red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) for possible viral causes of encephalitis.

    PubMed

    Bourg, Manon; Nobach, Daniel; Herzog, Sibylle; Lange-Herbst, Hildburg; Nesseler, Anne; Hamann, Hans-Peter; Becker, Sabrina; Höper, Dirk; Hoffmann, Bernd; Eickmann, Markus; Herden, Christiane

    2016-09-02

    Next to various known infectious and non-infectious causes, the aetiology of non-suppurative encephalitis in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) often remains unclear. Known causes in foxes imply rabies, canine distemper, toxoplasmosis, Aujeszky's disease, as well as parvovirus, adenovirus, circovirus and flavivirus infections. In this study, particular attention was paid on bornaviruses, since red foxes are predators of bicoloured white-toothed shrews, a reservoir of Borna disease virus 1 (BoDV-1). In addition, foxes are known to be highly susceptible for viruses of the order Mononegavirales. Analyses for the presence of anti-BoDV-1 antibodies, BoDV-1-RNA and antigen were performed on 225 blood and 59 brain samples, from a total of 232 red foxes. Foxes originated from BoDV-1 endemic and non-endemic German areas. Additional investigations for the presence of rabies, canine distemper, toxoplasmosis, Aujeszky's disease, parvovirus, adenovirus and flavivirus infections were carried out on 16 red foxes with non-suppurative (meningo-) encephalitis. A metagenomic analysis was used on three representative brain samples displaying encephalitis. Among 225 foxes, 37 displayed anti-BoDV-1 antibodies with titres ranging between 1:40 and 1:2560, regardless of geographic origin. In 6 out of 16 foxes with encephalitis, canine distemper virus was detected. No evidence of any of the other investigated agents was found in the 16 fox brains with encephalitis. Metagenomics revealed no infectious agents, except for one already known canine distemper case. Red foxes can exhibit BoDV-1 specific antibodies without association with geographic origin or encephalitis due to bornavirus infection. The encephalitis pattern was highly conspicuous for a viral infection, but remained unclear in 10 out of 16 foxes. Thus, presently unknown infectious and non-infectious causes need to be considered and further investigated, especially since foxes also tend to occur in human proximity.

  5. Home range defense in the red fox, Vulpes vulpes L

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Preston, E.M.

    1975-01-01

    This paper describes the home range defense behavior observed when nonresident male red foxes were introduced into established home ranges of resident male-female pairs. In 12 observation periods, four intruders were introduced to each of three mated pairs which had been given three weeks to acclimate to a 4.05-hectare, fenced enclosure. The residents centered their activities around a natural den and the frequency of intruder-resident encounters decreased rapidly with increasing distance from the den. The primary home range defense was continual harassment of the intruders by the resident males through agonistic displays and chases. Physical contact was rare. Even though the resident males were dominant in less than a majority of the interactions observed, they were usually successful in displacing the intruders within a few hours. The resident females seldom interacted with the intruders.

  6. Prevalence of Babesia microti-like infection in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) from Portugal.

    PubMed

    Cardoso, L; Cortes, H C E; Reis, A; Rodrigues, P; Simões, M; Lopes, A P; Vila-Viçosa, M J; Talmi-Frank, D; Eyal, O; Solano-Gallego, L; Baneth, G

    2013-09-01

    The prevalence of piroplasm (order Piroplasmida) infection was assessed in blood and bone marrow samples from 91 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) from northern, central and southern Portugal by means of molecular methods. PCR for the 18S rRNA gene of Babesia spp. followed by sequencing revealed 63 foxes positive for the Babesia microti-like piroplasm (syn. Theileria annae) (69.2%; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 58.7-78.5%) and one fox positive for Babesia canis (1.1%; 95% CI: 0.0-6.0%). Positivity to the B. microti-like piroplasm or B. canis in 43 blood samples (83.7%) was significantly higher (p<0.001) than in 43 paired bone marrow samples (20.9%). There were no statistically significant differences in the prevalence of infection between genders (p=0.219) or age groups (<2 years vs. ≥ 2 years) (p=1.0). This is the first report of the B. microti-like piroplasm in foxes from Portugal as well as the first report on detection by PCR and genotyping of B. canis in a red fox worldwide. A natural cycle of the B. microti-like piroplasm is suggested in red fox populations based on the high prevalence of the protozoan. Red foxes might be a reservoir of the B. microti-like piroplasm and a source of infection to dogs.

  7. Unilateral laparoscopic ovariectomy in a red fox (Vulpes vulpes) with an ovarian cyst.

    PubMed

    Lee, Seung Y; Jung, Dong H; Park, Se J; Seek, Seong H; Yang, Jeong J; Lee, Jae W; Lee, Bae K; Lee, Hee C; Yeon, Seong C

    2014-09-01

    Unilateral laparoscopic ovariectomy was attempted in a red fox (Vulpes vulpes) with an ovarian cyst through single portal access. The ovarian cyst was resistant to conservative therapy using gonadotropin-releasing hormone. A 10-mm laparoscope with an operating channel was introduced into the abdomen via a 12-mm umbilical portal. The left ovary and cyst (34.1 x 30.8 mm) were fixed to the left abdominal wall by a transabdominal suspension suture. The ovarian pedicles and ligaments were progressively cauterized and transected with a multifunction bipolar electrocoagulation forceps. The resected cystic ovary was exteriorized through the umbilical portal site. The surgical time was 42 min, and no intra- and postoperative complications were encountered. Two months after the surgery mating was observed, and the fox gave birth to three healthy cubs 56 days after the mating. This is the first report of using laparoscopy in the red fox with an ovarian cyst.

  8. Neospora caninum and Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in the Czech Republic.

    PubMed

    Bártová, Eva; Slezáková, Radka; Nágl, Ivan; Sedlák, Kamil

    2016-01-01

    Neospora caninum and Toxoplasma gondii are worldwide spread parasites, causing serious illnesses in sensitive animals; toxoplasmosis is also important zoonosis. Although neosporosis is not considered as a zoonosis, it leads to aborted births in cattle, as well as paresis and paralysis in dogs. The aim of this study was to discover the prevalence of N. caninum and T. gondii antibodies in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in the Czech Republic. Sera of 80 foxes from 8 regions of the Czech Republic were tested for antibodies to N. caninum and T. gondii by competitive enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (cELISA) and indirect ELISA. All samples were simultaneously tested by indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT) to detect both N. caninum and T. gondii antibodies. Antibodies to N. caninum were found by IFAT in 3 (3.8%) red foxes with titre 50 and in 2 (2.5%) red foxes with inhibition 42.7% and 30.2 %. Antibodies to T. gondii were found in all tested animals in both IFAT (titres 50-6400) and in ELISA (S/P ranging from 34%-133%). This is the first prevalence study of N. caninum and T. gondii antibodies in red foxes in the Czech Republic. The results obtained show that red foxes are exposed at different levels to both protozoan infections, and thus could play an important role in the transmission cycle of N. caninum and T. gondii in sylvatic cycle.

  9. Helminths of red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in Denmark.

    PubMed

    Saeed, I; Maddox-Hyttel, C; Monrad, J; Kapel, C M O

    2006-06-30

    An epidemiological study of helminths in 1040 red foxes collected from various localities in Denmark during 1997-2002, revealed 21 helminth species at autopsy, including nine nematode species: Capillaria plica (prevalence 80.5%), Capillaria aerophila (74.1%), Crenosoma vulpis (17.4%), Angiostrongylus vasorum (48.6% from Northern Zealand (endemic area)), Toxocara canis (59.4%), Toxascaris leonina (0.6%), Uncinaria stenocephala (68.6%), Ancylostoma caninum (0.6%), and Trichuris vulpis (0.5%); seven cestodes: Mesocestoides sp. (35.6%), a number of Taeniid species (Taenia pisiformis, T. hydatigena, T. taeniaeformis, T. crassiceps, and unidentified Taenia spp.) (22.8%), and Echinococcus multilocularis (0.3%); four trematodes: Alaria alata (15.4%), Cryptocotyle lingua (23.8%), Pseudamphystomum truncatum (3.6% from Northern Zealand), and Echinochasmus perfoliatus (2.4% from Northern Zealand); one acanthocephalan: Polymorphus sp. (1.2%). Significant difference in prevalence was found for T. canis and A. vasorum according to host sex, and for T. canis, U. stenocephala, Mesocestoides sp., Taenia spp., A. alata, A. vasorum, and Capillaria spp. according to age groups (adult, young or cub). Prevalence and average worm intensity for each helminth species varied considerably according to geographical locality, season, and year. Aggregated distribution was found for several helminth species. The two species E. multilocularis and E. perfoliatus are first records for Denmark.

  10. Anesthetic management of a 4-month-old red fox (Vulpes vulpes) for orthopedic surgery.

    PubMed

    Anagnostou, Tilemahos; Flouraki, Eugenia; Kostakis, Charalampos; Komnenou, Anastasia; Prassinos, Nikitas; Raptopoulos, Dimitrios

    2015-03-01

    A 4-mo-old red fox (Vulpes vulpes) was found recumbent after a vehicular accident. Radiology revealed several limb fractures and the fox underwent surgery after 24 hr of initial stabilization. Premedication consisted of dexmedetomidine and morphine. Anesthesia was induced with ketamine and midazolam and maintained with isoflurane. Lidocaine, bupivacaine, and morphine were administered epidurally and further analgesia was provided with meloxicam. The heart rate and respiratory rate of the fox remained stable during surgery and, except for a mild hypothermia, the recovery from anesthesia was uneventful. The postoperative pain scores were low and the animal was transported to a rehabilitation facility and eventually released to the wild. The low pain scores postoperatively should be attributed to the successful application of epidural anesthesia and analgesia.

  11. First report of Thelazia callipaeda in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) from Portugal.

    PubMed

    Sargo, Roberto; Loureiro, Filipa; Catarino, Ana Lúcia; Valente, Joana; Silva, Filipe; Cardoso, Luís; Otranto, Domenico; Maia, Carla

    2014-06-01

    The first cases of infection with the eyeworm Thelazia callipaeda (Spirurida, Thelaziidae) in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) from Portugal are described. Worms were collected from 1 fox (7 worms) in the north and from 2 foxes (10 worms) in the central region of the country. Partial molecular amplification of mitochondrial cythocrome c oxidase subunit 1 gene and sequencing revealed a 100% homology with T. callipaeda haplotype 1, which is the sequence type circulating in Europe. Data suggest that wildlife participate in maintaining this endemic infection in dog and cat populations from the studied areas. Furthermore, due to the zoonotic potential of T. callipaeda, there is a risk of infection in humans residing in areas where thelaziosis is present in wild and domestic animals.

  12. [Tick (Ixodoidea) and flea (Siphonaptera) species on three red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in Erzurum province].

    PubMed

    Aydın, Mehmet Fatih; Balkaya, Ibrahim; Aktaş, Münir; Dumanlı, Nazir

    2011-01-01

    In this study, three red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) which died after traffic accidents were examined in terms of ectoparasites, in the province of Erzurum in January of 2009. 13 ticks and 74 fleas were collected from the foxes and taken to the laboratory in separate glasses containing 70% alcohol. Ticks were taken directly from 70% alcohol and have been identified under the stereo microscope. Fleas were cleared in 10% KOH solution during 4-13 days and washed in distilled water 3-4 times and were identified under the light microscope. Two tick species Ixodes hexagonus Leach, 1815 (5 males, 7 females) and Haemaphysalis numidiana Neumann, 1905 (1 male) and four flea species Pulex irritans Linne, 1758 (23 males, 37 females), Chaetopsylla globiceps Tacshenberg, 1880 (11 female), Ctenocephalides canis Curtis, 1826 (2 female) and Ctenocephalides felis felis Bouche, 1835 (1 female) were identified. In this study H. numidiana have been identified in the fox for the first time.

  13. Cattle-derived Salmonella enterica serovar Dublin Infections in Red Foxes ( Vulpes vulpes ) in Tyrol, Austria.

    PubMed

    Glawischnig, Walter; Lazar, Judit; Wallner, Alice; Kornschober, Christian

    2017-01-31

    Salmonella enterica serovar Dublin is endemic in the cattle population in some areas of the Austrian province Tyrol, and each year single dairy farms have experienced clinical infections. To ascertain if Tyrolean red foxes ( Vulpes vulpes ) act as a reservoir for Salmonella spp., we tested hepatic tissue and intestinal content from foxes hunted in the years 2015-2016 by using microbiological methods. In addition, we included several fox fecal samples collected on a mountain pasture near chamois carcasses in the investigation. Of 434 foxes tested, nine animals (2.1%) were positive for Salmonella spp. Serotyping revealed five foxes positive with S. Dublin, demonstrating that this serovar exists in the Tyrolean fox population. The fecal samples collected in the area surrounding skeletonized chamois ( Rupicapra rupicapra ) also tested positive for S. Dublin. These chamois were probably victims of a waterborne outbreak caused by S. Dublin-shedding cattle. Our results indicate that the S. Dublin infections in red foxes were primarily acquired through ingestion of infected cattle material such as abortion tissues, but also by feeding on dead chamois. The findings underline the importance of interspecies transmission in this domestic/wildlife interface.

  14. Temporal genetic variation of the red fox, Vulpes vulpes, across western Europe and the British Isles.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Ceiridwen J; Soulsbury, Carl D; Statham, Mark J; Ho, Simon Y W; Wall, Dave; Dolf, Gaudenz; Iossa, Graziella; Baker, Phillip J; Harris, Stephen; Sacks, Benjamin N; Bradley, Daniel G

    2012-12-04

    Quaternary climatic fluctuations have had profound effects on the phylogeographic structure of many species. Classically, species were thought to have become isolated in peninsular refugia, but there is limited evidence that large, non-polar species survived outside traditional refugial areas. We examined the phylogeographic structure of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes), a species that shows high ecological adaptability in the western Palaearctic region. We compared mitochondrial DNA sequences (cytochrome b and control region) from 399 modern and 31 ancient individuals from across Europe. Our objective was to test whether red foxes colonised the British Isles from mainland Europe in the late Pleistocene, or whether there is evidence that they persisted in the region through the Last Glacial Maximum. We found red foxes to show a high degree of phylogeographic structuring across Europe and, consistent with palaeontological and ancient DNA evidence, confirmed via phylogenetic indicators that red foxes were persistent in areas outside peninsular refugia during the last ice age. Bayesian analyses and tests of neutrality indicated population expansion. We conclude that there is evidence that red foxes from the British Isles derived from central European populations that became isolated after the closure of the landbridge with Europe.

  15. Temporal genetic variation of the red fox, Vulpes vulpes, across western Europe and the British Isles

    PubMed Central

    Edwards, Ceiridwen J.; Soulsbury, Carl D.; Statham, Mark J.; Ho, Simon Y.W.; Wall, Dave; Dolf, Gaudenz; Iossa, Graziella; Baker, Phillip J.; Harris, Stephen; Sacks, Benjamin N.; Bradley, Daniel G.

    2012-01-01

    Quaternary climatic fluctuations have had profound effects on the phylogeographic structure of many species. Classically, species were thought to have become isolated in peninsular refugia, but there is limited evidence that large, non-polar species survived outside traditional refugial areas. We examined the phylogeographic structure of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes), a species that shows high ecological adaptability in the western Palaearctic region. We compared mitochondrial DNA sequences (cytochrome b and control region) from 399 modern and 31 ancient individuals from across Europe. Our objective was to test whether red foxes colonised the British Isles from mainland Europe in the late Pleistocene, or whether there is evidence that they persisted in the region through the Last Glacial Maximum. We found red foxes to show a high degree of phylogeographic structuring across Europe and, consistent with palaeontological and ancient DNA evidence, confirmed via phylogenetic indicators that red foxes were persistent in areas outside peninsular refugia during the last ice age. Bayesian analyses and tests of neutrality indicated population expansion. We conclude that there is evidence that red foxes from the British Isles derived from central European populations that became isolated after the closure of the landbridge with Europe. PMID:24068852

  16. Temporal genetic variation of the red fox, Vulpes vulpes, across western Europe and the British Isles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edwards, Ceiridwen J.; Soulsbury, Carl D.; Statham, Mark J.; Ho, Simon Y. W.; Wall, Dave; Dolf, Gaudenz; Iossa, Graziella; Baker, Phillip J.; Harris, Stephen; Sacks, Benjamin N.; Bradley, Daniel G.

    2012-12-01

    Quaternary climatic fluctuations have had profound effects on the phylogeographic structure of many species. Classically, species were thought to have become isolated in peninsular refugia, but there is limited evidence that large, non-polar species survived outside traditional refugial areas. We examined the phylogeographic structure of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes), a species that shows high ecological adaptability in the western Palaearctic region. We compared mitochondrial DNA sequences (cytochrome b and control region) from 399 modern and 31 ancient individuals from across Europe. Our objective was to test whether red foxes colonised the British Isles from mainland Europe in the late Pleistocene, or whether there is evidence that they persisted in the region through the Last Glacial Maximum. We found red foxes to show a high degree of phylogeographic structuring across Europe and, consistent with palaeontological and ancient DNA evidence, confirmed via phylogenetic indicators that red foxes were persistent in areas outside peninsular refugia during the last ice age. Bayesian analyses and tests of neutrality indicated population expansion. We conclude that there is evidence that red foxes from the British Isles derived from central European populations that became isolated after the closure of the landbridge with Europe.

  17. Rickettsiae in arthropods collected from red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in France.

    PubMed

    Marié, Jean-Lou; Davoust, Bernard; Socolovschi, Cristina; Mediannikov, Oleg; Roqueplo, Cédric; Beaucournu, Jean-Claude; Raoult, Didier; Parola, Philippe

    2012-01-01

    The aim of our study was to detect the presence of Rickettsia spp. and Bartonella spp. in ticks and fleas collected from red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in southeastern France during 2008. Using a genus-specific quantitative PCR (qPCR) assay, which was followed by a species-specific qPCR assay for the positive samples, 45.2% (33/73) of ticks (Rhipicephalus turanicus) were found to be infected with Rickettsia massiliae. 10.5% (2/19) of the fleas (Archaeopsylla erinacei) collected in the study tested positive for Rickettsia felis. A genus-specific qPCR assay did not reveal any Bartonella species in any of the ticks or fleas collected. The role of red foxes in the epidemiology of spotted fever caused by Rickettsiae species requires further investigation.

  18. Concentration of heavy metals in hair and skin of silver and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes).

    PubMed

    Filistowicz, Andrzej; Dobrzański, Zbigniew; Przysiecki, Piotr; Nowicki, Sławomir; Filistowicz, Aneta

    2011-11-01

    The structure of hair and levels of main chemical elements (C, N, O, S, Cl, Ca, P, Al, Na) in the external layer of hair of silver and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in a non-industrialised, typically agricultural region of middle-west Poland was assessed using a scanning microscope. Additionally, analysis of the accumulation of certain heavy metals (Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn) in hair (washed) and skin (non-tanned) of those foxes was conducted. Heavy metal levels were determined using a spectrophotometric method (ICP-OES), and correlations between these levels in hair and skin were calculated. The microscopic external (morphological) and internal structures (histological) of the hair of farm and wild foxes were not differentiated; however, the hair of farm foxes (external layer) contained higher amounts of C, Na, Al and P. A significantly higher Pb content was noted in non-tanned skin of wild foxes in comparison to farm ones. In the case of farm foxes, a significantly higher Zn content in hair and Zn and Cu in skin was observed in comparison to wild ones. Positive significant correlations between Cr and Ni content (r = 0.622) and Zn and Cu (r = 0.721) in fox skin were noted. A similar relationship between Cr content in hair and Ni in skin (r = 0.643) and between Zn in hair and skin (r = 0.595) was also observed.

  19. Predation by Red Foxes (Vulpes vulpes) at an Outdoor Piggery.

    PubMed

    Fleming, Patricia A; Dundas, Shannon J; Lau, Yvonne Y W; Pluske, John R

    2016-10-08

    Outdoor pig operations are an alternative to intensive systems of raising pigs; however for the majority of outdoor pork producers, issues of biosecurity and predation control require significant management and (or) capital investment. Identifying and quantifying predation risk in outdoor pork operations has rarely been done, but such data would be informative for these producers as part of their financial and logistical planning. We quantified potential impact of fox predation on piglets bred on an outdoor pork operation in south-western Australia. We used remote sensor cameras at select sites across the farm as well as above farrowing huts to record interactions between predators and pigs (sows and piglets). We also identified animal losses from breeding records, calculating weaning rate as a proportion of piglets born. Although only few piglets were recorded lost to fox predation (recorded by piggery staff as carcasses that are "chewed"), it is likely that foxes were contributing substantially to the 20% of piglets that were reported "missing". Both sets of cameras recorded a high incidence of fox activity; foxes appeared on camera soon after staff left for the day, were observed tracking and taking live piglets (despite the presence of sows), and removed dead carcasses from in front of the cameras. Newly born and younger piglets appeared to be the most vulnerable, especially when they are born out in the paddock, but older piglets were also lost. A significant ( p = 0.001) effect of individual sow identification on the weaning rate, but no effect of sow age (parity), suggests that individual sow behavior towards predators influences predation risk for litters. We tracked the movement of piglet carcasses by foxes, and confirmed that foxes make use of patches of native vegetation for cover, although there was no effect of paddock, distance to vegetation, or position on the farm on weaning rate. Trials with non-toxic baits reveal high levels of non-target bait

  20. Infectious canine hepatitis in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in wildlife rescue centres in the UK.

    PubMed

    Walker, D; Abbondati, E; Cox, A L; Mitchell, G B B; Pizzi, R; Sharp, C P; Philbey, A W

    2016-04-23

    Outbreaks of infectious canine hepatitis are described in red foxes ( ITALIC! Vulpes vulpes) at two wildlife rescue centres in the UK. Disease occurred in two-month-old to four-month-old juvenile foxes, which were held in small enclosures in groups of three to eight animals. The foxes died or were euthanased after a short clinical course, sometimes including neurological signs and jaundice, with a high case fatality rate. Four red foxes submitted for postmortem examination had enlarged, congested livers, with rounded borders and mild accentuation of the lobular pattern. On histological examination, there was random, multifocal to massive hepatic necrosis, along with multifocal vasculitis in the central nervous system (CNS) and mild, multifocal glomerulonephritis. Intranuclear inclusion bodies, typical of canine adenovirus type 1 (CAV-1) infection, were present in hepatocytes, vascular endothelial cells in the CNS, renal glomeruli and renal tubular epithelial cells. CAV-1 was detected in tissues from affected foxes by PCR and sequencing. Congregation of juvenile foxes in wildlife rescue centres is likely to be a risk factor for transmission of CAV-1. Preventive measures in wildlife centres should be implemented to prevent the spread of the virus among conspecifics and to other susceptible species. British Veterinary Association.

  1. [Gingival fibromatosis (hereditary hyperplastic gingivitis) in a wild European red fox (Vulpes vulpes)].

    PubMed

    Schulze, C; Bensch, M; Winterhoff, N; Ansorge, H; Teifke, J P

    2008-12-01

    This report describes a case of gingival fibromatosis in an otherwise healthy and well nourished wild European red fox (Vulpes vulpes), which was shot by a hunter and submitted to the state laboratory in the context of the rabies monitoring program of the federal state of Brandenburg, Germany. At necropsy, a severe papillomatous proliferation of the complete gingival tissue of the upper and lower jaw was present. This gingival proliferation had already resulted in malocclusion, loosening and loss of several incisival, premolar and molar teeth. Histologically, the primary lesion was a massive increase in the amount of collagen rich and relatively avascular connective tissue within the gingival lamina propria mucosae. A papillomavirus infection was excluded by electron microscopy, immunohistochemistry and molecular biological methods. The gingival lesions in the red fox are identical to those seen in hereditary hyperplastic gingivitis in farmed silver foxes and hereditary gingival fibromatosis in man. It is presumed that, in analogy to the genetic diseases in silver foxes and man, a still unidentified genetic defect is responsible for the development of the disease in the red fox, too.

  2. When things go wrong: Cysticercus longicollis in an adult wild red fox (Vulpes vulpes).

    PubMed

    Konjević, Dean; Živičnjak, Tatjana; Kurilj, Andrea Gudan; Sindičić, Magda; Martinković, Franjo; Jan, Dagny Stojčević

    2016-03-01

    First case of Cysticercus longicollis, larval stage of Taenia crassiceps, was diagnosed in a wild adult male red fox (Vulpes vulpes). The fox was killed by dogs at Nature Park Medvednica and presented to the University of Zagreb Faculty of Veterinary Medicine with history of being unable to run away and having skin lesions on legs that resembled to those of mange. Necropsy revealed whitish fluctuant mass full of cysticercus-like structures, surrounded by fibrous capsule and placed between the leg muscles, and numerous of spherical cysts in the subcutis and in the peritoneal cavity. Cysticerci were identified as C. longicollis based on their size, number and size of the rostellar hooks, mode of proliferation and DNA analysis. To our knowledge, this is the first case of T. crassiceps cysticercosis in a wild carnivore.

  3. Babesia (Theileria) annae in a red fox (Vulpes vulpes) from Prince Edward Island, Canada.

    PubMed

    Clancey, Noel; Horney, Barbara; Burton, Shelley; Birkenheuer, Adam; McBurney, Scott; Tefft, Karen

    2010-04-01

    A 4-6-mo-old female red fox (Vulpes vulpes) was presented to the Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC) Teaching Hospital, Prince Edward Island, Canada. On presentation, the fox was weak and had pale mucous membranes. A complete blood count and a serum biochemistry profile were performed. Blood smear examination revealed low numbers of erythrocytes containing centrally to paracentrally located, single, rarely multiple, approximately 1 x 2 microm, oval to round organisms with morphology similar to Babesia microti. Polymerase chain reaction testing and DNA sequencing of the Babesia species 18S rRNA gene were performed on DNA extracted from whole blood. Results were positive for a Babesia microti-like parasite genetically identical to Babesia (Theileria) annae. The fox was euthanized due to poor prognosis for recovery. Necropsy examination revealed multifocal to locally extensive subacute nonsuppurative meningoencephalitis, an eosinophilic broncho-pneumonia, a moderate diffuse vacuolar hepatopathy, and lesions associated with blunt trauma to the left abdominal region. This is the first reported case of a red fox in Canada infected with a piroplasm. It remains uncertain whether the presence of this hemoparasite in this fox was pathogenic or an incidental finding. The potential for competent vectors of Babesia species on Prince Edward Island, the potential for this Babesia microti-like parasite to infect other wild and domestic canids, and the significance of this parasite to the health of infected individuals are yet to be determined.

  4. Diagnosis and treatment of Neospora caninum-associated dermatitis in a red fox (Vulpes vulpes) with concurrent Toxoplasma gondii infection

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    A 3-month- old red fox (Vulpes vulpes) developed generalized crusty plaques on its body during rehabilitation after an automobile accident requiring amputation of 1 leg. Histological examination of biopsy of skin lesion revealed granolomatous dermatitits with many intralesional protozoal tachyzoites...

  5. Is the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) a competent definitive host for Taenia multiceps?

    PubMed

    Varcasia, Antonio; Tamponi, Claudia; Tosciri, Gabriele; Pipia, Anna Paola; Dore, Francesco; Schuster, Rolf Karl; Kandil, Omnia Mohamed; Manunta, Maria Lucia; Scala, Antonio

    2015-09-25

    Shepherd and stray dogs are thought to represent the primary definitive hosts of Coenurosis by Taenia multiceps, due to their feeding habits which translate into high chances of coming into contact with infected intermediate hosts. Nonetheless, little attention has been paid to the role of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) in the epidemiology of coenurosis. In fact a knowledge gap exists on the role played by red foxes in the epidemiology of Taenia multiceps and the capability of this parasite to produce fertile and viable eggs in this wild canid, i.e. on the occurrence of a sylvatic cycle. This study investigates the role of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) in the epidemiology of T. multiceps and related metacestodoses. The small intestine of 63 red foxes was macroscopically examined for the presence of cestodes. Adult parasites were identified morphologically as being T. multiceps. Tapeworm eggs were counted and stored at 4 °C in physiological saline solution prior to experimental infection of four sheep and one goat. Sheep were inoculated orally on Day 0 with 3000 (sheep 1), 5000 (sheep 2 and 3) or 7000 eggs (sheep 4), while the goat was infected with 5000 eggs of T. multiceps. The animals were followed-up regularly by MRI and underwent surgical treatment between days 180 to day 240 post infection. Collected coenuri were identified using morphological and molecular methods. A total of 6.3 % of red foxes were found infected with T. multiceps and the eggs obtained from the worms were determined to have a viability of 45.4 %. Two of the challenged sheep and the goat developed disease compatible with T. multiceps. Morphometrical features of the cysts were consistent with those of T. multiceps; nucleotide amplification and sequencing of mitochondrial genes (i.e., cox1 and Nd1) from the metacestode material confirmed the identification. The present study is the first to provide evidence of the role of the red fox as a competent definitive host for T. multiceps, thus changing

  6. Diversity of Flea (Siphonaptera) Parasites on Red Foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in Romania.

    PubMed

    Foley, P; Foley, J; Sándor, A D; Ionica, A M; Matei, I A; D'Amico, G; Gherman, C M; Dom A, C; Mihalca, A D

    2017-09-01

    Red foxes (Vulpes vulpes (L.)) are widespread across Europe, tolerant of synanthropic ecosystems, and susceptible to diseases potentially shared with humans and other animals. We describe flea fauna on red foxes in Romania, a large, ecologically diverse country, in part because fleas may serve as an indicator of the risk of spillover of vector-borne disease. We found 912 individual fleas of seven species on the 305 foxes assessed, for an infestation prevalence of 49.5%. Mean flea load per fox was 5.8 (range 0-44 fleas), and flea detections were most abundant in fall and early spring. Fleas included generalists (Ctenocephalides canis (Curtis), 32.6% of all fleas), Ct. felis (Bouché, 0.1%), and Pulex irritans L. (29.9%), the fox specialist Chaetopsylla globiceps (Taschenberg, 32.5%), mesocarnivore fleas Paraceras melis Walker (3.2%) and Ch. trichosa Kohaut (1.5%), and the small mammal flea Ctenophthalmus assimilis (Taschenberg, 0.1%), which is rarely or never reported from carnivores. There were significantly more female than male Ch. globiceps, Ct. canis, and Pu. irritans, and these three species were the most broadly distributed geographically. Diversity indices suggested reduced diversity in mountainous areas above 700 m. When compared to other flea studies on foxes in Europe, Romania had flea diversity near the median of reports, which was unexpected given Romania's high ecological diversity. Notably absent prey specialists, compared to other studies, include Archaeopsylla erinacei (Bouché) and Spilopsyllus cuniculi (Dale). Further studies of possible disease agents in fox fleas could help elucidate possible risks of vector-borne disease in foxes, domestic animals, and humans as well. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  7. Molecular and histopathological detection of Hepatozoon canis in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) from Portugal.

    PubMed

    Cardoso, Luís; Cortes, Helder C E; Eyal, Osnat; Reis, Antónia; Lopes, Ana Patrícia; Vila-Viçosa, Maria João; Rodrigues, Paula A; Baneth, Gad

    2014-03-24

    Hepatozoon canis is a protozoan tick-borne pathogen of dogs and wild canids. Hepatozoon spp. have been reported to infect foxes in different continents and recent studies have mostly used the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the detection and characterization of the infecting species. Surveying red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) may contribute to better understanding the epidemiology of canine vector-borne diseases, including hepatozoonosis caused by H. canis in domestic dogs. The present study investigated the prevalence of Hepatozoon spp. by means of histopathology and molecular analysis of different tissues in red foxes from different parts of Portugal. Blood and tissues including bone marrow, heart, hind leg muscle, jejunum, kidney, liver, lung, popliteal or axillary lymph nodes, spleen and/or tongue were collected from 91 red foxes from eight districts in northern, central and southern Portugal. Tissues were formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded, cut and stained with hematoxylin and eosin. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplified a ~650 bp fragment of the 18S rRNA gene of Hepatozoon spp. and the DNA products were sequenced. Hepatozoon canis was detected in 68 out of 90 foxes (75.6%) from all the sampled areas by PCR and sequencing. Histopathology revealed H. canis meronts similar in shape to those found in dogs in the bone marrow of 11 (23.4%) and in the spleen of two (4.3%) out of 47 foxes (p = 0.007). All the 11 foxes found positive by histopathology were also positive by PCR of bone marrow and/or blood. Positivity by PCR (83.0%) was significantly higher (p < 0.001) than by histopathological examination (23.4%) in paired bone marrow samples from the same 47 foxes. Sequences of the 18S rRNA gene of H. canis were 98-99% identical to those in GenBank. Hepatozoon canis was found to be highly prevalent in red fox populations from northern, central and southern Portugal. Detection of the parasite by histopathology was significantly less sensitive than by PCR. Red foxes are

  8. Molecular and histopathological detection of Hepatozoon canis in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) from Portugal

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Hepatozoon canis is a protozoan tick-borne pathogen of dogs and wild canids. Hepatozoon spp. have been reported to infect foxes in different continents and recent studies have mostly used the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the detection and characterization of the infecting species. Surveying red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) may contribute to better understanding the epidemiology of canine vector-borne diseases, including hepatozoonosis caused by H. canis in domestic dogs. The present study investigated the prevalence of Hepatozoon spp. by means of histopathology and molecular analysis of different tissues in red foxes from different parts of Portugal. Methods Blood and tissues including bone marrow, heart, hind leg muscle, jejunum, kidney, liver, lung, popliteal or axillary lymph nodes, spleen and/or tongue were collected from 91 red foxes from eight districts in northern, central and southern Portugal. Tissues were formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded, cut and stained with hematoxylin and eosin. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplified a ~650 bp fragment of the 18S rRNA gene of Hepatozoon spp. and the DNA products were sequenced. Results Hepatozoon canis was detected in 68 out of 90 foxes (75.6%) from all the sampled areas by PCR and sequencing. Histopathology revealed H. canis meronts similar in shape to those found in dogs in the bone marrow of 11 (23.4%) and in the spleen of two (4.3%) out of 47 foxes (p = 0.007). All the 11 foxes found positive by histopathology were also positive by PCR of bone marrow and/or blood. Positivity by PCR (83.0%) was significantly higher (p < 0.001) than by histopathological examination (23.4%) in paired bone marrow samples from the same 47 foxes. Sequences of the 18S rRNA gene of H. canis were 98–99% identical to those in GenBank. Conclusions Hepatozoon canis was found to be highly prevalent in red fox populations from northern, central and southern Portugal. Detection of the parasite by histopathology was

  9. A diagnostic study of Echinococcus multilocularis in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) from Great Britain.

    PubMed

    Learmount, J; Zimmer, I A; Conyers, C; Boughtflower, V D; Morgan, C P; Smith, G C

    2012-12-21

    Alveolar echinococcosis is caused by a parasitic tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis and is a serious disease with high fatality in humans. The definitive primary host is the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) but domestic animals (dogs and to a lesser extent cats) as well as several genera of rodents can also be infected with the parasite. There is, to date, no evidence of indigenous cases of E. multilocularis in Great Britain (GB) but in most of continental Europe the parasite is considered to be endemic and/or slowly spreading. All pet dogs entering the United Kingdom (UK) under the pet travel scheme (PETS) are therefore currently treated with an anthelmintic effective against Echinococcus spp. Surveillance of red foxes is required to demonstrate disease freedom and maintain this regulation to prevent further geographical spread of the parasite to free areas within the EU. A study of 588 wild red foxes collected from across Great Britain (GB) between October 1999 and November 2000 found no Echinococcus spp. This report describes a further study of GB foxes collected predominately during 2005 and 2006. Fox faecal samples (n=384) were examined for both E. multilocularis and Echinococcus granulosus using an egg isolation procedure followed by PCR method, based on published primer sets. A non-specific primer set that amplifies Taenia spp. as well as Mesocestoides, Dipylidium and Diphyllobothrium was also included in the assay to validate the test procedure as these parasites are expected to be more common in wild fox populations. All faecal samples tested negative for both E. multilocularis and E. granulosus but results for approximately 35% of the samples indicated the presence of Taenia spp. or other closely related cestodes. This data contributes to the evidence that suggests that E. multilocularis is not present in mainland Britain and justifies the requirement for ongoing surveillance to demonstrate disease freedom. Crown Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier B.V. All

  10. The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and the arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) are definitive hosts of Sarcocystis alces and Sarcocystis hjorti from moose (Alces alces).

    PubMed

    Dahlgren, Stina S; Gjerde, Bjørn

    2010-09-01

    The aim of this study was to determine whether foxes might act as definitive hosts of Sarcocystis alces in moose. In 2 experiments, 6 silver foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and 6 blue foxes (Vulpes lagopus) were fed muscle tissue from moose containing numerous sarcocysts of S. alces, and euthanazed 7-28 days post-infection (p.i.). Intestinal mucosal scrapings and faecal samples were screened microscopically for Sarcocystis oocysts/sporocysts, which were identified to species by means of species-specific primers and sequence analysis targeting the ssu rRNA gene. All foxes in both experiments became infected with Sarcocystis; the oocysts were fully sporulated by 14 days p.i., containing sporocysts measuring 14-15 x 10 microm. Molecular identification revealed that the oocysts/sporocysts belonged to 2 species, S. alces and Sarcocystis hjorti, although sarcocysts of S. hjorti were only identified in moose subsequent to the infection of foxes. In the first experiment, all 8 foxes also became infected with a Hammondia sp. derived from moose, shedding unsporulated, subspherical oocysts, measuring 10-12 microm in diameter, from 6-7 days p.i. onwards. The study proved that canids (the red fox and arctic fox) are definitive hosts for S. alces and S. hjorti, as had been inferred from the phylogenetic position of these species.

  11. Red fox (Vulpes vulpes) as a potential reservoir host of cardiorespiratory parasites in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    PubMed

    Hodžić, Adnan; Alić, Amer; Klebić, Ismar; Kadrić, Mirsad; Brianti, Emanuele; Duscher, Georg Gerhard

    2016-06-15

    Red fox (Vulpes vulpes) is considered as reservoir of different cardiorespiratory parasites of veterinary and medical importance. Since data on cardiorespiratory parasites in foxes in Bosnia and Herzegovina are still lacking, the aims of the present study were to (i) investigate the prevalence and geographical distribution of these parasites, (ii) determine genetic diversity of detected parasite species, and (iii) to estimate the role of foxes in the transmission cycle to companion animals and humans. Four species, morphologically and molecularly identified as Eucoleus boehmi (64.6%; 51/79), Eucoleus aerophilus (69.7%; 154/221), Crenosoma vulpis (45.7%; 101/221) and Linguatula serrata (1.3%; 1/79) were retrieved from nasal cavity and lungs in 184 (83.3%) animals. The occurrence of heartworms, Angiostrongylus vasorum and Dirofilaria immitis was not detected by necropsy or PCR. Furthermore, three distinct haplotypes of E. aerophilus (I, III, XV) and two of C. vulpis (I, II) previously reported in pet animals and wild carnivores were confirmed in this study. A new haplotype of C. vulpis (designated as haplotype V) was also identified based on 12S rRNA gene for the first time. The present study indicates a high prevalence and wide distribution of nasal and lung nematodes in fox population in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and supports the existence of transmission patterns between wildlife and pet animals.

  12. High prevalence of Capillaria plica infections in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in Southern Germany.

    PubMed

    Bork-Mimm, Sabine; Rinder, Heinz

    2011-04-01

    The nematode Capillaria plica is an ubiquitous parasite of the urinary tract of Canidae and Felidae. It causes a wide spectrum of clinical symptoms, ranging from asymptomatic infections to urinary bladder inflammation, pollacisuria, dysuria, and hematuria. Foxes serve as reservoir hosts and are considered to be a potential source of infection for companion and hunting dogs as well as domestic cats which acquire the infection by ingestion of earthworms which are the intermediate hosts. Despite its importance, epidemiological studies on this parasite are scarce and almost entirely lacking altogether for Central Europe. Therefore, we examined 116 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) for the infection of C. plica by pathologic examination of the urinary bladders and microscopy of mucosal smears and urine sediments. The parasite was detected in 90 (78%; 95% CI, 68.9-84.8%) of the foxes, originating from all administrative districts of Bavaria (Southern Germany). Since Bavaria is characterized by a high number of forests and wildlife sanctuaries that provide ideal living conditions for foxes, the corresponding risk of infection of companion and hunting dogs by oral ingestion of earthworms as the intermediate hosts can likewise not be excluded. Because of the scarcity of reports on prevalences of C. plica worldwide, we also include a brief review of the available literature.

  13. Spatial distribution of Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Hepatozoon canis in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in Hungary.

    PubMed

    Tolnai, Z; Sréter-Lancz, Z; Sréter, T

    2015-07-01

    In recent years, Ehrlichia canis and Hepatozoon canis transmitted by Rhipicephalus sanguineus were reported from Hungary. The aim of the present study was to reveal the spatial distribution pattern of pathogens transmitted by R. sanguineus in a sentinel species, red fox (Vulpes vulpes) in Hungary and to analyse the relationship of these patterns with landscape and climate by geographical information systems. Fox carcasses, representing 0.5% of the total fox population were randomly selected out of all the foxes of Hungary. The spleen samples of the animals were tested by real-time PCR for Anaplasma platys, Babesia vogeli, E. canis and H. canis infection. Positive results were confirmed by conventional PCR followed by sequencing. The prevalence of H. canis infection was 22.2% (95% CI=18.4-26.4%), and this parasite was detected in all areas including the mountain regions of Hungary. These findings indicate that other tick species or other transmission routes (oral and transplacental) might be in the background of the countrywide distribution of H. canis. Anaplasma platys was not found; nevertheless, the prevalence of Anaplasma phagocytophilum infection transmitted by Ixodes ricinus was 12.5% (95% CI=9.7-16.1%) in foxes. B. vogeli and E. canis infection was not detected. There was no correlation between environmental parameter values in the home range of foxes and A. phagocytophilum or H. canis infection, which is in line with that observed in the case of tick species infesting foxes in Hungary. The results of this study indicate that R. sanguineus, if present, might be rare in Hungary. Our baseline study can be used for future evaluation of the effect of climate change on the spreading and emergence of R. sanguineus transmitted pathogens in Hungary. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  14. Red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) bioindicator of lead and copper pollution in Sicily (Italy).

    PubMed

    Naccari, C; Giangrosso, G; Macaluso, A; Billone, E; Cicero, A; D'Ascenzi, C; Ferrantelli, V

    2013-04-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate Pb and Cu accumulation in muscle and skin samples of red fox (Vulpes vulpes) from Sicily, for monitoring of environmental metals pollution. Metals determination, carried out by atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS), showed the presence of Pb and Cu in all samples analyzed. Pb concentrations were similar in muscle (0.04±0.009 mg/kg) and skin (0.03±0.004 mg/kg) samples, while Cu levels resulted higher in muscle (1.842±0.178 mg/kg) than in skin (1.22±0.151 mg/kg). In addition, a comparative analysis of Pb and Cu concentrations was carried out among samples from different areas of Sicily and between female and male, young and old, immature and mature foxes. Metals content found in all muscle and skin samples demonstrates that V. vulpes could be a valid "sentinel" species of rural and suburban areas to study the environmental metals pollution and the habitat quality.

  15. Trichinella sp. in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) from Catalonia, NE Spain.

    PubMed

    López-Olvera, Jorge-Ramón; Vives, Laia; Serrano, Emmanuel; Fernández-Sirera, Laura; Picart, Lluís; Rossi, Luca; Marco, Ignasi; Bigas, Esther; Lavín, Santiago

    2011-06-01

    European legislation allows the official recognition of Trichinella-free pig holdings, provided Trichinella sp. infection is absent from humans and prevalence of Trichinella sp. infection in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) is below 0.1% in the area, region or country. Tibialis anterior muscle samples from 1,319 red foxes captured in Catalonia (NE Spain) between 1998 and 2007 were analyzed for Trichinella sp. using the digestion method. Four foxes resulted positive (one in 1999, one in 2002 and two in 2006), accounting for a low prevalence (0.3%). However, this prevalence was concentrated in mountain or rural areas with a low sample size, reaching high local prevalences. The two positive samples in 2006 were characterized as Trichinella britovi, and a sylvatic cycle of trichinellosis seems to occur, at least in the rural insufficiently sampled regions of Catalonia. Overall, the results obtained do not currently allow the establishment of Trichinella-free pig holdings in the study area, but further research is needed to better know the prevalence and cycle of Trichinella sp. in Catalonia.

  16. Gastrointestinal parasites and their prevalence in the Arabian red fox (Vulpes vulpes arabica) from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

    PubMed

    Alagaili, Abdulaziz N; Mohammed, Osama B; Omer, Sawsan A

    2011-08-25

    The gastrointestinal parasites and prevalence of infestation in the Arabian red fox Vulpes vulpes arabica Thomas, were investigated at the King Khalid Wildlife Research Centre (KKWRC) in Thumamah, Riyadh Province, Saudi Arabia. Faecal samples were collected from 58 wild caught foxes while under anaesthesia and examined for gastrointestinal parasites stages. Male and female foxes were infected with three major groups of parasites; cestodes, nematodes, protozoa as well as an acanthocephalan. Faecal analyses revealed that 22 foxes (37.9%) were infected with two different Isospora spp. and three (5.2%) with an undescribed Eimeria sp., 12 (20.7%). Nine individuals (15.5%) harboured hookworms, (Trichosomoides sp.), two (3.5%) were infected with Trichuris sp. (probably Trichuris vulpes) and one individual (1.7%) with Taenia sp. (probably Taenia hydatigena). Carcasses of five male and three female foxes were necropsied. Four of the necropsied carcasses yielded Ancylostoma caninum, two each harboured Pterygodermatitis affinis, T. vulpes and Macracanthorhynchus catalinus, in six foxes Joyeuxiella echinorynchoides was found. Five and four foxes were infected with T. hydatigena and Diplopylidium nölleri, respectively. The possible role of the Arabian red fox as an intercalary host essential for the life cycle of Trichosomoides sp., common to the Libyan jird, Meriones libycus, in particular and the importance of this species as a vector for zoonotic infections and in the spread of other parasites to wild and domestic animals in general is discussed.

  17. Relation between Intensity of Biocide Practice and Residues of Anticoagulant Rodenticides in Red Foxes (Vulpes vulpes)

    PubMed Central

    Geduhn, Anke; Jacob, Jens; Schenke, Detlef; Keller, Barbara; Kleinschmidt, Sven; Esther, Alexandra

    2015-01-01

    Anticoagulant rodenticides (ARs) are commonly used to control rodent infestations for biocidal and plant protection purposes. This can lead to AR exposure of non-target small mammals and their predators, which is known from several regions of the world. However, drivers of exposure variation are usually not known. To identify environmental drivers of AR exposure in non-targets we analyzed 331 liver samples of red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) for residues of eight ARs and used local parameters (percentage of urban area and livestock density) to test for associations to residue occurrence. 59.8% of samples collected across Germany contained at least one rodenticide, in 20.2% of cases at levels at which biological effects are suspected. Second generation anticoagulants (mainly brodifacoum and bromadiolone) occurred more often than first generation anticoagulants. Local livestock density and the percentage of urban area were good indicators for AR residue occurrence. There was a positive association between pooled ARs and brodifacoum occurrence with livestock density as well as of pooled ARs, brodifacoum and difenacoum occurrence with the percentage of urban area on administrative district level. Pig holding drove associations of livestock density to AR residue occurrence in foxes. Therefore, risk mitigation strategies should focus on areas of high pig density and on highly urbanized areas to minimize non-target risk. PMID:26418154

  18. Detection of Leishmania Infantum in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in Central Greece.

    PubMed

    Karayiannis, Stelios; Ntais, Pantelis; Messaritakis, Ippokratis; Tsirigotakis, Nikolaos; Dokianakis, Emmanouil; Antoniou, Maria

    2015-11-01

    This is the first record of Leishmania detection in foxes in Greece. Spleen, lymph nodes, bone marrow and blood samples were collected from 47 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) found dead or captured, narcotized and freed after bleeding, from November 2009 to 2011, in Fthiotida prefecture, central Greece. This is an endemic for canine leishmaniasis area with several human visceral leishmaniasis cases. The samples were tested for Leishmania infantum and Leishmania tropica by molecular methods (polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and restriction fragment length polymorphism) and serology (indirect immunofluorescent antibody test; when blood samples were available). Leishmania infantum DNA was detected in 28 animals (59·5%). PCR positivity was related to animal age, sex, weight, characteristics of the area trapped, presence of leishmaniasis symptoms and presence of endo- and ecto-parasites. The results were related to dog seropositivity obtained earlier in the area. The findings support the hypothesis that this wild canid may serve as a reservoir for Leishmania in areas where the sandfly vectors are found. In the prefectures of Larisa and Magnisia, adjacent to Fthiotida, Phlebotomus perfiliewi and Phlebotomus tobbi (known vectors of L. infantum) have been reported.

  19. Relation between Intensity of Biocide Practice and Residues of Anticoagulant Rodenticides in Red Foxes (Vulpes vulpes).

    PubMed

    Geduhn, Anke; Jacob, Jens; Schenke, Detlef; Keller, Barbara; Kleinschmidt, Sven; Esther, Alexandra

    2015-01-01

    Anticoagulant rodenticides (ARs) are commonly used to control rodent infestations for biocidal and plant protection purposes. This can lead to AR exposure of non-target small mammals and their predators, which is known from several regions of the world. However, drivers of exposure variation are usually not known. To identify environmental drivers of AR exposure in non-targets we analyzed 331 liver samples of red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) for residues of eight ARs and used local parameters (percentage of urban area and livestock density) to test for associations to residue occurrence. 59.8% of samples collected across Germany contained at least one rodenticide, in 20.2% of cases at levels at which biological effects are suspected. Second generation anticoagulants (mainly brodifacoum and bromadiolone) occurred more often than first generation anticoagulants. Local livestock density and the percentage of urban area were good indicators for AR residue occurrence. There was a positive association between pooled ARs and brodifacoum occurrence with livestock density as well as of pooled ARs, brodifacoum and difenacoum occurrence with the percentage of urban area on administrative district level. Pig holding drove associations of livestock density to AR residue occurrence in foxes. Therefore, risk mitigation strategies should focus on areas of high pig density and on highly urbanized areas to minimize non-target risk.

  20. Trace metals and micronutrients in bone tissues of the red fox Vulpes vulpes (L., 1758).

    PubMed

    Lanocha, Natalia; Kalisinska, Elzbieta; Kosik-Bogacka, Danuta I; Budis, Halina; Noga-Deren, Kinga

    2012-07-01

    In this study we determined the levels of trace elements (zinc, copper, lead, cadmium and mercury) in three layers of bones of the hip joint (cartilage, compact bone and spongy bone) of 30 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) from north-western Poland. Concentrations of Cu, Zn, Pb and Cd were determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometry (ICP-AES) in inductively coupled argon plasma using a Perkin-Elmer Optima 2000 DV. Determination of Hg concentration was performed by atomic absorption spectroscopy. In cartilage, compact bone and spongy bone samples from the red fox, median concentrations of the metals studied could be arranged in the following descending series: Zn > Cu > Pb > Cd > Hg, the values ranging from 142 to 0.002 mg/kg dw. There was a significant difference in Cu concentrations, among all the materials analyzed, with much more Cu found in spongy bone than in compact bone. Significant differences were also noted in the case of Hg concentrations in cartilage with compact bone and the spongy bone, and between concentrations of this metal in compact bone and spongy bone. In males, the concentration of Hg in spongy bone was greater than in females. Younger foxes had a higher concentration of this metal in cartilage than adults. The strongest synergistic relationships were observed in spongy bone between the Zn and Cu, Zn and Cd, as well as between Cu and Cd. Statistically significant antagonistic relationships were detected between zinc and lead in compact bone. In addition to monitoring studies conducted on the abiotic environment, an urgent need exists for long-term monitoring of concentrations of heavy metals with long-term effects on living organisms. An important addition is provided by biomonitoring studies on domesticated and free-living mammals, including Canidae.

  1. Identification of the Tibetan fox (Vulpes ferrilata) and the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) by copro-DNA diagnosis.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Weibin; Wang, Xiaoming; Li, Min; Wang, Zhenghuan

    2011-01-01

    Studies on feeding habits based on faeces dissecting are imperative to understand the natural history of Tibetan foxes and their functions in the transmission of a lethal zoonotic parasite, Echinococcus multilocularis. However, Tibetan foxes and red foxes live sympatrically on the Tibetan plateau, China. Therefore, the faeces of Tibetan foxes must be distinguished from those of red foxes. We established a diagnostic method to distinguish the faeces of the two species by amplifying a portion of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene (cytb) and digesting with the restriction enzymes BamHI and SspI, to produce specific diagnostic banding patterns. This PCR-RFLP assay enabled rapid, accurate and easily performed identification and differentiation of the two species.

  2. Mesocarnivores and macroparasites: altitude and land use predict the ticks occurring on red foxes (Vulpes vulpes).

    PubMed

    Sándor, Attila D; D'Amico, Gianluca; Gherman, Călin M; Dumitrache, Mirabela O; Domșa, Cristian; Mihalca, Andrei Daniel

    2017-04-05

    The red fox Vulpes vulpes is the most common mesocarnivore in Europe and with a wide geographical distribution and a high density in most terrestrial habitats of the continent. It is fast urbanising species, which can harbor high numbers of different tick species, depending on the region. Here we present the results of a large-scale study, trying to disentangle the intricate relationship between environmental factors and the species composition of ectoparasites in red foxes. The samples were collected in Transylvania (Romania), a region with a diverse geography and high biodiversity. The dead foxes (collected primarily through the National Surveillance Rabies Program) were examined carefully for the presence of ticks. Ticks (n = 4578) were found on 158 foxes (out of 293 examined; 53.9%). Four species were identified: Dermacentor marginatus, Ixodes canisuga, I. hexagonus and I. ricinus. The most common tick species was I. hexagonus (mean prevalence 37.5%, mean intensity 32.2), followed by I. ricinus (15.0%; 4.86), I. canisuga (4.8%; 7.71) and D. marginatus (3.7%; 3.45). Co-occurrence of two or more tick species on the same host was relatively common (12.6%), the most common co-occurrence being I. hexagonus - I. ricinus. For D. marginatus and I. canisuga the highest prevalence was recorded in lowlands, for I. hexagonus in hilly areas, while for I. ricinus in mountains. Altitude influenced the intensity of parasitism, with highest intensity observed for all Ixodes species in hilly areas. Dermacentor marginatus occurred only in lowlands, I. canisuga in lowlands and hilly areas while the other two species occurred in all of the regions studied. Foxes from lower altitudes had the most tick species associated, with most incidences of co-parasitism also recorded here. Land use affected tick-species composition, with the presence of D. marginatus strongly associated with the extension of arable areas and lack of forests. The presence of I. hexagonus was determined only

  3. TRICHINELLA INFECTIONS IN RED FOXES (VULPES VULPES) AND GOLDEN JACKALS (CANIS AUREUS) IN SIX DISTRICTS OF SERBIA.

    PubMed

    Dmitric, Marko; Vidanovic, Dejan; Vaskovic, Nikola; Matovic, Kazimir; Sekler, Milanko; Debeljak, Zoran; Karabasil, Nedjeljko

    2017-09-01

    Wild animals, including red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and golden jackals (Canis aureus), are the most important reservoirs of Trichinella spp. Although the red fox is considered one of the main reservoirs of Trichinella spp. in Europe, only a few animals have been examined in Serbia. The present study assessed Trichinella spp. infection in red foxes and golden jackals from the six districts in Serbia. Thirty-seven carcasses of red foxes and 13 carcasses of golden jackals shot during the official hunting season were examined. Larvae of Trichinella spp. were detected in 13 (35%) of 37 red foxes and in 8 (61%) of 13 golden jackals. Trichinella spiralis and Trichinella britovi were the only two species identified after a multiplex polymerase chain reaction analysis. Trichinella britovi infection was detected in 85% of red foxes and in 38% of golden jackals, and T. spiralis was detected in 15% of red foxes and in 63% of golden jackals. The findings emphasize the need for an active surveillance program for Trichinella spp. infection in wildlife in Serbia and the whole of the Balkans, with special attention on the red fox because it is widespread and occurs in high densities.

  4. Insights into Korean red fox (Vulpes vulpes) based on mitochondrial cytochrome b sequence variation in East Asia.

    PubMed

    Yu, Jeong-Nam; Han, Sang-Hoon; Kim, Bang-Hwan; Kryukov, Alexey P; Kim, Soonok; Lee, Byoung-Yoon; Kwak, Myounghai

    2012-11-01

    The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) is the most widely distributed terrestrial carnivore in the world, occurring throughout most of North America, Europe, Asia, and North Africa. In South Korea, however, this species has been drastically reduced due to habitat loss and poaching. Consequently, it is classified as an endangered species in Korea. As a first step of a planned red fox restoration project, preserved red fox museum specimens were used to determine the genetic status of red foxes that had previously inhabited South Korea against red foxes from neighboring countries. Total eighty three mtDNA cytochrome b sequences, including 22 newly obtained East Asian red fox sequences and worldwide red fox sequences from NCBI, were clustered into three clades (i.e., I, II, and III) based on haplotype network and neighbor-joining trees. The mean genetic distance between clades was 2.0%. Clade III contained South Korean and other East Asian samples in addition to Eurasian and North Pacific individuals. In clade III, South Korean individuals were separated into two lineages of Eurasian and North Pacific groups, showing unclear phylogeographic structuring and admixture. This suggests that South Korean red fox populations may have been composed of individuals from these two different genetic lineages.

  5. Platinum coat color in red fox (Vulpes vulpes) is caused by a mutation in an autosomal copy of KIT.

    PubMed

    Johnson, J L; Kozysa, A; Kharlamova, A V; Gulevich, R G; Perelman, P L; Fong, H W F; Vladimirova, A V; Oskina, I N; Trut, L N; Kukekova, A V

    2015-04-01

    The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) demonstrates a variety of coat colors including platinum, a common phenotype maintained in farm-bred fox populations. Foxes heterozygous for the platinum allele have a light silver coat and extensive white spotting, whereas homozygosity is embryonic lethal. Two KIT transcripts were identified in skin cDNA from platinum foxes. The long transcript was identical to the KIT transcript of silver foxes, whereas the short transcript, which lacks exon 17, was specific to platinum. The KIT gene has several copies in the fox genome: an autosomal copy on chromosome 2 and additional copies on the B chromosomes. To identify the platinum-specific KIT sequence, the genomes of one platinum and one silver fox were sequenced. A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) was identified at the first nucleotide of KIT intron 17 in the platinum fox. In platinum foxes, the A allele of the SNP disrupts the donor splice site and causes exon 17, which is part of a segment that encodes a conserved tyrosine kinase domain, to be skipped. Complete cosegregation of the A allele with the platinum phenotype was confirmed by linkage mapping (LOD 25.59). All genotyped farm-bred platinum foxes from Russia and the US were heterozygous for the SNP (A/G), whereas foxes with different coat colors were homozygous for the G allele. Identification of the platinum mutation suggests that other fox white-spotting phenotypes, which are allelic to platinum, would also be caused by mutations in the KIT gene.

  6. Serological and molecular epidemiology of canine adenovirus type 1 in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in the United Kingdom

    PubMed Central

    Walker, David; Fee, Seán A.; Hartley, Gill; Learmount, Jane; O’Hagan, Maria J. H.; Meredith, Anna L.; de C. Bronsvoort, Barend M.; Porphyre, Thibaud; Sharp, Colin P.; Philbey, Adrian W.

    2016-01-01

    Canine adenovirus type 1 (CAV-1) causes infectious canine hepatitis (ICH), a frequently fatal disease which primarily affects canids. In this study, serology (ELISA) and molecular techniques (PCR/qPCR) were utilised to investigate the exposure of free-ranging red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) to CAV-1 in the United Kingdom (UK) and to examine their role as a wildlife reservoir of infection for susceptible species. The role of canine adenovirus type 2 (CAV-2), primarily a respiratory pathogen, was also explored. In foxes with no evidence of ICH on post-mortem examination, 29 of 154 (18.8%) red foxes had inapparent infections with CAV-1, as detected by a nested PCR, in a range of samples, including liver, kidney, spleen, brain, and lung. CAV-1 was detected in the urine of three red foxes with inapparent infections. It was estimated that 302 of 469 (64.4%) red foxes were seropositive for canine adenovirus (CAV) by ELISA. CAV-2 was not detected by PCR in any red foxes examined. Additional sequence data were obtained from CAV-1 positive samples, revealing regional variations in CAV-1 sequences. It is concluded that CAV-1 is endemic in free-ranging red foxes in the UK and that many foxes have inapparent infections in a range of tissues. PMID:27796367

  7. Serological and molecular epidemiology of canine adenovirus type 1 in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in the United Kingdom.

    PubMed

    Walker, David; Fee, Seán A; Hartley, Gill; Learmount, Jane; O'Hagan, Maria J H; Meredith, Anna L; de C Bronsvoort, Barend M; Porphyre, Thibaud; Sharp, Colin P; Philbey, Adrian W

    2016-10-31

    Canine adenovirus type 1 (CAV-1) causes infectious canine hepatitis (ICH), a frequently fatal disease which primarily affects canids. In this study, serology (ELISA) and molecular techniques (PCR/qPCR) were utilised to investigate the exposure of free-ranging red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) to CAV-1 in the United Kingdom (UK) and to examine their role as a wildlife reservoir of infection for susceptible species. The role of canine adenovirus type 2 (CAV-2), primarily a respiratory pathogen, was also explored. In foxes with no evidence of ICH on post-mortem examination, 29 of 154 (18.8%) red foxes had inapparent infections with CAV-1, as detected by a nested PCR, in a range of samples, including liver, kidney, spleen, brain, and lung. CAV-1 was detected in the urine of three red foxes with inapparent infections. It was estimated that 302 of 469 (64.4%) red foxes were seropositive for canine adenovirus (CAV) by ELISA. CAV-2 was not detected by PCR in any red foxes examined. Additional sequence data were obtained from CAV-1 positive samples, revealing regional variations in CAV-1 sequences. It is concluded that CAV-1 is endemic in free-ranging red foxes in the UK and that many foxes have inapparent infections in a range of tissues.

  8. Molecular detection of Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato genospecies in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) from Romania.

    PubMed

    Dumitrache, Mirabela Oana; Matei, Ioana Adriana; Ionică, Angela Monica; Kalmár, Zsuzsa; D'Amico, Gianluca; Sikó-Barabási, Sándor; Ionescu, Dan Traian; Gherman, Călin Mircea; Mihalca, Andrei Daniel

    2015-10-08

    Red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) are one of the most widespread wild carnivores in the world, being recognized to harbor and transmit a wide range of vector-borne diseases. Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato are zoonotic tick-borne pathogens causing emerging diseases. Wild animals play an essential role in the transmission of diseases and pathogens maintenance in nature. Epidemiological studies regarding the prevalence of tick-borne pathogens in red foxes are of public health importance, as they may successfully act as a pathogen transmission interface between wildlife, domestic animals and humans. This study included 14 counties from Romania. A total number of 353 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) were examined. Heart tissue samples were collected during necropsy and stored at -20 °C. Genomic DNA extraction was performed and all samples were examined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Specific primers for A. phagocytophilum, A. platys, E. canis and Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. were used. Sequence analysis was performed (Macrogen Europe, Amsterdam) and obtained sequences are available at GenBank™. Out of the 353 samples, 9 (2.55 %; 95 % CI: 1.25-4.96 %) were positive for A. phagocytophilum. Positive animals originated from 5 counties. In total, 5 out of 353 heart tissue samples (1.42 %; 95 % CI: 0.52-3.47 %) collected from red foxes were positive for B. burgdorferi s.l. Red foxes originated from 4 counties. None of the samples were positive for A. platys or E. canis. No co-infection with A. phagocytophilum and B. burgdorferi s.l. was found. This first report of A. phagocytophilum and B. burgdorferi s.l. in red foxes from Romania suggests a limited role of foxes in the maintenance of the two related pathogens, but may represent a potential risk from a public health perspective.

  9. EUCOLEUS BOEHMI INFECTION IN THE NASAL CONCHAE AND PARANASAL SINUSES OF RED FOX (VULPES VULPES) ON PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND, CANADA.

    PubMed

    Lopez, Alfonso; Aburto, Enrique; Jones, Kathleen; Robbins, William; Conboy, Gary

    2016-04-28

    Eucoleus boehmi (Nematoda: Capillariidae) occurs in the nasal conchae and paranasal sinuses of wild and domestic canids. We surveyed the red fox ( Vulpes vulpes ) on Prince Edward Island, Canada, for E. boehmi infection and characterized the associated histopathology. Nasal capillarid infections were detected based on histologic examination of three coronal sections of the nasal cavity and by centrifugal flotation examination (CFE) of rectal feces. Capillarids were detected in histologic sections in 28 of 36 (78%) foxes; detection occurred most frequently in the caudal section (28 foxes) and least in the rostral section (10 foxes). Adult worm morphology was typical for capillarids (stichosome esophagus, bacillary bands, bipolar plugged eggs); E. boehmi eggs were specifically identified based on the characteristic pitted shell wall surface. Adult worms were detected in histologic sections in all 28 and E. boehmi eggs in 21 of the positive foxes. No eggs of Eucoleus aerophilus were observed in any of the sections. Affected foxes had an eosinophilic and lymphoplasmacytic rhinitis with goblet cell hyperplasia. Eggs of E. aerophilus were detected on CFE in 20 of 36 (56%) foxes; 19 of the histologically positive foxes were coinfected with E. aerophilus. Eggs of E. boehmi were detected on CFE in 26 of 36 (72%) foxes and were consistent in size and morphology with those described from wild canids, but they differed from those reported from cases of infection in dogs. Prevalence based on identification of eggs on histologic section or CFE indicated 27 of 36 (75%) red foxes examined were infected with E. boehmi.

  10. Genetically distinct isolates of Spirocerca sp. from a naturally infected red fox (Vulpes vulpes) from Denmark.

    PubMed

    Al-Sabi, Mohammad Nafi Solaiman; Hansen, Mette Sif; Chriél, Mariann; Holm, Elisabeth; Larsen, Gitte; Enemark, Heidi Larsen

    2014-09-15

    Spirocerca lupi causes formation of nodules that may transform into sarcoma in the walls of aorta, esophagus and stomach of infected canids. In February 2013, post mortem examination of a red fox (Vulpes vulpes) hunted in Denmark revealed the presence of several nodules containing adult worms of Spirocerca sp. in the stomach and the omentum. The nodules largely consisted of fibrous tissue with infiltration of mononuclear cells, neutrophilic granulocytes and macrophages with hemosiderin deposition. Parasitological examination by three copromicroscopic methods, sedimentation, flotation with saturated sugar-salt solution, and sieving failed to detect eggs of Spirocerca sp. in feces collected from the colon. This is the first report of spirocercosis in Denmark, and may have been caused by a recent introduction by migrating paratenic or definitive host. Analysis of two overlapping partial sequences of the cox1 gene, from individual worms, revealed distinct genetic variation (7-9%) between the Danish worms and isolates of S. lupi from Europe, Asia and Africa. This was confirmed by phylogenetic analysis that clearly separated the Danish worms from other isolates of S. lupi. The distinct genetic differences of the current worms compared to other isolates of S. lupi may suggest the presence of a cryptic species within Spirocerca.

  11. Mitochondrial DNA phylogeography of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) in northern Japan.

    PubMed

    Inoue, Takashi; Nonaka, Nariaki; Mizuno, Ayako; Morishima, Yasuyuki; Sato, Hiroshi; Katakura, Ken; Oku, Yuzaburo

    2007-12-01

    Mitochondrial DNA variation in the cytochrome b (cyt b) gene and the control region was examined in the red fox Vulpes vulpes from Japan, with special focus on the population divergence between Hokkaido and northern Honshu. Resultant haplotypes from Hokkaido were subdivided into two distinct groups (I and II), with an average genetic distance of 0.027 for cyt b. Divergence time is roughly estimated to be 1-2 million years ago, given that the conventional divergence rate of the mammalian cyt b gene is 2% per million years. Notably, Group II was only found in Hokkaido, whereas Group I comprised haplotypes from Honshu, Kyushu (Japan), eastern Russia, and Europe, as indicated by a comparison of our own data to the literature. On the other hand, judging from constructed trees, Group I haplotypes from Hokkaido appeared to differ from those from other parts of Japan, i.e., Honshu and Kyushu. This implies that Blakiston's Line, which demarcates the boundary between Hokkaido and Honshu, has been an effective barrier and has allowed the structuring of genetic variation in maternal lineages. Thus, these results suggest that the Hokkaido population, which is sometimes referred to as the distinct subspecies V. v. schrencki, has its own genetic background with multiple migration events and differs from the parapatric subspecies V. v. japonica found in Honshu and Kyushu.

  12. The effects of sex, age, season and habitat on diet of the red fox Vulpes vulpes in northeastern Poland.

    PubMed

    Kidawa, Dorota; Kowalczyk, Rafał

    2011-07-01

    The diet of the red fox Vulpes vulpes was investigated in five regions of northeastern Poland by stomach content analysis of 224 foxes collected from hunters. The red fox is expected to show the opportunistic feeding habits. Our study showed that foxes preyed mainly on wild prey, with strong domination of Microtus rodents, regardless of sex, age, month and habitat. Voles Microtus spp. were found in 73% of stomachs and constituted 47% of food volume consumed. Other food items were ungulate carrion (27% of volume), other mammals (11%), birds (9%), and plant material (4%). Sex- and age-specific differences in dietary diversity were found. Adult males and juvenile foxes had larger food niche breadths than adult females and their diets highly overlapped. Proportion of Microtus voles increased from autumn to late winter. Significant habitat differences between studied regions were found. There was a tendency among foxes to decrease consumption of voles with increasing percentage of forest cover. Based on our findings, red foxes in northeastern Poland can be recognized as a generalist predators, consuming easily accessible and abundant prey. However, high percentage of voles consumed regardless of age, sex, month, or habitats may indicate red fox specialization in preying on Microtus rodents.

  13. No evidence of Dirofilaria repens infection in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) from Brandenburg, Germany.

    PubMed

    Härtwig, Vera; Schulze, Christoph; Pfeffer, Martin; Daugschies, Arwid; Dyachenko, Viktor

    2016-02-01

    Dirofilaria (D.) repens is a nematode causing dirofilariasis in dogs, cats and in humans. Red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) are well-known wildlife reservoirs for zoonotic diseases. These two species are highly abundant in Germany, frequently exposed to vector mosquitoes and potentially susceptible to Dirofilaria infections. To obtain data about D. repens infections in these animals, red fox and raccoon dog carcasses (hunted or found dead) were collected from January to September 2009 in the Federal State of Brandenburg, Germany. Lung tissue samples were subjected to DNA extraction and examined for the presence of Dirofilaria DNA by means of D. repens-specific PCR. D. repens-specific DNA could not be amplified from the lungs of red foxes (n = 122; 0%) nor from the lungs of raccoon dogs (n = 13; 0%), suggesting a limited role if a role at all in the natural transmission cycle of D. repens in Brandenburg.

  14. Molecular identification of Sarcocystis rileyi sporocysts in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) in Lithuania.

    PubMed

    Prakas, Petras; Liaugaudaitė, Simona; Kutkienė, Liuda; Sruoga, Aniolas; Švažas, Saulius

    2015-05-01

    Despite the fact that Sarcocystis rileyi is one of the earliest described species of the genus Sarcocystis forming macrocysts in ducks, the life cycle of this species is still unknown in Europe. Sarcocystis spp. oocysts/sporocysts were observed in faeces of four of 23 (17.4 %) and in small intestine mucosal scrapings of four of 20 (20.0 %) red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and in small intestine mucosal scrapings of seven of 13 (53.8 %) raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) hunted in Lithuania. A very small number of Sarcocystis sporocysts measuring 11.9 × 8.3 μm (n = 5) was found in faecal samples, whereas considerably more sporulated Sarcocystis oocysts and free sporocysts were detected in the small intestines of red foxes and raccoon dogs. These sporocysts measured 12.9 × 8.1 μm (n = 16) and 12.1 × 8.1 μm (n = 54) in red foxes and raccoon dogs, respectively. Using species-specific PCR and subsequent sequencing, internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS-1) region partial sequences of oocysts/sporocysts from small intestine mucosal scrapings of six raccoon dogs and three red foxes were identified as belonging to S. rileyi. The present study provides strong evidence showing that the red fox and the raccoon dog can serve as final hosts of S. rileyi in Europe; however, transmission experiments are needed for the ultimate approval.

  15. Characterization and application of newly developed polymorphic microsatellite markers in the Ezo red fox (Vulpes vulpes schrencki).

    PubMed

    Tada, T; Seki, Y; Kameyama, Y; Kikkawa, Y; Wada, K

    2016-12-19

    The Ezo red fox (Vulpes vulpes schrencki), a subspecies endemic to Hokkaido island, Japan, is a known host species for the tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis. To develop tools for molecular ecological studies, we isolated 28 microsatellite regions from the genome of Ezo red fox, and developed 18 polymorphic microsatellite markers. These markers were characterized using 7 individuals and 22 fecal samples of the Ezo red fox. The number of alleles for these markers ranged from 1 to 7, and the observed heterozygosity, estimated on the basis of the genotypes of 7 individuals, ranged from 0.29 to 1.00. All markers, except DvNok5, were in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (P > 0.05), and no linkage disequilibrium was detected among these loci, except between DvNok14 and DvNok28 (P = 0.01). Moreover, six microsatellite loci were successfully genotyped using feces-derived DNA from the Ezo red fox. The markers developed in our study might serve as a useful tool for molecular ecological studies of the Ezo red fox.

  16. Variation in home range size of red foxes Vulpes vulpes along a gradient of productivity and human landscape alteration.

    PubMed

    Walton, Zea; Samelius, Gustaf; Odden, Morten; Willebrand, Tomas

    2017-01-01

    Home range size is a fundamental concept for understanding animal dispersion and ecological needs, and it is one of the most commonly reported ecological attributes of free-ranging mammals. Previous studies indicate that red foxes Vulpes vulpes display great variability in home range size. Yet, there has been little consensus regarding the reasons why home range sizes of red foxes vary so extensively. In this study, we examine possible causes of variation in red fox home range sizes using data from 52 GPS collared red foxes from four study areas representing a gradient of landscape productivity and human landscape alteration in Norway and Sweden. Using 90% Local Convex Hull home range estimates, we examined how red fox home range size varied in relation to latitude, elevation, vegetation zone, proportion of agricultural land and human settlement within a home range, and sex and age. We found considerable variation in red fox home range sizes, ranging between 0.95 km2 to 44 km2 (LoCoH 90%) and 2.4 km2 to 358 km2 (MCP 100%). Elevation, proportion of agricultural land and sex accounted for 50% of the variation in home range size found amongst foxes, with elevation having the strongest effect. Red foxes residing in more productive landscapes (those in more southern vegetation zones), had home ranges approximately four times smaller than the home ranges of foxes in the northern boreal vegetation zone. Our results indicate that home range size was influenced by a productivity gradient at both the landscape (latitude) and the local (elevation) scale. The influence of the proportion of agriculture land on home range size of foxes illustrates how human landscape alteration can affect the space use and distribution of red foxes. Further, the variation in home range size found in this study demonstrates the plasticity of red foxes to respond to changing human landscape alteration as well as changes in landscape productivity, which may be contributing to red fox population

  17. Variation in home range size of red foxes Vulpes vulpes along a gradient of productivity and human landscape alteration

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Home range size is a fundamental concept for understanding animal dispersion and ecological needs, and it is one of the most commonly reported ecological attributes of free-ranging mammals. Previous studies indicate that red foxes Vulpes vulpes display great variability in home range size. Yet, there has been little consensus regarding the reasons why home range sizes of red foxes vary so extensively. In this study, we examine possible causes of variation in red fox home range sizes using data from 52 GPS collared red foxes from four study areas representing a gradient of landscape productivity and human landscape alteration in Norway and Sweden. Using 90% Local Convex Hull home range estimates, we examined how red fox home range size varied in relation to latitude, elevation, vegetation zone, proportion of agricultural land and human settlement within a home range, and sex and age. We found considerable variation in red fox home range sizes, ranging between 0.95 km2 to 44 km2 (LoCoH 90%) and 2.4 km2 to 358 km2 (MCP 100%). Elevation, proportion of agricultural land and sex accounted for 50% of the variation in home range size found amongst foxes, with elevation having the strongest effect. Red foxes residing in more productive landscapes (those in more southern vegetation zones), had home ranges approximately four times smaller than the home ranges of foxes in the northern boreal vegetation zone. Our results indicate that home range size was influenced by a productivity gradient at both the landscape (latitude) and the local (elevation) scale. The influence of the proportion of agriculture land on home range size of foxes illustrates how human landscape alteration can affect the space use and distribution of red foxes. Further, the variation in home range size found in this study demonstrates the plasticity of red foxes to respond to changing human landscape alteration as well as changes in landscape productivity, which may be contributing to red fox population

  18. Serologic, molecular, and pathologic survey of Toxoplasma gondii infection in free-ranging red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in central Italy.

    PubMed

    Verin, Ranieri; Mugnaini, Linda; Nardoni, Simona; Papini, Roberto Amerigo; Ariti, Gaetano; Poli, Alessandro; Mancianti, Francesca

    2013-07-01

    We tested 191 sera of red foxes (Vulpes vulpes; 78 females and 113 males) for antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii using an indirect immunofluorescent test. Tissue samples of myocardium, lymph nodes, and brains from antibody-positive animals were tested for T. gondii DNA using specific PCR and processed for histopathology and immunohistochemistry (IHC) to detect T. gondii antigen. Of 192 (53.4%) antibody-positive animals, eight were positive by PCR on myocardium and one on brain. All DNA extracts were genotyped. Histopathology showed lesions characteristic of protozoan encephalitis; IHC did not show T. gondii antigen in examined tissues. The high antibody prevalence found in our study, which is the first in Italy, and the occurrence of polymorphic strains (combination of different type I and III alleles) divergent from typical T. gondii strains, suggests red foxes may be a sentinel of T. gondii in the environment.

  19. First report of Angiostrongylus vasorum and Hepatozoon from a red fox (Vulpes vulpes) from West Virginia, USA.

    PubMed

    Kistler, Whitney M; Brown, Justin D; Allison, Andrew B; Nemeth, Nicole M; Yabsley, Michael J

    2014-02-24

    Angiostrongylus vasorum was identified in the lungs of a red fox (Vulpes vulpes) from West Virginia, United States (US), indicating a new geographical location for this metastrongylid nematode. The fox was euthanized and submitted for necropsy after displaying erratic behavior. We did not detect rabies virus or canine distemper virus from the fox. We observed bronchopneumonia associated with A. vasorum infection disseminated in both lungs. In addition, protozoal meronts were observed in the liver, spleen, and mesenteric lymph node, and were identified as Hepatozoon canis. Lymphoid depletion was also observed in the spleen and mesenteric lymph node. In addition to A. vasorum and H. canis infections, Eucoleus aerophilus eggs and adult worms were observed in the lungs of the fox. Severe lesions associated with A. vasorum infection were observed in the lungs and these were determined to be the likely cause of morbidity; however, synergistic effects among the multiple infections detected in this fox cannot be ruled out. This is the first report of an autochthonous A. vasorum infection in the US and from outside of Newfoundland Canada, the only place in North America where the parasite is known to be endemic. Additionally, this is the first report of a H. canis infection in a red fox from the US.

  20. Survey on viral pathogens in wild red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in Germany with emphasis on parvoviruses and analysis of a DNA sequence from a red fox parvovirus.

    PubMed Central

    Truyen, U.; Müller, T.; Heidrich, R.; Tackmann, K.; Carmichael, L. E.

    1998-01-01

    The seroprevalence of canine parvovirus (CPV), canine distemper virus (CDV), canine adenovirus (CAV) and canine herpesvirus (CHV) infections in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) was determined in fox sera collected between 1991 and 1995. A total of 500 sera were selected and the seroprevalences were estimated to be 13% (65 of 500 sera) for CPV, 4.4% (17 of 383 sera) for CDV, 35% (17 of 485 sera) for CAV, and 0.4% (2 of 485 sera) for CHV, respectively. No statistically significant differences were observed between the two (rural and suburban) areas under study. Parvovirus DNA sequences were amplified from tissues of free-ranging foxes and compared to those of prototype viruses from dogs and cats. We report here a parvovirus sequence indicative of a true intermediate between the feline panleukopenia virus-like viruses and the canine parvovirus-like viruses. The red fox parvoviral sequence, therefore, appears to represent a link between those viral groups. The DNA sequence together with a significant seroprevalence of parvovirus infections in foxes supports the hypothesis that the sudden emergence of canine parvovirus in the domestic dog population may have involved the interspecies transmission between wild and domestic carnivores. PMID:9825797

  1. Detection of gastric Helicobacter species in free-ranging lynx (Lynx lynx) and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in Sweden.

    PubMed

    Mörner, Torsten; Bröjer, Caroline; Ryser-Degiorgis, Marie-Pierre; Gavier-Widén, Dolores; Nilsson, Hans-Olof; Wadström, Torkel

    2008-07-01

    Specimens of gastric mucosa and liver of 25 free-ranging Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx), and four red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) shot in Sweden during 1999-2000, were investigated for the presence of Helicobacter species. Histopathology, bacteriologic culture and urease test, Helicobacter genus-specific 16S rDNA PCR analysis, and DNA sequence analysis were applied. Numerous Helicobacter-like organisms were observed histologically in the gastric mucosa of one fox. Helicobacter spp. were detected in the stomach by PCR analysis in 17 (68%) of the lynx and in three (75%) of the foxes. Seven of the positive lynx were also positive in the urease test. PCR fragments, amplified from lynx and foxes, were sequenced and compared with those of known Helicobacter species. PCR products from lynx were closely related (>or=98% homology) to H. heilmannii, and PCR fragments from foxes demonstrated close homology to H. heilmannii and H. salomonis. No Helicobacter spp. or Helicobacter-like organisms could be cultured. The PCR analysis of the liver was negative for all animals. The pathologic significance of the presence of Helicobacter spp. in the stomach of free-ranging lynx and foxes remains uncertain.

  2. Occurrence of ticks in the subcutaneous tissue of red foxes, Vulpes vulpes in Czech Republic and Romania.

    PubMed

    D'Amico, G; Juránková, J; Tăbăran, F A; Frgelecová, L; Forejtek, P; Matei, I A; Ionică, A M; Hodžić, A; Modrý, D; Mihalca, A D

    2017-02-01

    An extensive survey of parasites in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) was independently conducted in Romania and the Czech Republic. Carcasses were examined by necropsy, and small, dark nodules apparently containing ticks were noticed in the subcutaneous tissue of several foxes. Histopathological examination was performed using hematoxylin and eosin (HE) staining. Of the 91 foxes examined from the Czech Republic, 14 (15.4%) were harboring ticks in the subcutaneous tissue. In the majority of these cases, 1-3 nodules/fox were found, with a maximum of 31 nodules/fox. In Romania a single examined fox had subcutaneous ticks. All ticks collected from subcutaneous tissue were partially engorged adults. Based on morphological features, Ixodes ricinus, I. hexagonus, I. crenulatus and Dermacentor reticulatus were identified. The histopathological examination revealed chronic granulomatous panniculitis with peripheral fibrosis and intralesional presence of the ticks. Only few data are available regarding ticks localized in the subcutaneous tissue of any host. All the ticks were dead or already decomposed and it is evident that subcutaneous location does not represent an evolutionary advantage, as the detachment and finishing the life cycle is impossible.

  3. Diagnosis and treatment of Neospora caninum--associated dermatitis in a red fox (Vulpes vulpes) with concurrent Toxoplasma gondii infection.

    PubMed

    Duhey, Jitender P; Whitesell, Leah E; Culp, William E; Daye, Sharon

    2014-06-01

    A 3-mo-old red fox (Vulpes vulpes) developed generalized crusty plaques on its body during rehabilitation after an automobile accident requiring amputation of one leg. Histologic examination of skin lesion biopsy revealed granulomatous dermatitits with many intralesional protozoal tachyzoites. The protozoa stained positively with antibodies to Neospora caninum but not to Toxoplasma gondii. Treatment with clindamycin hydrochloride (10 mg/kg, twice daily, s.c.) for 1 mo completely resolved lesions, and protozoa were not demonstrable in biopsy of skin after treatment. The fox had agglutinating antibodies to T. gondii (modified agglutination test, titer 1:3200) and N. caninum (Neospora agglutination test, titer 1:25), and viable T. gondii (genotype III) was isolated from the skin biopsy after treatment. This is the first report of clinical neosporosis in a wild canid.

  4. Detection of Anaplasma phagocytophilum in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) from Brandenburg, Germany.

    PubMed

    Härtwig, Vera; von Loewenich, Friederike D; Schulze, Christoph; Straubinger, Reinhard K; Daugschies, Arwid; Dyachenko, Viktor

    2014-04-01

    Anaplasma phagocytophilum is an obligate intracellular and tick-transmitted bacterium, which causes granulocytic anaplasmosis in animals and humans. Although infection with A. phagocytophilum in domestic animals and vector ticks is documented, there is sparse information on the occurrence of A. phagocytophilum in wild animals. Red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) as well as raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) are wildlife species highly abundant in certain areas of Germany and represent a potential wildlife reservoir for zoonotic diseases. To obtain data about the occurrence of A. phagocytophilum in these animals, red fox and raccoon dog carcasses (hunted or found dead) were collected from January to September 2009 in the Federal State of Brandenburg, Germany. Lung tissue samples were subjected to DNA extraction and were examined for the presence of A. phagocytophilum DNA by means of real-time PCR. Anaplasma phagocytophilum was detected in 10 out of 122 (8.2%) lungs of red foxes and in 3 out of 13 (23%) lungs of raccoon dogs. To the best of our knowledge, A. phagocytophilum was detected for the first time in red foxes and raccoon dogs in Germany. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  5. A molecular survey of Babesia spp. and Theileria spp. in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and their ticks from Thuringia, Germany.

    PubMed

    Najm, Nour-Addeen; Meyer-Kayser, Elisabeth; Hoffmann, Lothar; Herb, Ingrid; Fensterer, Veronika; Pfister, Kurt; Silaghi, Cornelia

    2014-06-01

    Wild canines which are closely related to dogs constitute a potential reservoir for haemoparasites by both hosting tick species that infest dogs and harbouring tick-transmitted canine haemoparasites. In this study, the prevalence of Babesia spp. and Theileria spp. was investigated in German red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and their ticks. DNA extracts of 261 spleen samples and 1953 ticks included 4 tick species: Ixodes ricinus (n=870), I. canisuga (n=585), I. hexagonus (n=485), and Dermacentor reticulatus (n=13) were examined for the presence of Babesia/Theileria spp. by a conventional PCR targeting the 18S rRNA gene. One hundred twenty-one out of 261 foxes (46.4%) were PCR-positive. Out of them, 44 samples were sequenced, and all sequences had 100% similarity to Theileria annae. Similarly, sequencing was carried out for 65 out of 118 PCR-positive ticks. Theileria annae DNA was detected in 61.5% of the sequenced samples, Babesia microti DNA was found in 9.2%, and Babesia venatorum in 7.6% of the sequenced samples. The foxes were most positive in June and October, whereas the peak of tick positivity was in October. Furthermore, the positivity of the ticks was higher for I. canisuga in comparison to the other tick species and for nymphs in comparison to adults. The high prevalence of T. annae DNA in red foxes in this study suggests a reservoir function of those animals for T. annae. To our knowledge, this is the first report of T. annae in foxes from Germany as well as the first detection of T. annae and B. microti in the fox tick I. canisuga. Detection of DNA of T. annae and B. microti in three tick species collected from foxes adds new potential vectors for these two pathogens and suggests a potential role of the red fox in their natural endemic cycles. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  6. Evaluation of a serological test (indirect ELISA) for the diagnosis of sarcoptic mange in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes).

    PubMed

    Bornstein, Set; Frössling, Jenny; Näslund, Katarina; Zakrisson, Göran; Mörner, Torsten

    2006-12-01

    Sarcoptic mange occurs in many parts of the world and is common in populations of domestic and wild canids, including red foxes (Vulpes vulpes). In recent years, an indirect antibody enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), with higher sensitivity and specificity than traditional diagnostic methods, has been successfully applied in the diagnosis of sarcoptic mange in dogs. The same ELISA has also demonstrated specific antibodies to Sarcoptes scabiei in experimentally infected red foxes. The aim of this study was to evaluate the indirect ELISA when used to detect antibodies to S. scabiei in field sera from Swedish red foxes. One cohort of both infected and non-infected red foxes (cohort 1; n = 88), and one cohort of apparently non-infected foxes (cohort 2; n = 67) were examined for skin lesions and presence of S. scabiei by thorough visual examination at autopsy and skin scrapings. Samples of blood-tinted body liquid from the abdomen or thorax cavity were collected and analysed by the indirect ELISA. The relative sensitivity and specificity of the ELISA at different cut-offs (OD values) were estimated by comparing the test results to the infection status as determined by examination and skin scrapings. The highest combination of relative sensitivity and specificity, calculated based on cohort 1, was 95.4 and 100.0%, respectively. These estimates were constant for cut-offs 0.150-0.225, which included the cut-off based on the mean plus three standard deviations of test results from cohort 2 (0.165). It is concluded that this test can be useful in diagnosis and epidemiological studies of S. scabiei infection in red foxes.

  7. Molecular epidemiology of canine adenovirus type 1 and type 2 in free-ranging red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in Italy.

    PubMed

    Balboni, Andrea; Verin, Ranieri; Morandi, Federico; Poli, Alessandro; Prosperi, Santino; Battilani, Mara

    2013-03-23

    To date, no studies exist regarding the presence of canine adenovirus (CAdV) infection in foxes in Italy. Furthermore, the majority of worldwide investigations regarding the presence of CAdV in foxes have been carried out using common serological assays which are unable to differentiate between CAdV type 1 and CAdV type 2. To assess the presence of viral infection in Italian red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), thirty-two subjects shot during the regular hunting season in the province of Pisa (Tuscany, Italy) were sampled and tested using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay capable of distinguishing between CAdV type 1 and type 2. Two subjects were positive for CAdV-1 infection and one other for CAdV-2 infection. Sequence analysis of the two CAdV-1 viruses showed complete identity between them and a high genetic similarity with all reference strains sequenced in dogs in the last twenty years, indicating the presence of genetically stable CAdV-1 in red foxes in Italy which could easily be transmitted from the wild animal population to domestic dogs. Therefore, this is the first reliable identification of CAdV-2 in foxes, and cloning of the virus detected has revealed a possible coinfection involving two different CAdV-2 strains, raising new questions about the pathogenic role of CAdV-2 in wildlife. The presence of CAdV-1 and CAdV-2 infection in foxes could represent a problem for both wild animals and domestic dogs, and emphasises the central role of red foxes in maintaining these viruses in the territory. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Specific detection of Echinococcus spp. from the Tibetan fox (Vulpes ferrilata) and the red fox (V. vulpes) using copro-DNA PCR analysis.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Weibin; Liu, Nan; Zhang, Gaotian; Renqing, Pengcuo; Xie, Fei; Li, Tiaoying; Wang, Zhenghuan; Wang, Xiaoming

    2012-10-01

    There are three Echinococcus species, Echinococcus granulosus, E. multilocularis, and E. shiquicus, which are distributed on the vast area of pastureland on the eastern Tibetan plateau in China. Tibetan foxes (Vulpes ferrilata) have been determined to be the main wild definitive host of E. multilocularis and E. shiquicus, but little information is available on the prevalence of these two parasites in Tibetan foxes. Consequently, the copro-prevalence of these parasites in foxes from the eastern Tibetan plateau was evaluated in this study. For each copro-DNA sample extracted from fox feces, a 133-bp segment of EgG1 Hae III was used to screen for infection with E. granulosus. Multiplex nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis was used to target an 874-bp segment of the mitochondrial COI gene to distinguish E. multilocularis and E. shiquicus. Among 184 fecal samples, 120 were from Tibetan foxes and six from red foxes (Vulpes vulpes). Of the fecal samples from Tibetan foxes, 74 (giving a copro-prevalence of 62%) showed the presence of Echinococcus spp.: 23 (19%) were found to contain E. multilocularis, 32 (27%) E. shiquicus, and 19 (16%) showed mixed infection with both E. multilocularis and E. shiquicus. Two fecal samples from red foxes were found to be infected with E. multilocularis. No fox feces were found to be infected with E. granulosus. Tests on zinc finger protein genes and a 105-bp fragment of the Sry gene found no significant difference in the prevalence of the two parasites between sexes. The efficiency of our multiplex nested PCR methods were compared with previous polymerase chain reaction-based restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) methods and some problems associated with the copro-PCR were discussed.

  9. Population structures of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) on the Hokkaido Island, Japan, revealed by microsatellite analysis.

    PubMed

    Oishi, Takuya; Uraguchi, Kohji; Takahashi, Kenichi; Masuda, Ryuichi

    2011-01-01

    In order to examine the population structures of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) on the Hokkaido Island in Japan, we conducted analysis on 250 foxes from all over the island for 12 microsatellite loci. Assignment tests using the genotype data set showed that they were divided into 6 subpopulations. Of the 6, one was geographically isolated in the southern region and considered definitive subpopulation, whereas the other 5 were not. The slight differences among the latter 5 subpopulations were explained by the high adaptability and long dispersal of the red fox on the Hokkaido Island. Although there are few ecological data to explain the genetic differentiation of the southern population, we have proposed some hypotheses from the present ecological and geohistorical viewpoints. One convincing reason from the ecological viewpoint is the restriction of gene flow to southern Hokkaido from other areas due to geographical isolation resulting from the land shape. The other explanation is the geohistorical division of southern Hokkaido from other regions on the island during the last interglacial age, resulting in the isolation of the fox population.

  10. Long-term study of Sarcoptes scabiei infection in Norwegian red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) indicating host/parasite adaptation.

    PubMed

    Davidson, Rebecca K; Bornstein, Set; Handeland, Kjell

    2008-10-01

    The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) population, in Norway, was naïve to Sarcoptes scabiei prior to the late 1970s when this parasite was first recorded and a still ongoing epidemic started. During the course of this protracted epidemic some degree of host/parasite adaptation, with the occurrence of healthy antibody positive foxes, might be expected. In the present study the prevalence of sarcoptic mange and serologically identified S. scabiei exposure was investigated in 363 Norwegian red foxes, shot by hunters during two different study periods (1994-1995 and 2002-2005). The sarcoptic mange diagnosis was based upon the presence of clearly visible lesions in the skin of the cadaver with confirmatory demonstration of S. scabiei. The serodiagnosis was based on an indirect-ELISA. There was a significant decrease in prevalence of both mange cases and seropositive animals from the first to the second study period. Whilst the mange prevalence fell more than threefold, from 30.0% to 6.6%, the seroprevalence dropped less dramatically from 53.3% to 19.1%. The smaller decrease in seroprevalence compared to mange cases reflected a significantly higher ratio of seropositive-mange negative versus seropositive-mange positive foxes, during the second study period, 40:18, compared to the first, 14:18. These findings indicate that the red fox population is adapting to live with the parasite and that low-grade or sub-clinical infections, and even recoveries, occur amongst exposed foxes. Mange positive foxes had significantly poorer body condition than those without sarcoptic mange. No significant difference in body condition was seen between seropositive-mange negative versus seronegative-mange negative foxes. The ELISA sensitivity was found to be 95% and proved a useful tool for investigating the exposure to S. scabiei in wild foxes. This study is believed to be the first pointing to a long-term Sarcoptes/fox adaptation, combining long-term prevalence studies of clinical sarcoptic mange

  11. Wild Red Foxes (Vulpes vulpes) as Sentinels of Parasitic Diseases in the Province of Soria, Northern Spain.

    PubMed

    Lledó, Lourdes; Giménez-Pardo, Consuelo; Saz, José Vicente; Serrano, José Luis

    2015-12-01

    Four hundred red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) were examined for ecto- (arthropods) and endoparasites (Leishmania spp., Trichinella spp., and intestinal parasites). Different species of flea (total prevalence, 40.50%), tick (16.25%), mite (7.25%), and fly (1.50%) were identified. The most prevalent flea was Pulex irritans (found on 29% of the foxes); the most prevalent tick, mite, and fly were Ixodes canisuga (on 5%), Sarcoptes scabiei (on 5.25%), and Hippobosca equina (on 1%), respectively. The endoparasites identified included Leishmania spp. (found in 12% of the foxes), Trichinella spp. (in 15.5%, with T. britovi the most prevalent species in 15.25%), Cestoda (in 72.75%, with Mesocestoides spp. the most prevalent in 69.50%), and intestinal ascarids (in 73.25%, with Ancylostoma caninum the most prevalent in 12.50%). No animal was free of parasites. The present results suggest that foxes can act as sentinels of diseases transmitted by ecto- and endoparasites.

  12. Remarkable findings concerning PBDEs in the terrestrial top-predator red fox (Vulpes vulpes).

    PubMed

    Voorspoels, Stefan; Covaci, Adrian; Lepom, Peter; Escutenaire, Sophie; Schepens, Paul

    2006-05-01

    In the present study, we have analyzed muscle, liver, and adipose tissue of 33 red foxes from Belgium for their content of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). Median sums of seven tri- to hepta-BDEs (BDE 28, BDE 47, BDE 99, BDE 100, BDE 153, BDE 154, and BDE 183) were 2.2, 2.4, and 3.4 ng/g lipid weight in adipose tissue, liver, and muscle, respectively. These levels were lower than those found in various species of voles and mice, the main prey species of the red fox. This is probably related to the high capacity of the foxes to metabolize and eliminate lower brominated congeners. BDE 209 generally dominated the PBDE congener profiles in the red fox samples. In samples containing BDE 209, this congener contributed, on the average, approximately 70% to the total PBDE content. BDE 209 was measured in concentrations as high as 760 ng/g lipid weight in the liver, but the detection frequency was not more than 40%. In animals with the highest BDE 209 levels, this congener was detected in muscle, liver, as well as in adipose tissue. Other abundant congeners were BDE 153 and BDE 47, which prevail in other terrestrial species. The particular PBDE congener profile observed in the red fox resembles that seen in grizzly bears from Canada, but differs from those previously reported for terrestrial avian species. Our data confirms unambiguously that BDE 209 does bioaccumulate in terrestrial top predators, such as the red fox.

  13. Calodium hepaticum (Nematoda: Capillaridae) in a red fox (Vulpes vulpes) in Italy with scanning electron microscopy of the eggs.

    PubMed

    Macchioni, Fabio; Chelucci, Luca; Guardone, Lisa; Mignone, Walter; Prati, Maria Cristina; Magi, Marta

    2013-05-01

    Calodium hepaticum (Bancroft, 1893) Moravec, 1982 (syn. Capillaria hepatica) is a cosmopolitan capillariid nematode, infecting mainly rodents and occasionally other mammals, including humans. Reports of C. hepaticum in canids are rare and the present one is, to the best of our knowledge, the first reported case in a red fox (Vulpes vulpes Linnaeus) in Italy. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) examination of the eggs of C. hepaticum allowed a precise description of the egg morphology, which is one of the most relevant specific characteristics of capillariid nematodes. The egg shell showed a fibrous beam-like network which differs from that of the eggs of closely related trichinelloid species. This characteristic can be useful especially in case of spurious infection, when misdiagnosis among different trichinelloids species can occur.

  14. Red fox Vulpes vulpes (L., 1758) as a bioindicator of mercury contamination in terrestrial ecosystems of north-western Poland.

    PubMed

    Kalisinska, Elzbieta; Lisowski, Piotr; Kosik-Bogacka, Danuta Izabela

    2012-02-01

    In this study, we determined the concentrations of total mercury (Hg) in samples of liver, kidney and skeletal muscle of 27 red foxes Vulpes vulpes (L., 1758) from north-western Poland, and examined the morphometric characteristics of the collected specimens. The analysis also included the relationship between Hg concentration and the fox size, and the suitability of individual organs as bioindicators in indirect evaluation of environmental mercury contamination. Determination of Hg concentration was performed by atomic absorption spectroscopy. In the analysed samples, the Hg concentration was low and the maximum value did not exceed 0.85 mgHg/kg dry weight (dw). There were no significant differences in Hg concentrations in the analysed material between males and females or between immature and adult groups. The median concentrations of Hg in the liver, kidney and skeletal muscle were 0.22, 0.11 and 0.05 mgHg/kg dw, respectively. The correlation coefficients were significant between the concentrations of mercury in the liver, kidney and skeletal muscle (positive) and between the kidney Hg concentration and kidney mass (negative). Taking into account our results and findings of other authors, it may be argued that the red fox exhibits a measurable response to mercury environmental pollution and meets the requirements of a bioindicator.

  15. A restricted hybrid zone between native and introduced red fox (Vulpes vulpes) populations suggests reproductive barriers and competitive exclusion.

    PubMed

    Sacks, Benjamin N; Moore, Marcelle; Statham, Mark J; Wittmer, Heiko U

    2011-01-01

    Introduced species can threaten native taxa in multiple ways, including competition and hybridization, which can reduce fitness, alter ecological niches or swamp native genomes. Encroachment and hybridization by introduced species also provide opportunities to study the dynamics of invasiveness and hybridization during early stages following contact. We used 33 microsatellites, 51 single nucleotide polymorphisms and a mtDNA marker to characterize the extent and spatial pattern of encroachment and hybridization between a native, endemic subspecies of red fox (Vulpes vulpes patwin) and an introduced red fox population composed of highly admixed, phylogenetically divergent stock, resulting from a century of domestication. Both nuclear and mtDNA markers indicated that hybridization was primarily restricted to a narrow zone where the two populations came into contact. Although a few introgressed genotypes were detected in the interior of the native range, we found no immigrant foxes or F(1) or F(2) hybrids there, suggesting native foxes excluded introduced individuals. We speculate that the observed interbreeding at the periphery was facilitated by low densities. In total, 98% of mtDNA haplotypes in the native range were native and 96% of the nuclear ancestry was estimated to be native. Although the introduced range had expanded fivefold over the past four decades, native and non-native haplotypes from museum samples collected in and near the native range three decades earlier showed a similar geographic distribution as today, suggesting that the native range and hybrid zone were relatively stable. We hypothesize that the monogamous mating system of red foxes and other wild canids may enhance their resistance to hybridization because of greater fitness consequences associated with mate discrimination.

  16. First report on Babesia cf. microti infection of red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) from Hungary.

    PubMed

    Farkas, Róbert; Takács, Nóra; Hornyák, Ákos; Nachum-Biala, Yaarit; Hornok, Sándor; Baneth, Gad

    2015-01-27

    To date, only one report of a small Babesia infection based on microscopic observation which caused babesiosis in two dogs in Hungary has been published. Babesiosis due to Babesia canis - which is endemic in the local dogs - has only been detected in captive grey wolves. No information is available on babesial/theilerial infections in red foxes in Hungary. The aim of the study was to screen red foxes in Hungary for babesial parasites by PCR and to compare their partial 18S rRNA gene sequences to those parasites of domestic dogs and wild canids from other countries. Blood samples of 404 red foxes originating from 316 locations representing all 19 Hungarian counties were screened in Hungary for babesial parasites by PCR and the partial 18S rRNA gene sequences were compared to those parasites of domestic dogs and wild canids from other countries. Altogether 81 red foxes out of 404 (20.0%; 95% CI: 16.4-24.2%) shot in 74 locations and in 17 of the 19 Hungarian counties were found to be infected with Babesia cf. microti by PCR. This is the first report to demonstrate the occurrence of Babesia cf. microti in Hungary, and its widespread presence in the fox population throughout the country. Further studies are needed to identify the tick species involved in its transmission, and whether other mechanisms of transmission are involved in its spread in fox populations.

  17. [Helminth fauna of red foxes (Vulpes vulpes LINNE 1758) in southern Saxony--2: Nematodes].

    PubMed

    Pfeifer, F; Kuschfeldt, S; Stoye, M

    1997-11-01

    Between January 1993 and November 1994 a total of 1300 red foxes from the administrative districts Halle and Dessau were examined for the presence of nematodes in the stomach and the small intestine. The following nematodes were found: Toxocara canis (26.5%), Toxascaris leonina (10.5%), Uncinaria stenocephala (15.9%) Ancylostoma caninum (1.7%). The search for Trichinella spp. larvae was negative in all 780 examined foxes.

  18. Analysis of genomic instability in primary spermatocytes of interspecific hybrids of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and the Arctic fox (Alopex lagopus).

    PubMed

    Bugno-Poniewierska, Monika; Pawlina, Klaudia; Jakubczak, Andrzej; Jeżewska-Witkowska, Grażyna

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to analyse meiotic cells of male interspecific hybrids of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and the arctic fox (Alopex lagopus). To this end we determined stages of meiotic cells as well as carried out FISH analyses with probes specific to heterosomes and a TUNEL assay on synaptonemal complex preparations. The meiotic cell analysis revealed only the presence of stages of the first meiotic division from leptotene to pachytene. Moreover, we observed an increased level of early dissociation of the X-Y bivalent as well as a high percentage of apoptotic cells. These results indicate the disruption of meiotic division in male hybrids manifested through meiotic arrest of the cells. Faulty pairing of the heterosomes can be considered as one of the causes leading to the initiation of the apoptotic process.

  19. Hair and Bone as Predictors of Tissular Mercury Concentration in the Western Alaska Red Fox, Vulpes vulpes

    PubMed Central

    Dainowski, BH; Duffy, LK; McIntyre, J; Jones, P

    2015-01-01

    We evaluated if total mercury (THg) concentrations of keratin-based and bone-based tissues can predict THg concentrations in skeletal muscle, renal medulla, renal cortex, and liver. The THg concentration in matched tissues of 65 red foxes, Vulpes vulpes, from western Alaska was determined. Hair THg concentration had a significant positive correlation with liver, renal medulla, renal cortex, and muscle. The THg concentration for males and females is moderately predictive of THg concentration in the renal cortex and liver for these foxes based on R2 values (R2 = 0.61 and 0.63, respectively). Bone is weakly predictive of THg concentration in muscle (R2 = 0.36), but not a reliable tissue to predict THg concentration in liver (R2 = 0.28), renal cortex (R2 = 0.33), or renal medulla (R2 = 0.29). These results confirm the potential use of trapped animals, specifically foxes, as useful Arctic sentinel species to inform researchers about patterns in THg levels over time as industrialization of the Arctic continues. PMID:25777958

  20. Hair and bone as predictors of tissular mercury concentration in the western Alaska red fox, Vulpes vulpes.

    PubMed

    Dainowski, B H; Duffy, L K; McIntyre, J; Jones, P

    2015-06-15

    We evaluated if total mercury (THg) concentrations of keratin-based and bone-based tissues can predict THg concentrations in skeletal muscle, renal medulla, renal cortex, and liver. The THg concentration in matched tissues of 65 red foxes, Vulpes vulpes, from western Alaska was determined. Hair THg concentration had a significant positive correlation with liver, renal medulla, renal cortex, and muscle. The THg concentration for males and females is moderately predictive of THg concentration in the renal cortex and liver for these foxes based on R(2) values (R(2)=0.61 and 0.63, respectively). Bone is weakly predictive of THg concentration in muscle (R(2)=0.40), but not a reliable tissue to predict THg concentration in liver (R(2)=0.24), renal cortex (R(2)=0.35), or renal medulla (R(2)=0.25). These results confirm the potential use of trapped animals, specifically foxes, as useful Arctic sentinel species to inform researchers about patterns in THg levels over time as industrialization of the Arctic continues.

  1. Red fox (Vulpes vulpes Linnaeus, 1758) as biological indicator for environmental pollution in Hungary.

    PubMed

    Heltai, Miklós; Markov, Georgi

    2012-10-01

    Our aim were to establish the metal (Cu, Ni, Zn, Co, Cd, and Pb) levels of red fox liver and the kidney samples (n = 10) deriving from central part of Hungary and compare the results with other countries' data. According to our results the concentrations of residues of the targeted elements (mg/kg dry weight) in liver and kidney samples were, respectively in liver: Cu: 21.418, Zn: 156.928, Ni: 2.079, Co: 1.611, Pb: 1.678 and Cd: 0.499; and kidney samples: Cu: 9.236; Zn: 87.159; Ni: 2.514; Co: 2.455; Pb: 2.63 and Cd: 0.818. Pb levels of Hungarian red fox liver samples significantly exceed the values of Italian specimens' samples, whilst the same element's concentrations of Hungarian red fox kidney samples were higher than the results published in Germany.

  2. A molecular survey of vector-borne pathogens in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) from Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    PubMed

    Hodžić, Adnan; Alić, Amer; Fuehrer, Hans-Peter; Harl, Josef; Wille-Piazzai, Walpurga; Duscher, Georg Gerhard

    2015-02-08

    Red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) have recently been recognized as potential reservoirs of several vector-borne pathogens and a source of infection for domestic dogs and humans, mostly due to their close vicinity to urban areas and frequent exposure to different arthropod vectors. The aim of this study was to investigate the presence and distribution of Babesia spp., Hepatozoon canis, Anaplasma spp., Bartonella spp., 'Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis', Ehrlichia canis, Rickettsia spp. and blood filaroid nematodes in free-ranging red foxes from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Spleen samples from a total of 119 red foxes, shot during the hunting season between October 2013 and April 2014 throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina, were examined for the presence of blood vector-borne pathogens by conventional PCRs and sequencing. In the present study, three species of apicomplexan parasites were molecularly identified in 73 red foxes from the entire sample area, with an overall prevalence of 60.8%. The DNA of B. canis, B. cf. microti and H. canis was found in 1 (0.8%), 38 (31.9%) and 46 (38.6%) spleen samples, respectively. In 11 samples (9.2%) co-infections with B. cf. microti and H. canis were detected and one fox harboured all three parasites (0.8%). There were no statistically significant differences between geographical region, sex or age of the host in the infection prevalence of B. cf. microti, although females (52.9%; 18/34) were significantly more infected with H. canis than males (32.9%; 28/85). The presence of vector-borne bacteria and filaroid nematodes was not detected in our study. This is the first report of B. canis, B. cf. microti and H. canis parasites in foxes from Bosnia and Herzegovina and the data presented here provide a first insight into the distribution of these pathogens among the red fox population. Moreover, the relatively high prevalence of B. cf. microti and H. canis reinforces the assumption that this wild canid species might be a possible reservoir and

  3. The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) plays a minor role in the epidemiology of the domestic cycle of Trichinella in Romania.

    PubMed

    Imre, Kálmán; Pozio, Edoardo; Tonanzi, Daniele; Sala, Claudia; Ilie, Marius S; Imre, Mirela; Morar, Adriana

    2015-09-15

    Nematode worms of the genus Trichinella are zoonotic parasites with a worldwide distribution. The majority of the biomass of these nematodes circulates among wildlife, but when humans fail in the proper management of domestic animals and wildlife, Trichinella infections are transmitted from the sylvatic to the domestic environment. Such failures occur in Romania, where a high prevalence of Trichinella spiralis has been detected in domestic pigs. The aim of the present study was to provide data about the prevalence of Trichinella spp. infections in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) that are hunted in Romanian counties, in which the prevalences of Trichinella spp. infection in backyard and free-ranging pigs range from 0.17 to 2.5%, to determine the role played by this carnivore species in the transmission of the parasite to domestic cycle. A total of 121 animals from 45 hunting grounds of three counties were screened to detect Trichinella spp. larvae by the digestion method. Infections were detected in 26 (21.5%) foxes from 18 (40%) hunting grounds of the three counties (13/67 in Arad, 1/3 in Hunedoara, and 12/51 in Timiş). The mean larval density was 10.5 larvae per gram. Of the 25 successfully tested samples, the Trichinella larvae from 24 isolates were identified as T. britovi (96%), and the larvae from one isolate were identified as T. spiralis (4%). No mixed infections were recorded. The present results revealed that the red fox should be considered an important T. britovi reservoir in the sylvatic cycle; in contrast, the detection of only a single T. spiralis-positive isolate suggests that red foxes play a minor role in the epidemiology of the domestic cycle in the investigated area of western Romania.

  4. A range-wide synthesis and timeline for phylogeographic events in the red fox (Vulpes vulpes).

    PubMed

    Kutschera, Verena E; Lecomte, Nicolas; Janke, Axel; Selva, Nuria; Sokolov, Alexander A; Haun, Timm; Steyer, Katharina; Nowak, Carsten; Hailer, Frank

    2013-06-05

    Many boreo-temperate mammals have a Pleistocene fossil record throughout Eurasia and North America, but only few have a contemporary distribution that spans this large area. Examples of Holarctic-distributed carnivores are the brown bear, grey wolf, and red fox, all three ecological generalists with large dispersal capacity and a high adaptive flexibility. While the two former have been examined extensively across their ranges, no phylogeographic study of the red fox has been conducted across its entire Holarctic range. Moreover, no study included samples from central Asia, leaving a large sampling gap in the middle of the Eurasian landmass. Here we provide the first mitochondrial DNA sequence data of red foxes from central Asia (Siberia), and new sequences from several European populations. In a range-wide synthesis of 729 red fox mitochondrial control region sequences, including 677 previously published and 52 newly obtained sequences, this manuscript describes the pattern and timing of major phylogeographic events in red foxes, using a Bayesian coalescence approach with multiple fossil tip and root calibration points. In a 335 bp alignment we found in total 175 unique haplotypes. All newly sequenced individuals belonged to the previously described Holarctic lineage. Our analyses confirmed the presence of three Nearctic- and two Japan-restricted lineages that were formed since the Mid/Late Pleistocene. The phylogeographic history of red foxes is highly similar to that previously described for grey wolves and brown bears, indicating that climatic fluctuations and habitat changes since the Pleistocene had similar effects on these highly mobile generalist species. All three species originally diversified in Eurasia and later colonized North America and Japan. North American lineages persisted through the last glacial maximum south of the ice sheets, meeting more recent colonizers from Beringia during postglacial expansion into the northern Nearctic. Both brown

  5. A range-wide synthesis and timeline for phylogeographic events in the red fox (Vulpes vulpes)

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Many boreo-temperate mammals have a Pleistocene fossil record throughout Eurasia and North America, but only few have a contemporary distribution that spans this large area. Examples of Holarctic-distributed carnivores are the brown bear, grey wolf, and red fox, all three ecological generalists with large dispersal capacity and a high adaptive flexibility. While the two former have been examined extensively across their ranges, no phylogeographic study of the red fox has been conducted across its entire Holarctic range. Moreover, no study included samples from central Asia, leaving a large sampling gap in the middle of the Eurasian landmass. Results Here we provide the first mitochondrial DNA sequence data of red foxes from central Asia (Siberia), and new sequences from several European populations. In a range-wide synthesis of 729 red fox mitochondrial control region sequences, including 677 previously published and 52 newly obtained sequences, this manuscript describes the pattern and timing of major phylogeographic events in red foxes, using a Bayesian coalescence approach with multiple fossil tip and root calibration points. In a 335 bp alignment we found in total 175 unique haplotypes. All newly sequenced individuals belonged to the previously described Holarctic lineage. Our analyses confirmed the presence of three Nearctic- and two Japan-restricted lineages that were formed since the Mid/Late Pleistocene. Conclusions The phylogeographic history of red foxes is highly similar to that previously described for grey wolves and brown bears, indicating that climatic fluctuations and habitat changes since the Pleistocene had similar effects on these highly mobile generalist species. All three species originally diversified in Eurasia and later colonized North America and Japan. North American lineages persisted through the last glacial maximum south of the ice sheets, meeting more recent colonizers from Beringia during postglacial expansion into the

  6. Oral vaccination and protection of red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) against rabies using ONRAB, an adenovirus-rabies recombinant vaccine.

    PubMed

    Brown, L J; Rosatte, R C; Fehlner-Gardiner, C; Bachmann, P; Ellison, J A; Jackson, F R; Taylor, J S; Davies, C; Donovan, D

    2014-02-12

    Twenty-seven red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) were each offered a bait containing ONRAB, a recombinant oral rabies vaccine that uses a human adenovirus vector to express the immunogenic rabies virus glycoprotein; 10 controls received no vaccine baits. Serum samples collected from all foxes before treatment, and each week post-treatment for 16 weeks, were tested for the presence of rabies virus neutralizing antibody (RVNA). In the bait group, a fox was considered a responder to vaccination if serum samples from 3 or more consecutive weeks had RVNA ≥0.5 IU/ml. Using this criterion, 79% of adult foxes (11/14) and 46% of juveniles (6/13) responded to vaccination with ONRAB. Serum RVNA of adults first tested positive (≥0.5 IU/ml) between weeks 1 and 3, about 4 weeks earlier than in juveniles. Adults also responded with higher levels of RVNA and these levels were maintained longer. Serum samples from juveniles tested positive for 1-4 consecutive weeks; in adults the range was 2-15 weeks, with almost half of adults maintaining titres above 0.5 IU/ml for 9 or more consecutive weeks. Based on the kinetics of the antibody response to ONRAB, the best time to sample sera of wild adult foxes for evidence of vaccination is 7-11 weeks following bait distribution. Thirty-four foxes (25 ONRAB, 9 controls) were challenged with vulpine street virus 547 days post-vaccination. All controls developed rabies whereas eight of 13 adult vaccinates (62%) and four of 12 juvenile vaccinates (33%) survived. All foxes classed as non-responders to vaccination developed rabies. Of foxes considered responders to vaccination, 80% of adults (8/10) and 67% of juveniles (4/6) survived challenge. The duration of immunity conferred to foxes would appear adequate for bi-annual and annual bait distribution schedules as vaccinates were challenged 1.5 years post-vaccination. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  7. Death feigning by ducks in response to predation by red foxes (Vulpes fulva)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sargeant, A.B.; Eberhardt, L.E.

    1975-01-01

    Predation by captive red foxes (Vulpes fulva) on approximately 50 ducks comprised of five species was observed in tests conducted at the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, Jamestown, North Dakota. Most ducks were attacked from a rear or lateral position and seized in the cervical or thoracic region. All birds became immobile (death-feigned) immediately when seized and with few exceptions remained motionless during prey-handling and for varying lengths of time thereafter. Initial death feints lasted from 20 sec to 14 min. Recovery was delayed by tactile, visual and, possibly, auditory cues from the foxes. Death-feigning birds appeared alert and often took advantage of escape opportunities. Twenty-nine birds survived initial capture and handling by the foxes. Naive foxes were wary of ducks during initial confrontations, but experienced foxes showed little hesitation in attacking them. After capture, most ducks were taken alive to lay-down sites where they were mouthed and often killed. Then the ducks were usually cached or taken to dens or pups. Several birds were cached alive. Red foxes appear to have adapted to the escape of death-feigning ducks by learning to kill some birds soon after capture and by the evolution of an appendage-severing behavior. Death feigning appears to be a highly developed antipredator behavior of ducks that facilitates the escape of some birds after capture by red foxes.

  8. Helminths of red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) in Lithuania.

    PubMed

    Bružinskaitė-Schmidhalter, Rasa; Šarkūnas, Mindaugas; Malakauskas, Alvydas; Mathis, Alexander; Torgerson, Paul R; Deplazes, Peter

    2012-01-01

    Red foxes and raccoon dogs are hosts for a wide range of parasites including important zoonotic helminths. The raccoon dog has recently invaded into Europe from the east. The contribution of this exotic species to the epidemiology of parasitic diseases, particularly parasitic zoonoses is unknown. The helminth fauna and the abundance of helminth infections were determined in 310 carcasses of hunted red foxes and 99 of raccoon dogs from Lithuania. Both species were highly infected with Alaria alata (94·8% and 96·5% respectively) and Trichinella spp. (46·6% and 29·3%). High and significantly different prevalences in foxes and raccoon dogs were found for Eucoleus aerophilus (97·1% and 30·2% respectively), Crenosoma vulpis (53·8% and 15·1%), Capillaria plica (93·3% and 11·3%), C. putorii (29·4% and 51·5%), Toxocara canis (40·5% and 17·6%) and Uncinaria stenocephala (76·9% and 98·8%). The prevalences of the rodent-transmitted cestodes Echinococcus multilocularis, Taenia polyacantha, T. crassiceps and Mesocestoides spp. were significantly higher in foxes than in raccoon dogs. The abundances of E. multilocularis, Mesocestoides, Taenia, C. plica and E. aerophilus were higher in foxes than those in raccoon dogs. A. alata, U. stenocephala, C. putorii and Echinostomatidae had higher abundances in raccoon dogs. The difference in prevalence and abundance of helminths in both animals may reflect differences in host ecology and susceptibility. The data are consistent with red foxes playing a more important role than raccoon dogs in the transmission of E. multilocularis in Lithuania.

  9. Detection of Babesia annae DNA in lung exudate samples from Red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in Great Britain.

    PubMed

    Bartley, Paul M; Hamilton, Clare; Wilson, Cari; Innes, Elisabeth A; Katzer, Frank

    2016-02-12

    This study aimed to determine the prevalence of Babesia species DNA in lung exudate samples collected from red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) from across Great Britain. Babesia are small piroplasmid parasites which are mainly transmitted through the bite of infected ticks of the family Ixodidae. Babesia can cause potentially fatal disease in a wide-range of mammalian species including humans, dogs and cattle, making them of significant economic importance to both the medical and veterinary fields. DNA was extracted from lung exudate samples of 316 foxes. A semi-nested PCR was used to initially screen samples, using universal Babesia-Theileria primers which target the 18S rRNA gene. A selection of positive PCR amplicons were purified and sequenced. Subsequently specific primers were designed to detect Babesia annae and used to screen all 316 DNA samples. Randomly selected positive samples were purified and sequenced (GenBank accession KT580786). Clones spanning a 1717 bp region of the 18S rRNA gene were generated from 2 positive samples, the resultant consensus sequence was submitted to GenBank (KT580785). Sequence KT580785 was used in the phylogenetic analysis Babesia annae DNA was detected in the fox samples, in total 46/316 (14.6%) of samples tested positive for the presence of Babesia annae DNA. The central region of England had the highest prevalence at 36.7%, while no positive samples were found from Wales, though only 12 samples were tested from this region. Male foxes were found to have a higher prevalence of Babesia annae DNA than females in all regions of Britain. Phylogenetic and sequence analysis of the GenBank submissions (Accession numbers KT580785 and KT580786) showed 100% identity to Babesia sp.-'Spanish Dog' (AY534602, EU583387 and AF188001). This is the first time that Babesia annae DNA has been reported in red foxes in Great Britain with positive samples being found across England and Scotland indicating that this parasite is well established within the

  10. An investigation of red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and Eurasian badger (Meles meles) scavenging, scattering, and removal of deer remains: forensic implications and applications.

    PubMed

    Young, Alexandria; Márquez-Grant, Nicholas; Stillman, Richard; Smith, Martin J; Korstjens, Amanda H

    2015-01-01

    Within northwest Europe, especially the United Kingdom, the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and the Eurasian Badger (Meles meles) are the largest wild scavengers capable of modifying a set of remains through scavenging. Knowledge of region-specific and species-typical scavenging behaviors of scavengers within the crime scene area and surroundings can aid in more efficient and accurate interpretations. The scavenging behaviors of captive and wild foxes and badgers were recorded and compared through actualistic methods and direct observation. The scavenging by wild foxes and badgers of surface-deposited baits and whole deer (Cervus nippon; Capreolus capreolus) in a woodland was observed and analyzed. Wild foxes were found to scavenge deer more frequently than badgers. The scavenging of deer remains by foxes was also compared with forensic cases. The scavenging pattern and recovery distances of deer and human remains scavenged by foxes were similar but were potentially affected by the condition and deposition of a body, and the presence of clothing.

  11. Serological investigation of wild boars (Sus scrofa) and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) as indicator animals for circulation of Francisella tularensis in Germany.

    PubMed

    Otto, Peter; Chaignat, Valerie; Klimpel, Diana; Diller, Roland; Melzer, Falk; Müller, Wolfgang; Tomaso, Herbert

    2014-01-01

    Tularemia outbreaks in humans have recently been reported in many European countries, but data on the occurrence in the animal population are scarce. In North America, seroconversion of omnivores and carnivores was used as indicator for the presence of tularemia, for the European fauna, however, data are barely available. Therefore, the suitability of wild boars (Sus scrofa) and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) as indicators for the circulation of F. tularensis in Germany was evaluated. Serum samples from 566 wild boars and 457 red foxes were collected between 1995 and 2012 in three federal states in Central Germany (Hesse, Saxony-Anhalt, and Thuringia). The overall rate of seropositive animals was 1.1% in wild boars and 7.4% in red foxes. In conclusion, serological examination of red foxes is recommended, because they can be reliably used as indicator animals for the presence of F. tularensis in the environment.

  12. First report of Trichinella pseudospiralis in Poland, in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes).

    PubMed

    Moskwa, Bożena; Goździk, Katarzyna; Bień, Justyna; Borecka, Anna; Gawor, Jakub; Cabaj, Władysław

    2013-06-01

    Nematode worms of the genus Trichinella are one of the most widespread zoonotic pathogens. Natural transmission between hosts can only occur through the ingestion of infected meat. To date, two Trichinella species are known to be etiological agents of disease among domestic animals and wildlife in Poland: T. spiralis and T. britovi. In the last decades, since the administration of an oral vaccination against rabies, the red fox population in Poland has increased exponentially. The study area covers the Nowy Targ region: a mountainous area (585-1138 m above the sea) in southern Poland. Of 24 red foxes examined in the study, four were infected with Trichinella isolates: three were identified as T. britovi and one as T. pseudospiralis. The muscle of red foxes infected with T. britovi harboured 2.75, 3.11, 4.4 LPG and with T. pseudospiralis 0.36 LPG. Trichinella larvae were identified at species level by genomic and mitochondrial multiplex PCR, the products of which were sequenced for comparison with other sequences available in GenBank. The sequences obtained from the Polish T. pseudospiralis isolate, deposited in GenBank under the accession numbers JQ809660.1 and JQ809661.1, matched sequences already published in GenBank. Sequence comparison showed a 100% match with the large subunit ribosomal RNA gene of T. pseudospiralis isolate ISS 013, and a 96-95% match with those of T. pseudospiralis isolates ISS 141 and ISS 470. This is the first report of the identification of T. pseudospiralis larvae from red fox in Poland.

  13. Helminth fauna of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes Linnaeus, 1758) in southern Belarus.

    PubMed

    Shimalov, V V; Shimalov, V T

    2003-01-01

    We examined 94 carcasses of and 1,213 faecal samples from red foxes collected between 1981 and 2001 in natural and transformed ecosystems in the southern part of Belarus. A total of 32 helminth species were found. Of these, the most common were Alaria alata, Pearsonema plica, Taenia crassiceps, Toxocara canis, Trichinella spp. larvae and Uncinaria stenocephala. All species are significant for medical and veterinary health.

  14. Disseminated Mycobacterium bovis infection in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) with cerebral involvement found in Portugal.

    PubMed

    Matos, Ana C; Figueira, Luis; Martins, Maria H; Matos, Manuela; Morais, Márcia; Dias, Ana P; Pinto, Maria L; Coelho, Ana C

    2014-07-01

    A total of 49 road-killed red foxes were used for the detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTC) in Portugal. MTC infection was detected by PCR in 10 red foxes (20.4%; 95% confidence interval [CI] 8.8-31.2%) and confirmed in three (6.1%; 95% CI 0.0-7.9%) of them by microbiological culture. The complex was detected in 20 tissues out of 441 by PCR techniques (4.5%; 95% CI 16.3-23.7%) and in seven tissues out of 441 (1.6%; 95% CI 4.6-9.4%) by culture. MTC was most frequently detected in the brain (8.2%) and in the mediastinal lymph nodes (8.2%). The seven cultures obtained were positive for M. bovis by PCR-based genotyping of the MTC targeting genomic deletions. This study confirms the presence of disseminated M. bovis in red foxes in Portugal, and it is the first report in the world of the natural infection in the animals' brains.

  15. Spatial distribution of Trichinella britovi, T. pseudospiralis and T. spiralis in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in Hungary.

    PubMed

    Széll, Z; Marucci, G; Bajmóczy, E; Cséplo, A; Pozio, E; Sréter, T

    2008-10-01

    The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) is considered one of the main reservoir of Trichinella spp. in Europe. As limited information on Trichinella infection in wildlife of Hungary is available, 2116 red foxes, representing more than 3% of the estimated fox population of the country, were screened to detect Trichinella larvae by a digestion method. Trichinella larvae from the 35 positive foxes were identified by a multiplex PCR as Trichinella britovi (30 isolates, 85.7%), Trichinella spiralis (4 isolates, 11.4%), and Trichinella pseudospiralis (1 isolate, 2.9%). The true mean intensity of T. britovi, T. spiralis and T. pseudospiralis larvae in lower forelimb muscles was 23.6, 3.5 and 13.5larvae/g, respectively. T. spiralis was detected only in the southern and eastern regions. The non-encapsulated T. pseudospiralis was recorded for the first time in Hungary. Although the overall true prevalence of Trichinella infection in foxes was only 1.8% (95% confidence interval, CI=1.5-2.1%), the spatial analysis reveals different risk regions. In the north-eastern counties bordering Slovakia and Ukraine (21% of the Hungarian territory), the true prevalence of Trichinella infection is significantly higher than that observed in other regions (6.0%, CI=4.8-7.1%). In the southern counties bordering Croatia, Serbia and Romania (41% of the Hungarian territory), the true prevalence of Trichinella infection is moderate (1.4%, CI=1.0-1.8%). In the north-western and central counties (38% of Hungarian territory), the prevalence of Trichinella infection is significantly lower (0.2%, CI=0.1-0.4%) than that of the other regions. Based on the statistical analysis and the evaluation of epidemiological data, none of the counties can be considered free of Trichinella infection. In the past decade, Trichinella infection has been detected only in few backyard pigs, and only few wild boar-related autochthonous infections in humans were described. Nevertheless, these results highlight the need of the

  16. Molecular and morphological circumscription of Mesocestoides tapeworms from red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in central Europe.

    PubMed

    Hrčkova, Gabriela; Miterpáková, Martina; O'Connor, Anne; Šnábel, Viliam; Olson, Peter D

    2011-04-01

    Here we examine 3157 foxes from 6 districts of the Slovak Republic in order to determine for the first time the distribution, prevalence and identity of Mesocestodes spp. endemic to this part of central Europe. During the period 2001-2006, an average of 41.9% of foxes were found to harbour Mesocestoides infections. Among the samples we confirmed the widespread and common occurrence of M. litteratus (Batsch, 1786), and report the presence, for the first time, of M. lineatus (Goeze, 1782) in the Slovak Republic, where it has a more restricted geographical range and low prevalence (7%). Using a combination of 12S rDNA, CO1 and ND1 mitochondrial gene sequences together with analysis of 13 morphometric characters, we show that the two species are genetically distinct and can be differentiated by discrete breaks in the ranges of the male and female reproductive characters, but not by the more commonly examined characters of the scolex and strobila. Estimates of interspecific divergence within Mesocestoides ranged from 9 to 18%, whereas intraspecific variation was less than 2%, and phylogenetic analyses of the data showed that despite overlapping geographical ranges, the two commonly reported European species are not closely related, with M. litteratus more closely allied to North American isolates of Mesocestoides than to M. lineatus. We confirm that morphological analysis of reproductive organs can be used to reliably discriminate between these often sympatric species obtained from red foxes.

  17. First report of Anaplasma platys infection in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and molecular detection of Ehrlichia canis and Leishmania infantum in foxes from Portugal.

    PubMed

    Cardoso, Luís; Gilad, Matan; Cortes, Helder C E; Nachum-Biala, Yaarit; Lopes, Ana Patrícia; Vila-Viçosa, Maria João; Simões, Margarida; Rodrigues, Paula A; Baneth, Gad

    2015-03-23

    The bacteria Anaplasma platys and Ehrlichia canis and the protozoan Leishmania infantum are vector-borne agents that cause canine vector-borne diseases, some of which are zoonotic. The present survey investigated the prevalence of Anaplasma, Ehrlichia and Leishmania in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) from Portugal by molecular analysis, in order to evaluate the epidemiological role of these canids as reservoirs of infection. Blood and/or bone marrow samples were collected from 78 red foxes obtained in eight districts of northern, central and southern Portugal. Real-time polymerase chain reactions (PCR) amplified a 123 bp fragment of the 16S rRNA gene of Anaplasma spp. and Ehrlichia spp. and a 265 bp fragment of the L. infantum internal transcribed spacer one (ITS1) region of the rRNA operon evaluated by PCR-high resolution melt analysis (PCR-HRM), with sequencing of the DNA products. A phylogenetic analysis was carried out to compare these to other sequences from Anaplasma spp. and Ehrlichia spp. deposited in GenBank. A. platys was detected in 10 (14.5%) and E. canis in two (2.9%) out of 69 foxes; and L. infantum was detected in one (1.3%) of the 78 foxes. The prevalence of A. platys was significantly different from the prevalence of E. canis (p=0.016) and from that of L. infantum (p=0.002). No co-infections were found in any one of the 78 foxes. No statistically significant differences were found between the type of sample (blood and bone marrow), geographic regions (north/centre and south), age (<2 years and ≥2 years) and gender for any one of the agents. This is the first known report of A. platys in red foxes worldwide, as well as the first molecular evidence of E. canis in foxes from Portugal. The moderate prevalence of A. platys suggests that red foxes may play a role in the epidemiology of infection with this bacterium and serve as a reservoir for domestic dogs.

  18. Antimicrobial resistance and virulence genes in Escherichia coli and enterococci from red foxes (Vulpes vulpes).

    PubMed

    Radhouani, Hajer; Igrejas, Gilberto; Gonçalves, Alexandre; Pacheco, Rui; Monteiro, Ricardo; Sargo, Roberto; Brito, Francisco; Torres, Carmen; Poeta, Patrícia

    2013-10-01

    The aims of the study were to analyse the prevalence of antimicrobial resistance and the mechanisms implicated, as well as the virulence factors, in faecal Escherichia coli and Enterococcus spp. from red foxes. From 52 faecal samples, 22 E. coli (42.3%) and 50 enterococci (96.2%) isolates were recovered (one/sample). A high percentage of E. coli isolates exhibited resistance to streptomycin, tetracycline, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole or ampicillin (54-27%), and they harboured the aadA, tet(A) and/or tet(B), sul1 and blaTEM resistance genes, respectively. The E. coli isolates were ascribed to the 4 major phylogroups, D (41% of isolates), A (31.8%), B1 (18.2%) and B2 (9.1%), and carried the fimA (63.3%) or aer (13.6%) virulence genes. Among enterococcal isolates, Enterococcus faecium was the most prevalent species (50%). A high percentage of enterococcal isolates showed tetracycline resistance (88%) harbouring different combinations of tet(M) and tet(L) genes. The erm(B) or the aph(3')-IIIa gene were identified in most of our erythromycin- or kanamycin-resistant enterococci, respectively. This report suggests the role of red foxes from rural areas in the cycle of transmission and spread of antimicrobial-resistant E. coli and enterococci into the environment, representing a reservoir of these antimicrobial-resistant microorganisms.

  19. Molecular Survey of Hepatozoon canis in Red Foxes (Vulpes vulpes) from Romania.

    PubMed

    Imre, Mirela; Dudu, Andreea; Ilie, Marius S; Morariu, Sorin; Imre, Kálmán; Dărăbuş, Gheorghe

    2015-08-01

    Blood samples of 119 red foxes, originating from 44 hunting grounds of 3 western counties (Arad, Hunedoara, and Timiş) of Romania, have been examined for the presence of Hepatozoon canis infection using the conventional polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of the fragment of 18S rRNA gene. Overall, 15 (12.6%) samples were found to be PCR-positive. Of the sampled hunting grounds, 29.5% (13/44) were found positive. Positive samples were recorded in all screened counties with the prevalence of 14.8% (9/61) in Arad, 9.8% (5/51) in Timiş, and 14.3% (1/7) in Hunedoara, respectively. No correlation was found (P > 0.05) between H. canis positivity and gender or territorial distribution of the infection. To confirm PCR results, 9 randomly selected amplicons were sequenced. The obtained sequences were identical to each other, confirmed the results of the conventional PCR, and showed 98-100% homology to other H. canis sequences. The results of the current survey support the role of red foxes as sylvatic reservoirs of H. canis in Romania.

  20. Rabies vaccination programme for red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and golden jackals (Canis aureus) in Israel (1999-2004).

    PubMed

    Yakobson, B A; King, R; Amir, S; Devers, N; Sheichat, N; Rutenberg, D; Mildenberg, Z; David, D

    2006-01-01

    Since 1956, red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and, to a lesser extent, golden jackals (Canis aureus), have been the primary vectors maintaining endemic wildlife rabies in Israel. Starting in the autumn of 1998, oral rabies vaccination campaigns have been conducted in Israel targeting these two wildlife species, with increasing yearly geographical extension. Significant data have been accumulated from an area of approximately 5,200 km2 in Northern Israel. In the spring of 2003 the project was extended to 14,000 km2 and in the autumn to 21,000 km2, covering almost all inhabited areas in Israel and the West Bank. A total of two million RABORAL V-RG (Merial) vaccine-filled baits were distributed bi-annually by plane or helicopter at 14-19 baits km2. Since the onset of oral vaccination activities in 1998, annual bait acceptance in the vaccination zones has been demonstrated by biomarker detection (with tetracycline) in 55 % (429/783) of bone samples of target animals submitted for diagnosis. In 1999 to 2004, vaccine contact and induction of immunity in animals collected from the vaccination zones were reflected by seroconversion in 66 of 284 animals (23 %). By the year 2004, rabies cases declined sharply in all progressively vaccinated areas.

  1. Geographical variations of the skull in the red fox Vulpes vulpes on the Japanese Islands: an exception to Bergmann's rule.

    PubMed

    Oishi, Takuya; Uraguchi, Kohji; Abramov, Alexei V; Masuda, Ryuichi

    2010-12-01

    In order to clarify the morphological differences between two subspecies of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) on the Japanese Islands and test the validity of Bergmann's rule, we examined geographical variations in 25 cranial and 24 dental characters in V. v. schrencki from Hokkaido and V. v. japonica from the other main islands of Japan (Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu). Many skull measurements, including the male greatest length, condylobasal length, and the length of upper and lower tooth rows, were significantly larger for V. v. japonica than for V. v. schrencki, whereas most tooth measurements, especially the length of molars and premolars, in V. v. schrencki were larger than those in V. v. japonica. Although the two subspecies were morphologically well-differentiated from each other, the results did not support that they have evolved following Bergmann's rule of adaptation to cold climates. Based on consideration of the relatively large differences of their tooth sizes, which are not easily influenced by food abundance, and previous genetic research on the different migration histories of the two subspecies, the morphological differences detected in the present study may have resulted not only from the present ecological differences between the two subspecies, but also from the difference of migration history and evolutionary constraints.

  2. Influence of urbanization on the epidemiology of intestinal helminths of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) in Geneva, Switzerland.

    PubMed

    Reperant, Leslie A; Hegglin, Daniel; Fischer, Claude; Kohler, Lucia; Weber, Jean-Marc; Deplazes, Peter

    2007-08-01

    Dixenous helminths that depend on rodent intermediate hosts are supposed to be negatively affected by urbanization due to lower supply of rodents in urbanized environments. Prevalence rates of dixenous, non-strictly monoxenous, and monoxenous helminths in 228 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) along a gradient of increasing urbanization were assessed by morphological parasite identification in the city of Geneva, Switzerland. Multivariate analyses for the five most prevalent helminth species or genera revealed a significant decrease of prevalence rates for the dixenous helminths Echinococcus multilocularis and Taenia spp. from the rural (52.1 and 54.3%, respectively) to the urban area (30.0 and 20.0%, respectively), but not for the monoxenous nematode Uncinaria stenocephala (overall prevalence of 78.2%) and the non-strictly monoxenous nematode Toxocara canis (overall prevalence of 44.3%). The lower prevalence of Toxascaris leonina in the urban area (8.0%) compared to the rural area (59.6%) raises the question of whether rodent paratenic hosts play a major role for the population dynamics of this species.

  3. Detection of Leishmania in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) from southeastern France using real-time quantitative PCR.

    PubMed

    Davoust, Bernard; Mary, Charles; Marié, Jean-Lou

    2014-01-01

    The role of red foxes in the natural cycle of Leishmania infection is not well known. In the Var area, southeastern France, from 2006 to 2012, we conducted a longitudinal epidemiologic survey of foxes using quantitative PCR. Among 92 red foxes screened, prevalence of Leishmania infantum infection was 9%. Red foxes may be considered a bioindicator of parasite circulation in this biotope.

  4. Concentrations of trace elements in tissues of red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and stone marten (Martes foina) from suburban and rural areas in Croatia.

    PubMed

    Bilandžić, Nina; Dežđek, Danko; Sedak, Marija; Dokić, Maja; Solomun, Božica; Varenina, Ivana; Knežević, Zorka; Slavica, Alen

    2010-11-01

    Trace elements concentrations (As, Cd, Cu, Pb and Hg) were determined in the liver, kidney and muscle of 28 red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and 16 stone marten (Martes foina) from suburban and rural habitats from Croatia. Rural and suburban habitats affected Cd and Hg levels in the muscle, liver and kidney of red fox. Significant differences in metal concentrations in the muscle, liver and kidney were detected among species. Suburban stone marten accumulated the highest levels of trace elements (mg/kg w.w.): in muscle 0.019 for Hg; in liver 0.161 for Cd, 36.1 for Cu and 0.349 for Pb; in kidney 1.34 for Cd and 0.318 for Pb. Values observed were higher than those found in suburban red fox and therefore, may represent an important bioindicator for the accumulation of toxic metals in urbanized habitats.

  5. Pathology of sarcoptic mange in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes): macroscopic and histologic characterization of three disease stages.

    PubMed

    Nimmervoll, Helena; Hoby, Stefan; Robert, Nadia; Lommano, Elena; Welle, Monika; Ryser-Degiorgis, Marie-Pierre

    2013-01-01

    Sarcoptic mange is a highly contagious skin disease that can have a devastating impact on affected wild mammal populations. There are notable variations in the clinical and pathologic picture of sarcoptic mange among species and among conspecifics. However, the origin of these variations is unclear. We propose a classification scheme for skin lesions associated with Sarcoptes scabiei infestation to provide a basis for a subsequent risk factor analysis. We conducted a case-control study focused on macroscopic and histologic examination of the skin, using 279 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) found dead or shot in Switzerland between November 2004 and February 2006. All animals were submitted to gross necropsy following a detailed protocol. Selection criteria for cases (n=147) vs. controls (n=111) were the presence or absence of mange-like lesions, mite detection by isolation or histologic examination, and serologic testing for S. scabiei antibodies. Characteristic features of mange lesions were scored macroscopically in all foxes and histologically in 67 cases and 15 controls. We classified skin lesions and associated necropsy findings into three types of mange: A) early stage (n=45): focal-extensive skin lesions, thin crusts, mild to moderate alopecia, few mites, numerous eosinophils, and mild lymph node enlargement; B) hyperkeratotic, fatal form (n=86): generalized skin lesions, thick crusts with or without alopecia, foul odor, abundance of mites, numerous bacteria and yeasts, numerous lymphocytes and mast cells, severe lymph node enlargement, and emaciation; C) alopecic, healing form (n=16): focal lesions, no crusts, severe alopecia, hyperpigmentation and lichenification, absence of mites, mixed cell infiltration, and rare mild lymph node enlargement. We hypothesize that after stage A, the animal either enters stage B and dies, or stage C and survives, depending on largely unknown extrinsic or intrinsic factors affecting the host ability to control mite infestation.

  6. Endoparasitic fauna of red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and golden jackals (Canis aureus) in Serbia.

    PubMed

    Ilić, Tamara; Becskei, Zsolt; Petrović, Tamaš; Polaček, Vladimir; Ristić, Bojan; Milić, Siniša; Stepanović, Predrag; Radisavljević, Katarina; Dimitrijević, Sanda

    2016-03-01

    Wild canides have a high epizootiological - epidemiological significance, considering that they are hosts for some parasites which spread vector born diseases. Increased frequency of certain interactions between domestic and wild canides increases the risk of occurrence, spreading and maintaining the infection of parasitic etiology in domestic canides. The research was conducted in 232 wild canides (172 red foxes and 60 golden jackals). The examined material was sampled from foxes and jackals, which were hunted down between 2010 and 2014, from 8 epizootiological areas of Serbia (North-Bačka, West-Bačka, Southern-Banat, Moravički, Zlatiborski, Raški, Rasinski and Zaječarski district). On completing the parasitological dissection and the coprological diagnostics, in wild canides protozoa from the genus Isospora were identified, 3 species of trematoda (Alaria alata, Pseudamphistomum truncatum and Metagonimus yokogawai), cestods from the genus Taenia and 5 species of nematodes (Toxocara canis, Ancylostomatidae, Trichuris vulpis and Capillaria aerophila). The finding of M. yokogawai in golden jackals were, to the best of our knowledge, one of the first diagnosed cases of metagonimosis in golden jackals in Serbia. The continued monitoring of the parasitic fauna of wild canides is needed to establish the widespread of the zoonoses in different regions of Serbia, because they present the reservoirs and/or sources of these infections.

  7. Vaccine-induced rabies in a red fox (Vulpes vulpes): isolation of vaccine virus in brain tissue and salivary glands.

    PubMed

    Hostnik, Peter; Picard-Meyer, Evelyne; Rihtarič, Danijela; Toplak, Ivan; Cliquet, Florence

    2014-04-01

    Oral vaccination campaigns to eliminate fox rabies were initiated in Slovenia in 1995. In May 2012, a young fox (Vulpes vulpes) with typical rabies signs was captured. Its brain and salivary gland tissues were found to contain vaccine strain SAD B19. The Basic Logical Alignment Search Tool alignment of 589 nucleotides determined from the N gene of the virus isolated from the brain and salivary glands of the affected fox was 100% identical to the GenBank reference SAD B19 strain. Sequence analysis of the N and M genes (4,351 nucleotides) showed two nucleotide modifications at position 1335 (N gene) and 3114 (M gene) in the KC522613 isolate identified in the fox compared to SAD B19.

  8. The first report of Angiostrongylus vasorum (Nematoda; Metastrongyloidea) in Poland, in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes).

    PubMed

    Demiaszkiewicz, Aleksander W; Pyziel, Anna M; Kuligowska, Izabela; Lachowicz, Jacek

    2014-10-01

    Angiostrongylus vasorum belongs to the superfamily of Metastrongyloidea. This nematode occurs in foxes, dogs and other predators. The Nematode A. vasorum place themselves in the pulmonary artery and its branches, and in the right ventricle and atrium of the heart. Numerous species of land snails are the intermediate hosts of the parasite. In 2013, lungs and hearts of 76 foxes shot in the Forest District Głęboki Bród in Augustowska Primeval Forest were parasitologically necropsied. Four of the examined foxes were infected with the nematode A. vasorum, a prevalence of 5.2%. In one fox pericardium there were 6 male and 6 female nematodes. In the remaining three foxes nematodes were localized in the pulmonary artery. In two foxes 2 specimens of nematodes were detected (male and female, and two females) while 1 female was detected in the other fox. This is the first report of the presence of the nematode A. vasorum in fox in Poland.

  9. Hepatozoon canis in German red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and their ticks: molecular characterization and the phylogenetic relationship to other Hepatozoon spp.

    PubMed

    Najm, Nour-Addeen; Meyer-Kayser, Elisabeth; Hoffmann, Lothar; Pfister, Kurt; Silaghi, Cornelia

    2014-07-01

    In this study, the prevalence of Hepatozoon spp. in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and their ticks from Germany, as well as molecular characterizations and phylogenetic relationship to other Hepatozoon spp. were investigated. DNA extracts of 261 spleen samples and 1,953 ticks were examined for the presence of Hepatozoon spp. by a conventional polymerase chain reaction (PCR) targeting the 18S rRNA gene. The ticks included four tick species: Ixodes ricinus, Ixodes canisuga, Ixodes hexagonus and Dermacentor reticulatus. A total of 118/261 foxes (45.2%) and 148/1,953 ticks (7.5%) were Hepatozoon PCR-positive. Amplicons from 36 positive foxes and 41 positive ticks were sequenced. All sequences obtained from foxes and 39/41 from ticks had a 99% similarity to Hepatozoon canis, whereas two ticks' sequences had a 99% identity to Hepatozoon sp. The obtained Hepatozoon sequences in this study were phylogenetically related to other Hepatozoon sequences detected in other countries, which may represent strain variants. The high prevalence of H. canis DNA in red foxes in this study supports the suggested role of those animals in distribution of this parasite. Furthermore, detection of DNA of H. canis in foxes and all examined tick species collected from those foxes allows speculating about previously undescribed potential vectors for H. canis and suggests a potential role of the red fox in its natural endemic cycles.

  10. Central vestibular syndrome in a red fox (Vulpes vulpes) with presumptive right caudal cerebral artery ischemic infarct and prevalent midbrain involvement

    PubMed Central

    Ricciardi, Mario; Gernone, Floriana; Simone, Antonio De; Giannuzzi, Pasquale

    2017-01-01

    A wild young male red fox (Vulpes vulpes) was found in the mountainous hinterland of Rome (Italy) with a heavily depressed mental status and unresponsive to the surrounding environment. Neurological examination revealed depression, left circling, right head tilt, ventromedial positional strabismus and decreased postural reactions on the left side. Neurological abnormalities were suggestive of central vestibular syndrome. Two consecutive MRIs performed with 30 days interval were compatible with lacunar ischemic infarct in the territory of right caudal cerebral artery and its collateral branches. The lesion epicentre was in the right periaqueductal portion of the rostral mesencephalic tegmentum. Neuroanatomical and neurophysiological correlation between lesion localization and clinical presentation are discussed. PMID:28717604

  11. The concentration of manganese, iron and strontium in bone of red fox Vulpes vulpes (L. 1758).

    PubMed

    Budis, Halina; Kalisinska, Elzbieta; Lanocha, Natalia; Kosik-Bogacka, Danuta I

    2013-12-01

    The aims of the study were to determine manganese (Mn), iron (Fe) and strontium (Sr) concentrations in fox bone samples from north-western Poland and to examine the relationships between the bone Mn, Fe and Sr concentrations and the sex and age of the foxes. In the studied samples of fox cartilage, cartilage with adjacent compact bone, compact bone and spongy bone, the concentrations of the analysed metals had the following descending order: Fe > Sr > Mn. The only exception was in compact bone, in which the concentrations were arranged in the order Sr > Fe > Mn. Manganese concentrations were significantly higher in cartilage, compact bone and cartilage with compact bone than in spongy bone. Iron concentrations were higher in cartilage and spongy bone compared with compact bone. Strontium concentrations were greater in compact bone than in cartilage and spongy bone. The manganese, iron and strontium concentrations in the same type of bone material in many cases correlated with each other, with the strongest correlation (r > 0.70) between Mn and Fe in almost all types of samples. In addition, concentrations of the same metals in different bone materials were closely correlated for Mn and Fe in cartilage and cartilage with adjacent compact bone, and for Sr in compact bone and cartilage with compact bone. In the fox from NW Poland, there were no statistically significant differences in Mn, Fe and Sr in any of the types of bone material between the sexes and immature and adult foxes.

  12. Red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in Ireland as hosts for parasites of potential zoonotic and veterinary significance.

    PubMed

    Wolfe, A; Hogan, S; Maguire, D; Fitzpatrick, C; Vaughan, L; Wall, D; Hayden, T J; Mulcahy, G

    Intestinal washes, faecal flotations and serological examinations for antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum were used to assess the prevalence of parasites in carcases of foxes killed on roads or shot in the Dublin area and surrounding counties. The ascarids Uncinaria stenocephala and Toxocara canis were prevalent, as was the trematode Alaria alata. Taenia species, eggs of Capillaria species and sporocysts of Sarcocystis species were also found. Only one fox out of 70 examined was seropositive for N. caninum, whereas 24 of 51 were seropositive for T. gondii.

  13. Relative abundance of American badger (Taxidea taxus) and red fox (Vulpes vulpes) in landscapes with high and low rodenticide poisoning levels.

    PubMed

    Proulx, Gilbert; MacKenzie, Neil

    2012-03-01

    Over the past decade, extensive poisoning campaigns have been conducted in southern Saskatchewan to control Richardson's ground squirrel Spermophilus richardsonii (Sabine, 1822) populations. Such campaigns might impact on predator abundance by decreasing prey levels, and also through secondary poisoning. Using spotlighting, we investigated the relative abundance of American badgers Taxidea taxus (Schreber, 1777) and red fox Vulpes vulpes (Linnaeus, 1758) in 2 study areas with road access and crops, but with different levels of poisoning. In the study area with relatively low poisoning (19.6% of the area traversed by roads), there were 2.2 times more American badgers per km of road and 6.4 times more red foxes per km than in the study area with high poisoning (89.7% of the area). It is recommended that an Integrated Pest Management program be developed to conserve natural predators across landscapes.

  14. Polymorphism of cytogenetic markers in wild and farm red fox (Vulpes vulpes) populations.

    PubMed

    Bugno-Poniewierska, Monika; Sołek, Przemysław; Potocki, Leszek; Pawlina, Klaudia; Wnuk, Maciej; Jezewska-Witkowska, Grazyna; Słota, Ewa

    2013-01-01

    Analysis of the origin of domestic animals is of wide interest and has many practical applications in areas such as agriculture and evolutionary biology. Identification of an ancestor and comparison with the domesticated form allows for an analysis of genetic, physiological, morphological and behavioral effects of domestication. Because fox breeding has been an ongoing process for over a century, differences are expected between farm and wild populations at the chromosomal level. The aim of this work was to analyse polymorphisms at the chromosomal level in foxes raised on farms and those living in the wild. Blood samples and lung tissue served as the experimental material and were obtained after slaughter of 35 foxes, including 28 breeding animals and 7 wild animals. The classical cytogenetic method was used including AgNOR technique, as well as molecular methods such as fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), and primed in situ labeling (PRINS). Analysis of the number of B chromosomes showed the presence of polymorphisms in foxes from both studied populations, but there was no correlation between the number of B chromosomes and the origin and gender of particular animals. An analysis ofactive nucleolar organizers showed the presence of a large number of polymorphisms and a tendency towards reduction of the number of NORs in the captive-raised population.

  15. The dispersion and detection patterns of mtDNA-assigned red fox Vulpes vulpes scats in Tasmania are anomalous.

    PubMed

    Marks, Clive A; Obendorf, David; Pereira, Filipe; Edwards, Ivo; Hall, Graham P

    2014-08-01

    Models used for resource allocation in eradication programmes must be based on replicated data of known quality and have proven predictive accuracy, or they may provide a false indication of species presence and/or distribution. In the absence of data corroborating the presence of extant foxes Vulpes vulpes in Tasmania, a habitat-specific model based upon mtDNA data (Sarre et al. 2012. Journal Applied Ecology, 50, 459-468) implied that foxes were widespread. Overall, 61 of 9940 (0·6%) surveyed scats were assigned as mtDNA fox positive by the fox eradication programme (FEP). We investigated the spatiotemporal distribution of the 61 mtDNA-assigned fox scats and modelled the probability of replicating scat detection in independent surveys using detection dogs based upon empirically derived probabilities of scat detection success obtained by the FEP using imported fox scats. In a prior mainland study, fox genotypes were recurrently detected in a consecutive four-day pool of scats. In Tasmania, only three contemporaneously collected scat pairs of unknown genotype were detected by the FEP within an area corresponding to a conservatively large mainland fox home range (639 ha) in a decade. Nearest neighbour pairs were widely spaced (mean = 7·0 km; circular area = 153 km(2)) and generated after a mean of 281 days. The majority of assigned mtDNA positive scats were found in urban and peri-urban environments corresponding to small mainland fox home ranges (30-45 ha) that imply higher scat density and more certain replication. Using the lowest empirically determined scat detection success for dogs, the failure to replicate fox scat detection on 34 of 36 occasions in a large (639 ha) home range is highly improbable (P = 0·00001) and suggestive of Type I error. Synthesis and applications. Type I error, which may have various sources, should be considered when scat mtDNA data are few, accumulated over many years, uncorroborated by observations of extant specimens

  16. The dispersion and detection patterns of mtDNA-assigned red fox Vulpes vulpes scats in Tasmania are anomalous

    PubMed Central

    Marks, Clive A; Obendorf, David; Pereira, Filipe; Edwards, Ivo; Hall, Graham P

    2014-01-01

    Models used for resource allocation in eradication programmes must be based on replicated data of known quality and have proven predictive accuracy, or they may provide a false indication of species presence and/or distribution. In the absence of data corroborating the presence of extant foxes Vulpes vulpes in Tasmania, a habitat-specific model based upon mtDNA data (Sarre et al. 2012. Journal Applied Ecology, 50, 459–468) implied that foxes were widespread. Overall, 61 of 9940 (0·6%) surveyed scats were assigned as mtDNA fox positive by the fox eradication programme (FEP). We investigated the spatiotemporal distribution of the 61 mtDNA-assigned fox scats and modelled the probability of replicating scat detection in independent surveys using detection dogs based upon empirically derived probabilities of scat detection success obtained by the FEP using imported fox scats. In a prior mainland study, fox genotypes were recurrently detected in a consecutive four-day pool of scats. In Tasmania, only three contemporaneously collected scat pairs of unknown genotype were detected by the FEP within an area corresponding to a conservatively large mainland fox home range (639 ha) in a decade. Nearest neighbour pairs were widely spaced (mean = 7·0 km; circular area = 153 km2) and generated after a mean of 281 days. The majority of assigned mtDNA positive scats were found in urban and peri-urban environments corresponding to small mainland fox home ranges (30–45 ha) that imply higher scat density and more certain replication. Using the lowest empirically determined scat detection success for dogs, the failure to replicate fox scat detection on 34 of 36 occasions in a large (639 ha) home range is highly improbable (P = 0·00001) and suggestive of Type I error. Synthesis and applications. Type I error, which may have various sources, should be considered when scat mtDNA data are few, accumulated over many years, uncorroborated by observations of extant

  17. Epidemiological survey on Leishmania infection in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and hunting dogs sharing the same rural area in Southern Italy.

    PubMed

    Piantedosi, Diego; Veneziano, Vincenzo; Di Muccio, Trentina; Manzillo, Valentina Foglia; Fiorentino, Eleonora; Scalone, Aldo; Neola, Benedetto; Di Prisco, Francesca; D'Alessio, Nicola; Gradoni, Luigi; Oliva, Gaetano; Gramiccia, Marina

    2016-12-01

    Southern Italy, particularly Campania region, is an area where canine leishmaniasis (CanL) and zoonotic human visceral leishmaniasis (VL) are endemic. The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) has been hypothesized to play a role in occurrence of CanL in Italy but specific studies are poor. The aim of the present survey was to investigate the prevalence of Leishmania infection in dogs and foxes living in the same rural area (Picentini hills). 123 sera from autochthonous fox-hunting dogs were examined by immunofluorescent-antibody test (IFAT) using a cut-off of 1:160. The seroprevalence of dogs examined was 17.9%. Moreover, 48 foxes were examined after having been shooted by hunters or road accidents. Spleen, liver and lymph node samples were analyzed by specific Leishmania nested PCR (n-PCR). 10 foxes were found infected by L. infantum (20.8%) of which 4 animals in spleen, 2 in lymph nodes and 4 both in spleen and lymph nodes. The overall n-PCR positivity was 17.4% for spleen samples and 13.3% for lymph nodes; all liver samples resulted negative. In positive PCR foxes no signs clearly referable to leishmaniasis were recorded at necropsy. The results confirmed the presence of L. infantum infection in red foxes from Southern Italy, with a moderate level of exposure. Because large proportions of dogs with ascertained progressive leishmaniasis show a prolonged "subpatent condition" during which they are only positive to n-PCR before seroconversion, our results allow to assume that exposure risk in foxes is lower than hunting dogs living in the studied area.

  18. Potential application of serological tests on fluids from carcasses: detection of antibodies against Toxoplasma gondii and Sarcoptes scabiei in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes).

    PubMed

    Jakubek, Eva-Britt; Mattsson, Roland; Mörner, Torsten; Mattsson, Jens G; Gavier-Widén, Dolores

    2012-03-01

    Serological surveys for disease investigation of wild animal populations require obtaining blood samples for analysis, which has logistic, ethic and economic difficulties. Applying serological test to fluids collected from dead animals is an alternative. The aim of this study was to assess if antibodies could be detected in two types of fluids collected from 56 carcasses of red foxes (Vulpes vulpes): pleural fluid and lung extract. In 22 (39%) foxes antibodies against Sarcoptes scabiei were detected in both fluid types by ELISA and Western blot. In 46 (82%) foxes, antibodies against Toxoplasma gondii were detected in pleural fluid and in 41 (73%) in lung extract applying a Toxo-screen test (DAT). Antibodies were still detectable in the same fluids kept at room temperature for 28 days, although in fewer foxes (16 and 14 foxes tested for T. gondii in lung extract and pleural fluid respectively; and 1 and 4 tested for S. scabiei in lung extract and pleural fluid respectively. These results indicate the potential utility of using fluids from carcasses for antibody screening of wild animals at the population level.

  19. Pathological findings of Angiostrongylus vasorum infection in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) from Central Italy, with the first report of a disseminated infection in this host species.

    PubMed

    Eleni, Claudia; Grifoni, Goffredo; Di Egidio, Alessandra; Meoli, Roberta; De Liberato, Claudio

    2014-03-01

    In Europe, the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) is considered the reservoir of Angiostrongylus vasorum, nematode residing in the pulmonary arteries and right heart of dogs and many species of wild carnivores. Italy is considered one of the European countries where this nematode is actually spreading. Between May 2007 and November 2013, 62 foxes found dead in Central Italy were necropsied. Right heart and pulmonary arteries were opened and checked for the presence of adult parasites. Impression smears from sectioned lungs were examined for the presence of first-stage larvae, and samples of lungs were processed for histological examination. In order to detect eventual disseminated infections, samples of heart, pulmonary lymph nodes, liver, kidneys, and brain of foxes positive for A. vasorum at necropsy or lungs histological examination were processed for histological examination. An overall prevalence of 43.5% was recorded. Light, mild, and severe lung lesions were detected in 33.3, 22.2, and 25.9% of infected animals, respectively. Severe lesions were more frequent in animals younger than 12 months. In five infected foxes (18.5%), no gross lesions were observed, while for three animals, angiostrongylosis was considered the cause of death. A case of disseminated angiostrongylosis was detected and another one was suspected. This is the firs report of disseminated angiostrongylosis in the fox.

  20. Analysis of vaccine-virus-associated rabies cases in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) after oral rabies vaccination campaigns in Germany and Austria.

    PubMed

    Müller, Thomas; Bätza, H-J; Beckert, A; Bunzenthal, C; Cox, J H; Freuling, C M; Fooks, A R; Frost, J; Geue, L; Hoeflechner, A; Marston, D; Neubert, A; Neubert, L; Revilla-Fernández, S; Vanek, E; Vos, A; Wodak, E; Zimmer, K; Mettenleiter, T C

    2009-01-01

    To eradicate rabies in foxes, almost 97 million oral rabies vaccine baits have been distributed in Germany and Austria since 1983 and 1986, respectively. Since 2007, no terrestrial cases have been reported in either country. The most widely used oral rabies vaccine viruses in these countries were SAD (Street Alabama Dufferin) strains, e.g. SAD B19 (53.2%) and SAD P5/88 (44.5%). In this paper, we describe six possible vaccine-virus-associated rabies cases in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) detected during post-vaccination surveillance from 2001 to 2006, involving two different vaccines and different batches. Compared to prototypic vaccine strains, full-genome sequencing revealed between 1 and 5 single nucleotide alterations in the L gene in 5 of 6 SAD isolates, resulting in up to two amino acid substitutions. However, experimental infection of juvenile foxes showed that those mutations had no influence on pathogenicity. The cases described here, coming from geographically widely separated regions, do not represent a spatial cluster. More importantly, enhanced surveillance showed that the vaccine viruses involved did not become established in the red fox population. It seems that the number of reported vaccine virus-associated rabies cases is determined predominantly by the intensity of surveillance after the oral rabies vaccination campaign and not by the selection of strains.

  1. Heavy metal concentrations in the small intestine of red fox (Vulpes vulpes) with and without Echinococcus multilocularis infection.

    PubMed

    Brožová, Adela; Jankovská, Ivana; Miholová, Daniela; Scháňková, Štěpánka; Truněčková, Jana; Langrová, Iva; Kudrnáčová, Marie; Vadlejch, Jaroslav

    2015-02-01

    Heavy metal (Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn) levels in red fox small intestine samples with or without Echinococcus multilocularis infection were studied. The red foxes were taken from the open countryside of northwest Bohemia (CR). Red foxes with E. multilocularis infection had lower levels of toxic metals (Cd, Pb); cadmium levels in infected foxes (0.0052 mg/kg) were twice as low as in uninfected foxes (0.0106 mg/kg). This was the same case for lead: 0.0288 mg/kg infected red foxes (inf.) and 0.0413 mg/kg uninfected (uninf.). Conversely, red foxes with E. multilocularis infection yielded higher concentrations in comparison to their uninfected counterparts: Cr (0.0087 mg/kg uninf. and 0.0116 mg/kg inf.), Cu (0.2677 mg/kg uninf. and 0.3205 mg/kg inf.), Fe (6.46 mg/kg uninf. and 10.89 mg/kg inf.), Mn (0.1966 mg/kg uninf. and 0.2029 mg/kg inf.), Ni (0.0415 mg/kg uninf. and 0.064 mg/kg inf.) and Zn (16.71 mg/kg uninf. and 20.25 mg/kg inf). This could support the hypothesis that tapeworms are able to absorb toxic heavy metals from the host body into their tissues, as well as to modify other element concentrations in the host body.

  2. Heterologous radioimmunoassay of fox LH: levels during the reproductive season and the anoestrus of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes L.).

    PubMed

    Mondain-Monval, M; Bonnin, M; Canivenc, R; Scholler, R

    1984-07-01

    A heterologous radioimmunoassay using ovine LH as the labeled hormone, canine LH as the standard, and an antiovine LH rabbit serum was validated for the measurement of fox LH. Physiological validation of the assay was evidenced by the high concentrations of LH at oestrus and following ovariectomy or the administration of LH-RH. Throughout the year, plasma LH levels demonstrate important variations, being low during and after the luteal phase (1.4 +/- 0.3 ng/ml) (mean +/- SE) and increasing during the second part of anoestrus (5.2 +/- 1.4 ng/ml). This latter increase might be correlated with that of androgens observed at the same period. Several LH rises preceded the preovulatory LH surge.

  3. Occurrence and diversity of arthropod-transmitted pathogens in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in western Austria, and possible vertical (transplacental) transmission of Hepatozoon canis.

    PubMed

    Hodžić, Adnan; Mrowietz, Naike; Cézanne, Rita; Bruckschwaiger, Pia; Punz, Sylvia; Habler, Verena Elisabeth; Tomsik, Valentina; Lazar, Judit; Duscher, Georg G; Glawischnig, Walter; Fuehrer, Hans-Peter

    2017-08-24

    Red fox (Vulpes vulpes) is the most abundant wild canid species in Austria, and it is a well-known carrier of many pathogens of medical and veterinary concern. The main aim of the present study was to investigate the occurrence and diversity of protozoan, bacterial and filarial parasites transmitted by blood-feeding arthropods in a red fox population in western Austria. Blood (n = 351) and spleen (n = 506) samples from foxes were examined by PCR and sequencing and the following pathogens were identified: Babesia canis, Babesia cf. microti (syn. Theileria annae), Hepatozoon canis, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Candidatus Neoehrlichia sp. and Bartonella rochalimae. Blood was shown to be more suitable for detection of Babesia cf. microti, whilst the spleen tissue was better for detection of H. canis than blood. Moreover, extremely low genetic variability of H. canis and its relatively low prevalence rate observed in this study may suggest that the parasite has only recently been introduced in the sampled area. Furthermore, the data presented here demonstrates, for the first time, the possible vertical transmission of H. canis from an infected vixen to the offspring, and this could explain the very high prevalence in areas considered free of its main tick vector(s).

  4. Influence of parasitism on trace element contents in tissues of red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and its parasites Mesocestoides spp. (Cestoda) and Toxascaris leonina (Nematoda).

    PubMed

    Jankovská, Ivana; Miholová, Daniela; Bejcek, Vladimír; Vadlejch, Jaroslav; Sulc, Miloslav; Száková, Jirina; Langrová, Iva

    2010-02-01

    Bioaccumulation of cadmium, chromium, copper, manganese, nickel, lead, and zinc in 56 foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and their parasites Mesocestoides spp. (Cestoda) and Toxascaris leonina (Nematoda) was studied. The levels of heavy metals were determined in the livers and kidneys of the animals depending on parasitism in the following ranges: Pb, 0.029-3.556; Cd, 0.055-9.967; Cr, 0.001-0.304; Cu, 4.15-41.15; Mn, 1.81-19.94; Ni: 0.037-0.831; Zn, 52.0-212.9 microg/g dry weight (dw). Cd in parasites (0.038-3.678 microg/g dw) were comparable with those in the livers of the host and lower than in the kidneys (0.095-6.032 microg/g dw). Contents of Pb, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, and Zn in cestodes were predominantly higher than those in the kidney and liver of the host. Median lead levels in Mesocestoides spp. (45.6 microg/g dw) were 52-fold higher than in the kidney and liver of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) infected by both parasites and median Pb values in T. leonina (8.98 microg/g dw) were 8-fold higher than in the tissues of the parasitized red fox. Bioaccumulation factors of copper, zinc, nickel, and manganese are lower than those of lead and mostly range from 1.9 to 24 for Mesocestoides spp. and from 1.5 to 6 for nematode T. leonina depending on the tissue of host and element. A significant decrease in the content of Pb was found in the kidney of animals infected by T. leonina (0.260 microg/g dw) as well as those infected by Mesocestoides spp. (0.457 microg/g dw) in comparison with the lead content (0.878 microg/g dw) in the kidneys of the nonparasitized red fox. Regardless of a bioaccumulation of copper and manganese in the parasites, a significant increase of the concentrations of Mn and Cu was observed in the host's livers infected predominantly by Mesocestoides spp.

  5. The range of the mange: Spatiotemporal patterns of sarcoptic mange in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) as revealed by camera trapping.

    PubMed

    Carricondo-Sanchez, David; Odden, Morten; Linnell, John D C; Odden, John

    2017-01-01

    Sarcoptic mange is a widely distributed disease that affects numerous mammalian species. We used camera traps to investigate the apparent prevalence and spatiotemporal dynamics of sarcoptic mange in a red fox population in southeastern Norway. We monitored red foxes for five years using 305 camera traps distributed across an 18000 km2 area. A total of 6581 fox events were examined to visually identify mange compatible lesions. We investigated factors associated with the occurrence of mange by using logistic models within a Bayesian framework, whereas the spatiotemporal dynamics of the disease were analysed with space-time scan statistics. The apparent prevalence of the disease fluctuated over the study period with a mean of 3.15% and credible interval [1.25, 6.37], and our best logistic model explaining the presence of red foxes with mange-compatible lesions included time since the beginning of the study and the interaction between distance to settlement and season as explanatory variables. The scan analyses detected several potential clusters of the disease that varied in persistence and size, and the locations in the cluster with the highest probability were closer to human settlements than the other survey locations. Our results indicate that red foxes in an advanced stage of the disease are most likely found closer to human settlements during periods of low wild prey availability (winter). We discuss different potential causes. Furthermore, the disease appears to follow a pattern of small localized outbreaks rather than sporadic isolated events.

  6. Lipids of the anal sac secretions of the red fox, Vulpes vulpes and of the lion, Panthera leo.

    PubMed

    Albone, E S; Grönnerberg, T O

    1977-07-01

    Lion anal sac secretion were found to be richer in lipids and to contain more complex less uniform mixtures of lower moleculas weight lipids then the anal sac of the red fox. In the lion, homologous series of 1-alkylglycerols and 2-hydroxy-fatty acids were identified. Phenylacetic, 3-phenylpropionic, and related hydroxylated acids were also observed. Gas-liquid chromatography profiles of fox anal sac secretion lower molecular weight lipids were found to be less variable in their major constituents and to be dominated by relatively few large peaks, mainly (derivatized) fatty acids. Indole was also identified. Free cholesterol, and occasionally, stanols were observed in fox and lion secretions. In the red fox, total cholesterol levels averaged 0.93 mg/g (% free, 56.4), n = 5. Findings are discussed in relation to histological and anatomical similarities and differences between the anal sacs of the lion and the fox and in the context of the role of these secretions in chemical communication.

  7. Pearsonema plica (Capillaria plica) infection and associated urinary bladder pathology in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) from Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    PubMed

    Alić, Amer; Hodžić, Adnan; Kadrić, Mirsad; Beširović, Hajrudin; Prašović, Senad

    2015-05-01

    Pearsonema plica is a widely distributed nematode parasite that occurs in the urinary tract of various domestic and wild carnivores. The aim of this study was to investigate the occurrence and geographical distribution of P. plica and associated urinary bladder pathology in 112 red foxes (70 males, 42 females; 87 adults >1 year, 25 juveniles <1 year) from six different geographical regions in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The urinary bladders of the red foxes were subjected to gross examination and histopathology. Urine content (n = 40) and mucosal smears (n = 71) of the urinary bladders were examined microscopically for the presence of P. plica. Overall, adults and eggs of P. plica were detected in 65 (58.0 %; 95% CI 48.9-67.2%) of the foxes. Out of the positive foxes, 42 were males (64.6%) and 23 females (35.3%). According to age, 49 adults (75.3%) and 16 juveniles (24.6%) were positive. There were no statistically significant differences in the infection prevalence between the geographical regions (p = 0.701), sex (p = 0.693), or age (p = 0.646) of the host. Also, no significant differences in the prevalence of parasites in urine content (48.7%; 20/41) and mucosal smears (63.3%; 45/71) were observed (p = 0.165). Eosinophilic cystitis characterized with mild to severe infiltrates of eosinophils in the propria of the bladder mucosa accompanied by hyperemia and edema was observed in 36 examined foxes, 24 of which were P. plica positive. Parasites attached and embedded into the mucosa and free in the lumen were recorded in both cystitis positive and negative foxes. Beside clear numerical differences, the influence of P. plica infection on the occurrence of cystitis was not significant (p = 0.309). The results of this study give the first insight into the distribution of P. plica infection among the red fox population in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Observed microscopic changes may contribute toward a better understanding of pathology caused by this

  8. Natural and experimental Salmonella Typhimurium infections in foxes (Vulpes vulpes).

    PubMed

    Handeland, Kjell; Nesse, Live L; Lillehaug, Atle; Vikøren, Turid; Djønne, Berit; Bergsjø, Bjarne

    2008-11-25

    The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) can be considered as a relevant indicator species for Salmonella in the local environment and Salmonella faecal carriage was investigated in 215 red foxes in Norway shot during the winters 2002/2003 and 2003/2004. Fourteen (6.5%) of the foxes carried Salmonella. Four isolates were determined as serovars Kottbus (n=2) and Hessarek (n=2) of Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica, and one as S. enterica subspecies IIIb:61:k:1,5,(7). The remaining nine isolates were S. enterica subspecies enterica serovar Typhimurium 4,12:i:1,2 and all displayed the same pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) profile designated A2. This serovar regularly causes disease outbreaks amongst small passerine birds during winter and most of these outbreaks are associated with the PFGE profile A2. The results strongly indicated that the Salmonella Typhimurium infections in red foxes were primarily acquired through ingestion of infected small passerines. To investigate the capability of the A2 strain to establish a true intestinal infection in the fox an inoculation experiment with an A2 isolate from small passerines was carried out in farmed silver foxes (V. vulpes). The experiment also included one strain with an uncommonly occurring profile (X201) from small passerines. To highlight possible differences in capability of the two inoculation strains to pass the acid gastric juice in the fox, in vitro studies of their acid tolerance was carried out. Also their catalase activity and biofilm production were studied. All three foxes inoculated with the A2 strain developed sub-clinical intestinal infection of 2 weeks duration, whereas none of the three foxes inoculated with the X201 strain shed this bacterium. The X201 strain displayed a much lower capability, than the A2 strain, to survive at pH 3 in vitro. The low acid tolerance probably made it difficult for the X201 strain to pass the stomach and establish an intestinal infection in the experimental foxes. Reduced

  9. Echinococcus multilocularis in Belgium: prevalence in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and in different species of potential intermediate hosts.

    PubMed

    Hanosset, R; Saegerman, C; Adant, S; Massart, L; Losson, B

    2008-02-14

    Echinococcus multilocularis causes a rare but potentially lethal zoonotic infection in humans. This tapeworm is known to be endemic in foxes in several countries of Western and Central Europe. In Western Europe, the common vole (Microtus arvalis) and the water vole (Arvicola terrestris) are considered to be the most important intermediate host species of this cestode whereas the red fox is by far the most important final host. The purpose of this study was to provide data on the prevalences in Wallonia (Southern part of Belgium) both in the red fox and in different potential intermediate hosts. A total of 990 red foxes were examined between January 2003 and December 2004 for the presence of E. multilocularis. The average prevalence was 24.55% (22.38-27.87). Out of 1249 rodents or insectivores belonging to the species Apodemus sylvaticus, Arvicola terrestris, Clethrionomys glareolus, Microtus arvalis, Microtus agrestris and Sorex araneus, only one M. arvalis (out of 914-0.11% (0.003-0.61) and one C. glareolus (out of 23-4.3% (0.1-21.9) were found to be infected. However, the muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) seems to be a good intermediate host as 11.18% (9.72-12.76) of the animals (n=1718) were found to be infected. A positive correlation was found between the prevalences in foxes and in muskrats in each of the different geological regions. This study indicates that the muskrat is highly sensitive to this zoonotic tapeworm and could perhaps represent a good bioindicator when studying the epidemiology of this parasitic infection in Belgium and in other countries where the muskrat is present.

  10. The Occurrence of Trichinella spp. in Red Foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in Different Regions of Poland: Current Data.

    PubMed

    Cybulska, Aleksandra; Kornacka, Aleksandra; Bień, Justyna; Goździk, Katarzyna; Kalisińska, Elżbieta; Łanocha-Arendarczyk, Natalia; Budis, Halina; Pilarczyk, Bogumiła; Cabaj, Władysław; Moskwa, Bożena

    2016-11-01

    Trichinellosis is one of the most widespread parasitic zoonoses. Trichinella Owen, 1835 nematodes are found in pigs, horses, and humans in the domestic cycle, and in many carnivores and omnivores in the sylvatic cycle, such as wild boars, red foxes, raccoon dogs, and wolves. Carnivores are known to be involved in the circulation of Trichinella nematodes and they act as a reservoir in the sylvatic environment. The aim of this study was to determine the occurrence of Trichinella spp. infection in red foxes in Poland. Samples were collected from 2010 to 2015 in different regions of the country and then tested for Trichinella nematodes using HCl-pepsin digestion. Trichinella larvae were found in 10.02% of examined samples (145/1447). The larvae were identified as T. spiralis (11.03%), T. britovi (71.72%), and T. pseudospiralis (0.69%). No mixed infection was observed. The prevalence of infection varied between years and different voivodeships of the country. Our findings confirm that red foxes are involved in the maintenance of Trichinella spp. in the sylvatic cycle in Poland.

  11. Modern and ancient red fox (Vulpes vulpes) in Europe show an unusual lack of geographical and temporal structuring, and differing responses within the carnivores to historical climatic change.

    PubMed

    Teacher, Amber G F; Thomas, Jessica A; Barnes, Ian

    2011-07-20

    Despite phylogeographical patterns being well characterised in a large number of species, and generalised patterns emerging, the carnivores do not all appear to show consistent trends. While some species tend to fit with standard theoretical phylogeographic expectations (e.g. bears), others show little obvious modern phylogeographic structure (e.g. wolves). In this study we briefly review these studies, and present a new phylogeographical study of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) throughout Europe, using a combination of ancient DNA sequences obtained from museum specimens, and modern sequences collated from GenBank. We used cytochrome b (250 bp) and the mitochondrial control region (268 bp) to elucidate both current and historical phylogeographical patterning. We found evidence for slight isolation by distance in modern populations, as well as differentiation associated with time, both of which can likely be attributed to random genetic drift. Despite high sequence diversity (11.2% cytochrome b, 16.4% control region), no evidence for spatial structure (from Bayesian trees) is found either in modern samples or ancient samples for either gene, and Bayesian skyline plots suggested little change in the effective population size over the past 40,000 years. It is probable that the high dispersal ability and adaptability of the red fox has contributed to the lack of observable differentiation, which appears to have remained consistent over tens of thousands of years. Generalised patterns of how animals are thought to have responded to historical climatic change are not necessarily valid for all species, and so understanding the differences between species will be critical for predicting how species will be affected by future climatic change.

  12. Modern and ancient red fox (Vulpes vulpes) in Europe show an unusual lack of geographical and temporal structuring, and differing responses within the carnivores to historical climatic change

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Despite phylogeographical patterns being well characterised in a large number of species, and generalised patterns emerging, the carnivores do not all appear to show consistent trends. While some species tend to fit with standard theoretical phylogeographic expectations (e.g. bears), others show little obvious modern phylogeographic structure (e.g. wolves). In this study we briefly review these studies, and present a new phylogeographical study of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) throughout Europe, using a combination of ancient DNA sequences obtained from museum specimens, and modern sequences collated from GenBank. We used cytochrome b (250 bp) and the mitochondrial control region (268 bp) to elucidate both current and historical phylogeographical patterning. Results We found evidence for slight isolation by distance in modern populations, as well as differentiation associated with time, both of which can likely be attributed to random genetic drift. Despite high sequence diversity (11.2% cytochrome b, 16.4% control region), no evidence for spatial structure (from Bayesian trees) is found either in modern samples or ancient samples for either gene, and Bayesian skyline plots suggested little change in the effective population size over the past 40,000 years. Conclusions It is probable that the high dispersal ability and adaptability of the red fox has contributed to the lack of observable differentiation, which appears to have remained consistent over tens of thousands of years. Generalised patterns of how animals are thought to have responded to historical climatic change are not necessarily valid for all species, and so understanding the differences between species will be critical for predicting how species will be affected by future climatic change. PMID:21774815

  13. Pathological findings in the red fox (Vulpes vulpes), stone marten (Martes foina) and raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides), with special emphasis on infectious and zoonotic agents in Northern Germany

    PubMed Central

    Grilo, Miguel L.; Reckendorf, Anja; Ulrich, Arlena; van Neer, Abbo; Bodewes, Rogier; Pfankuche, Vanessa M.; Bauer, Christian; Osterhaus, Albert D. M. E.; Baumgärtner, Wolfgang; Siebert, Ursula

    2017-01-01

    Anthropogenic landscape changes contributed to the reduction of availability of habitats to wild animals. Hence, the presence of wild terrestrial carnivores in urban and peri-urban sites has increased considerably over the years implying an increased risk of interspecies spillover of infectious diseases and the transmission of zoonoses. The present study provides a detailed characterisation of the health status of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes), stone marten (Martes foina) and raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides) in their natural rural and peri-urban habitats in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany between November 2013 and January 2016 with focus on zoonoses and infectious diseases that are potentially threatening to other wildlife or domestic animal species. 79 red foxes, 17 stone martens and 10 raccoon dogs were collected from traps or hunts. In order to detect morphological changes and potential infectious diseases, necropsy and pathohistological work-up was performed. Additionally, in selected animals immunohistochemistry (influenza A virus, parvovirus, feline leukemia virus, Borna disease virus, tick-borne encephalitis, canine adenovirus, Neospora caninum, Toxoplasma gondii and Listeria monocytogenes), next-generation sequencing, polymerase chain reaction (fox circovirus) and serum-neutralisation analysis (canine distemper virus) were performed. Furthermore, all animals were screened for fox rabies virus (immunofluorescence), canine distemper virus (immunohistochemistry) and Aujeszky’s disease (virus cultivation). The most important findings included encephalitis (n = 16) and pneumonia (n = 20). None of the investigations revealed a specific cause for the observed morphological alterations except for one animal with an elevated serum titer of 1:160 for canine distemper. Animals displayed macroscopically and/or histopathologically detectable infections with parasites, including Taenia sp., Toxocara sp. and Alaria alata. In summary, wildlife predators carry zoonotic

  14. Pathological findings in the red fox (Vulpes vulpes), stone marten (Martes foina) and raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides), with special emphasis on infectious and zoonotic agents in Northern Germany.

    PubMed

    Lempp, Charlotte; Jungwirth, Nicole; Grilo, Miguel L; Reckendorf, Anja; Ulrich, Arlena; van Neer, Abbo; Bodewes, Rogier; Pfankuche, Vanessa M; Bauer, Christian; Osterhaus, Albert D M E; Baumgärtner, Wolfgang; Siebert, Ursula

    2017-01-01

    Anthropogenic landscape changes contributed to the reduction of availability of habitats to wild animals. Hence, the presence of wild terrestrial carnivores in urban and peri-urban sites has increased considerably over the years implying an increased risk of interspecies spillover of infectious diseases and the transmission of zoonoses. The present study provides a detailed characterisation of the health status of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes), stone marten (Martes foina) and raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides) in their natural rural and peri-urban habitats in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany between November 2013 and January 2016 with focus on zoonoses and infectious diseases that are potentially threatening to other wildlife or domestic animal species. 79 red foxes, 17 stone martens and 10 raccoon dogs were collected from traps or hunts. In order to detect morphological changes and potential infectious diseases, necropsy and pathohistological work-up was performed. Additionally, in selected animals immunohistochemistry (influenza A virus, parvovirus, feline leukemia virus, Borna disease virus, tick-borne encephalitis, canine adenovirus, Neospora caninum, Toxoplasma gondii and Listeria monocytogenes), next-generation sequencing, polymerase chain reaction (fox circovirus) and serum-neutralisation analysis (canine distemper virus) were performed. Furthermore, all animals were screened for fox rabies virus (immunofluorescence), canine distemper virus (immunohistochemistry) and Aujeszky's disease (virus cultivation). The most important findings included encephalitis (n = 16) and pneumonia (n = 20). None of the investigations revealed a specific cause for the observed morphological alterations except for one animal with an elevated serum titer of 1:160 for canine distemper. Animals displayed macroscopically and/or histopathologically detectable infections with parasites, including Taenia sp., Toxocara sp. and Alaria alata. In summary, wildlife predators carry zoonotic

  15. [Spatiotemporal analysis of the infection of the Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes L.) with Echinococcus multilocularis in Saxony-Anhalt].

    PubMed

    Denzin, Nicolai; Schliephake, Annette; Wirth, Alice

    2009-01-01

    A total of 2757 Red Foxes from 952 locations were examined parasitologically for Echinococcus multilocularis between the years 1998 and 2007 at the State Office of Consumer Protection Saxony-Anhalt. This examination was carried out in parallel to rabies monitoring. A period-prevalence of 17.4% of infection was found. Employing different cluster tests spatial as well as spatiotemporal clusters were detected. Spatial clusters remained largely stable throughout the complete time interval and were situated in the Southwest of the state. Spatiotemporal clusters comprised the time intervals 2004-2007 and 2005-2007, respectively. It could be demonstrated that prevalence also increased significantly in the state's overall area for the time interval 2005-2007 as compared to the interval 1998-2004. The effect of this situation and development on the risk of humans to contract Alveolar Echinococcosis in Saxony-Anhalt is discussed.

  16. Support for targeted sampling of red fox (Vulpes vulpes) feces in Sweden: a method to improve the probability of finding Echinococcus multilocularis.

    PubMed

    Miller, Andrea L; Olsson, Gert E; Sollenberg, Sofia; Skarin, Moa; Wahlström, Helene; Höglund, Johan

    2016-11-29

    Localized concentrations of Echinococcus multilocularis eggs from feces of infected red fox (Vulpes vulpes) can create areas of higher transmission risk for rodent hosts and possibly also for humans; therefore, identification of these areas is important. However, in a low prevalence environment, such as Sweden, these areas could be easily overlooked. As part of a project investigating the role of different rodents in the epidemiology of E. multilocularis in Sweden, fox feces were collected seasonally from rodent trapping sites in two regions with known parasite status and in two regions with unknown parasite status, 2013-2015. The aim was to evaluate background contamination in rodent trapping sites from parasite eggs in these regions. To maximize the likelihood of finding fox feces positive for the parasite, fecal collection was focused in habitats with the assumed presence of suitable rodent intermediate hosts (i.e. targeted sampling). Parasite eggs were isolated from feces through sieving-flotation, and parasite species were then confirmed using PCR and sequencing. Most samples were collected in the late winter/early spring and in open fields where both Arvicola amphibius and Microtus agrestis were captured. Fox feces positive for E. multilocularis (41/714) were found within 1-3 field collection sites within each of the four regions. The overall proportion of positive samples was low (≤5.4%) in three regions, but was significantly higher in one region (22.5%, P < 0.001). There was not a significant difference between seasons or years. Compared to previous national screenings, our sampling strategy identified multiple E. multilocularis positive feces in all four regions, including the two regions with previously unknown parasite status. These results further suggest that the distribution of E. multilocularis is highly aggregated in the environment and provide support for further development of a targeted sampling strategy. Our results show that it was

  17. Red fox ( Vulpes vulpes L.) favour seed dispersal, germination and seedling survival of Mediterranean Hackberry ( Celtis australis L.)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Juan, Traba; Sagrario, Arrieta; Jesús, Herranz; Cristina, Clamagirand M.

    2006-07-01

    Seeds of the Mediterranean Hackberry Celtis australis are often encountered in fox faeces. In order to evaluate the effect of gut transit on the size of seeds selected, the rates and speed of germination and on the survival of the seedlings, Mediterranean Hackberry seeds from fox faeces were germinated in a greenhouse. The results were compared with those of seeds taken from ripe, uneaten fruits. Fox-dispersed seeds were smaller and lighter than the control ones and had higher (74% vs. 57%) and more rapid germination (74.5 days vs. 99.2 days). Seedlings from fox-dispersed seeds showed significantly greater survival by the end of the study period (74.1% vs. 43.6%) than the control ones. Survival in seedlings from fox-dispersed seeds was related to germination date, late seedlings showing poorer survival. This relationship was not observed away in the control seedlings. Seed mass did not affect seedling survival. Seedling arising from fox-dispersed seeds grew faster than control ones. These results suggest that fox can play a relevant role as seed disperser of Mediterranean Hackberry.

  18. Microsatellite polymorphism and its association with body weight and selected morphometrics of farm red fox (Vulpes vulpes L.).

    PubMed

    Zatoń-Dobrowolska, Magdalena; Mucha, Anna; Wierzbicki, Heliodor; Morrice, David; Moska, Magdalena; Dobrowolski, Maciej; Przysiecki, Piotr

    2014-11-01

    Polymorphism of 30 canine-derived microsatellites was studied in a group of 200 red foxes kept on 2 Polish farms. 22 out of 30 microsatellites were selected to study association between marker genotypes and body weight (BW), body length (BL), body circumference (BC), tail length (TL), ear height (EH), length of the right front limb (FRLL), length of the right rear limb (RRLL), length of the right front foot (FRFL) and length of the right rear foot (RRFL). A total of 112 alleles and 243 genotypes were found at 22 autosomal microsatellite loci. Three monomorphic loci deemed as uninformative were excluded from the study. The association between marker genotypes and the studied traits was analysed using general linear model (GLM) procedure and least squares means (LSM). Linkage disequilibrium (LD) was estimated to assess non-random association between microsatellite loci. Out of 19 microsatellites studied four markers showed no association with the studied traits, three markers had a significant effect on one trait, and another three markers had significant effect on two traits. Among ten microsatellites with significant effect on four economically important traits (BW, BL, BC, TL) four were associated with two characters: marker FH2613 with BW and BC, marker FH2097withBL and BC, marker ZUBECA6 with BW and BC, whereas marker REN75M10 was associated with BL and TL. The strongest LD (r(2) ranged from 0.15 to 0.33) was estimated between nine loci with significant effect on economically important traits (BW, BL, BC, TL).

  19. Development of novel polymorphic microsatellite markers for the silver fox (Vulpes vulpes).

    PubMed

    Yan, S Q; Bai, C Y; Qi, S M; Li, Y M; Li, W J; Sun, J H

    2015-06-01

    The silver fox (Vulpes vulpes), a coat color variant of the red fox, is one of the most important fur-bearing animals. To date, development of microsatellite loci for the silver fox has been limited and mainly based on cross-amplification by using canine SSR primers. In this study, 28 polymorphic microsatellite markers were isolated and identified for silver fox through the construction and screening of an (AC)n-enriched library. The number of alleles per locus ranged from 2 to 8 based on 48 individuals tested. The expected and observed hetero- zygosity and polymorphism information content per locus ranged from 0.2544 to 0.859, 0.2083 to 0.7917, and 0.2181 to 0.821, respectively. The polymorphic markers presented in this study may be useful for future analysis of the genetic diversity and population structure of farmed silver fox and wild red fox.

  20. Neospora caninum-like oocysts observed in feces of free-ranging red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and coyotes (Canis latrans).

    PubMed

    Wapenaar, Wendela; Jenkins, Mark C; O'Handley, Ryan M; Barkema, Herman W

    2006-12-01

    The aim of this study was to examine the feces of free-ranging foxes and coyotes for the presence of Neospora caninum oocysts. Feces were collected from 271 foxes and 185 coyotes in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island, processed by sucrose flotation, and examined by light microscopy for the presence of coccidian oocysts. In 2 fox and 2 coyote samples, oocysts morphologically and morphometrically similar to oocysts of N. caninum were observed. DNA was extracted from these samples and subjected to nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using primers to the N. caninum-specific Nc5 genomic sequence. Through DNA sequencing, alignment of the sequences of at least 3 clones from each isolate to sequences deposited in GenBank revealed 95-99% similarity to the Nc5 sequence of N. caninum. PCR using primers specific for Hammondia heydorni failed to yield an amplification product from these DNA samples.

  1. Occurrence and geographical distribution of Canine Distemper Virus infection in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany.

    PubMed

    Denzin, N; Herwig, V; van der Grinten, E

    2013-02-22

    Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) infects dogs and a variety of carnivore species. In Saxony-Anhalt, a federal state of Germany, 761 foxes were examined for CDV infection, using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), in the years 2010 and 2011. A prevalence of 30.5% was found for the whole time period without significant changes in prevalence between 2010 and 2011. The relative risk (RR) of a fox to test positive for CDV varied markedly within the area of the state and was significantly increased in some regions. The latter was confirmed by a spatial cluster test that identified a significant cluster (p<0.001) with a diameter of 44 km in the west of the state. To protect hounds and domestic dogs from CDV infection, vaccination is recommended in Saxony-Anhalt.

  2. Revisiting the concept of behavior patterns in animal behavior with an example from food-caching sequences in wolves (Canis lupus), coyotes (Canis latrans), and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes).

    PubMed

    Gadbois, Simon; Sievert, Olivia; Reeve, Catherine; Harrington, F H; Fentress, J C

    2015-01-01

    We discuss the history, conceptualization, and relevance of behavior patterns in modern ethology by explaining the evolution of the concepts of fixed action patterns and modal action patterns. We present the movement toward a more flexible concept of natural action sequences with significant degrees of (production and expressive) freedom. An example is presented with the food caching behavior of three Canidae species: red fox (Vulpes vulpes), coyote (Canis latrans) and gray wolf (Canis lupus). Evolutionary, ecological, and neuroecological/neuroethological arguments are presented to explain the difference in levels of complexity and stereotypy between Canis and Vulpes. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Canine Behavior. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Patterns of MHC-DRB1 polymorphism in a post-glacial island canid, the Newfoundland red fox (Vulpes vulpes deletrix), suggest balancing selection at species and population timescales.

    PubMed

    Marshall, H Dawn; Langille, Barbara L; Hann, Crystal A; Whitney, Hugh G

    2016-05-01

    As the only native insular Newfoundland canid between the extinction of the wolf in the 1930s and the recent arrival of coyotes, the red fox (Vulpes vulpes deletrix Bangs 1898) poses interesting questions about genetic distinctiveness and the post-glacial colonization history of the island's depauperate mammalian fauna. Here, we characterized genetic variability at the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II DR β1 domain (DRB1) locus in 28 red foxes from six sampling localities island-wide and compared it with mitochondrial control region (CR) diversity and DRB1 diversity in other canids. Our goals were to describe novel DRB1 alleles in a new canid population and to make inferences about the role of selection in maintaining their diversity. As in numerous studies of vertebrates, we found an order-of-magnitude higher nucleotide diversity at the DRB1 locus compared with the CR and significantly positive nonsynonymous-to-synonymous substitution ratios, indicative of selection in the distant past. Although the evidence is weaker, the Ewens-Watterson test of neutrality and the geographical distribution of variation compared with the CR suggest a role for selection over the evolutionary timescale of populations. We report the first genetic data from the DRB1 locus in the red fox and establish baseline information regarding immunogenetic variation in this island canid population which should inform continued investigations of population demography, adaptive genetic diversity, and wildlife disease in red foxes and related species.

  4. Pearsonema (syn Capillaria) plica associated cystitis in a Fennoscandian arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus: a case report.

    PubMed

    Fernández-Aguilar, Xavier; Mattsson, Roland; Meijer, Tomas; Osterman-Lind, Eva; Gavier-Widén, Dolores

    2010-06-12

    The bladderworm Pearsonema (syn Capillaria) plica affects domestic dogs and wild carnivores worldwide. A high prevalence in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) has been reported in many European countries. P. plica inhabits the lower urinary tract and is considered to be of low pathogenic significance in dogs mostly causing asymptomatic infections. However, a higher level of pathogenicity has been reported in foxes. A severe cystitis associated with numerous bladderworms was found in a captive arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) originating from the endangered Fennoscandian arctic fox population. To our knowledge this is the first description of P. plica infection in an arctic fox.

  5. Detection and genetic characterization of tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) derived from ticks removed from red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and isolated from spleen samples of red deer (Cervus elaphus) in Croatia.

    PubMed

    Jemeršić, Lorena; Dežđek, Danko; Brnić, Dragan; Prpić, Jelena; Janicki, Zdravko; Keros, Tomislav; Roić, Besi; Slavica, Alen; Terzić, Svjetlana; Konjević, Dean; Beck, Relja

    2014-02-01

    Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is a growing public health concern in central and northern European countries. Even though TBE is a notifiable disease in Croatia, there is a significant lack of information in regard to vector tick identification, distribution as well as TBE virus prevalence in ticks or animals. The aim of our study was to identify and to investigate the viral prevalence of TBE virus in ticks removed from red fox (Vulpes vulpes) carcasses hunted in endemic areas in northern Croatia and to gain a better insight in the role of wild ungulates, especially red deer (Cervus elaphus) in the maintenance of the TBE virus in the natural cycle. We identified 5 tick species (Ixodes ricinus, Ixodes hexagonus, Haemaphysalis punctata, Dermacentor reticulatus, Rhipicephalus sanguineus) removed from 40 red foxes. However, TBE virus was isolated only from adult I. ricinus and I. hexagonus ticks showing a viral prevalence (1.6%) similar to or higher than reported in endemic areas of other European countries. Furthermore, 2 positive spleen samples from 182 red deer (1.1%) were found. Croatian TBE virus isolates were genetically analyzed, and they were shown to be closely related, all belonging to the European TBE virus subgroup. However, on the basis of nucleotide and amino acid sequence analysis, 2 clusters were identified. Our results show that further investigation is needed to understand the clustering of isolates and to identify the most common TBE virus reservoir hosts in Croatia. Sentinel surveys based on wild animal species would give a better insight in defining TBE virus-endemic and possible risk areas in Croatia.

  6. Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay-A rapid detection tool for identifying red fox (Vulpes vulpes) DNA in the carcasses of harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena).

    PubMed

    Heers, Teresa; van Neer, Abbo; Becker, André; Grilo, Miguel Luca; Siebert, Ursula; Abdulmawjood, Amir

    2017-01-01

    Carcasses of wild animals are often visited by different scavengers. However, determining which scavenger caused certain types of bite marks is particularly difficult and knowledge thereof is lacking. Therefore, a loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay (target sequence cytochrome b) was developed to detect red fox DNA in carcasses of harbour porpoises. The MSwab™ method for direct testing without prior DNA isolation was validated. As a detection device, the portable real-time fluorometer Genie® II was used, which yields rapid results and can be used in field studies without huge laboratory equipment. In addition to in vitro evaluation and validation, a stranded and scavenged harbour porpoise carcass was successfully examined for red fox DNA residues. The developed LAMP method is a valuable diagnostic tool for confirming presumable red fox bite wounds in harbour porpoises without further DNA isolation steps.

  7. Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay—A rapid detection tool for identifying red fox (Vulpes vulpes) DNA in the carcasses of harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena)

    PubMed Central

    Heers, Teresa; van Neer, Abbo; Becker, André; Grilo, Miguel Luca; Siebert, Ursula

    2017-01-01

    Carcasses of wild animals are often visited by different scavengers. However, determining which scavenger caused certain types of bite marks is particularly difficult and knowledge thereof is lacking. Therefore, a loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay (target sequence cytochrome b) was developed to detect red fox DNA in carcasses of harbour porpoises. The MSwab™ method for direct testing without prior DNA isolation was validated. As a detection device, the portable real-time fluorometer Genie® II was used, which yields rapid results and can be used in field studies without huge laboratory equipment. In addition to in vitro evaluation and validation, a stranded and scavenged harbour porpoise carcass was successfully examined for red fox DNA residues. The developed LAMP method is a valuable diagnostic tool for confirming presumable red fox bite wounds in harbour porpoises without further DNA isolation steps. PMID:28863185

  8. Endoparasites of the raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides) and the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) in Denmark 2009-2012 - A comparative study.

    PubMed

    Al-Sabi, Mohammad Nafi Solaiman; Chriél, Mariann; Jensen, Trine Hammer; Enemark, Heidi Larsen

    2013-12-01

    Invasive species negatively influence the biodiversity of the ecosystems they invade and may introduce pathogens to native species. Raccoon dogs have very successfully invaded Europe, including, recently, Denmark. This study included analyses of gastrointestinal helminths and Trichinella spp. from 99 raccoon dogs and 384 native red foxes collected from October 2009 to March 2012. The sedimentation and counting method used revealed that raccoon dogs and foxes harboured 9 and 13 different helminth species, respectively, of which several known to be zoonotic. Significantly more nematode and cestode species were found in foxes while raccoon dogs had more trematode species. Rodent transmitted parasites were more prevalent in foxes, while amphibian transmitted parasites were more prevalent in raccoon dogs. One fox was infected with Echinococcus multilocularis (0.3%), while no Trichinella spp. were detected in raccoon dogs or foxes. The trematode Brachylaima tokudai was detected for the first time in Denmark in five of 384 foxes (1.3%). Prevalences of Pygidiopsis summa (3.0% and 3.4%) and Cryptocotyle spp. (15.2% and 15.4%) were comparable in raccoon dogs and foxes, respectively. Four helminth species were more prevalent in foxes than in raccoon dogs: Toxocara canis (60.9% and 13.1%); Uncinaria stenocephala (84.1% and 48.5%); Mesocestoides spp. (42.7% and 23.2%); and Taenia spp. (30.7% and 2.0%), respectively. Three helminth species were more prevalent in raccoon dogs than in foxes: Dipylidium caninum (5.1% and 0.3%); Mesorchis denticulatus (38.4% and 4.2%); and Alaria alata (69.7% and 34.4%), respectively. T. canis was more abundant in foxes while A. alata was more abundant in raccoon dogs. The intestinal distribution of a number of helminth species was comparable between hosts, but highly variable between parasite species. Inherent biological factors and host invasion of new areas might have shaped these marked differences in helminth fauna between the invasive raccoon

  9. Genetic characteristics of red foxes In northeastern Oregon

    Treesearch

    Gregory A Green; Benjamin N Sacks; Leonard J Erickson; Keith B Aubry

    2017-01-01

    The Rocky Mountain Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes macroura), once common in the Blue Mountains ecoregion of northeastern Oregon, was considered rare in eastern Oregon by the 1930s and thought to be extirpated by the 1960s, when putatively new Red Fox populations began to appear. Although the new foxes were long presumed to be nonnative (originating from...

  10. Genetics of Interactive Behavior in Silver Foxes (Vulpes vulpes).

    PubMed

    Nelson, Ronald M; Temnykh, Svetlana V; Johnson, Jennifer L; Kharlamova, Anastasiya V; Vladimirova, Anastasiya V; Gulevich, Rimma G; Shepeleva, Darya V; Oskina, Irina N; Acland, Gregory M; Rönnegård, Lars; Trut, Lyudmila N; Carlborg, Örjan; Kukekova, Anna V

    2017-01-01

    Individuals involved in a social interaction exhibit different behavioral traits that, in combination, form the individual's behavioral responses. Selectively bred strains of silver foxes (Vulpes vulpes) demonstrate markedly different behaviors in their response to humans. To identify the genetic basis of these behavioral differences we constructed a large F2 population including 537 individuals by cross-breeding tame and aggressive fox strains. 98 fox behavioral traits were recorded during social interaction with a human experimenter in a standard four-step test. Patterns of fox behaviors during the test were evaluated using principal component (PC) analysis. Genetic mapping identified eight unique significant and suggestive QTL. Mapping results for the PC phenotypes from different test steps showed little overlap suggesting that different QTL are involved in regulation of behaviors exhibited in different behavioral contexts. Many individual behavioral traits mapped to the same genomic regions as PC phenotypes. This provides additional information about specific behaviors regulated by these loci. Further, three pairs of epistatic loci were also identified for PC phenotypes suggesting more complex genetic architecture of the behavioral differences between the two strains than what has previously been observed.

  11. Accumulation of Metals in Liver Tissues of Sympatric Golden Jackal (Canis aureus) and Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) in the Southern Part of Romania.

    PubMed

    Farkas, Attila; Bidló, András; Bolodár-Varga, Bernadett; Jánoska, Ferenc

    2017-04-01

    Several previous study results have already demonstrated that golden jackal and red fox may serve as biological indicators of trace elements and heavy metal concentrations in the various regions they inhabit. The aim of this study was to evaluate accumulation patterns of targeted elements (Al, Ca, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mg, Mn, Ni and Pb) in liver samples of red foxes and golden jackals collected during the same period in the southern part of Romania. The accumulation patterns of trace elements in the livers of sympatric golden jackal and red fox were practically the same. To date, separate studies of the species individually in different habitats have shown that either of the species can be used for ecotoxicological and biomonitoring studies. Moreover, in general gender related studies, no significant differences in the concentrations of the investigated elements were found in either jackals or foxes. Also, average metal concentrations in liver samples do not show significant differences between groups under and above 12 months of age.

  12. On the origin of a domesticated species: Identifying the parent population of Russian silver foxes (Vulpes vulpes).

    PubMed

    Statham, Mark J; Trut, Lyudmila N; Sacks, Ben N; Kharlamova, Anastasiya V; Oskina, Irina N; Gulevich, Rimma G; Johnson, Jennifer L; Temnykh, Svetlana V; Acland, Gregory M; Kukekova, Anna V

    2011-05-01

    The foxes at Novosibirsk, Russia, are the only population of domesticated foxes in the world. These domesticated foxes originated from farm-bred silver foxes (Vulpes vulpes), whose genetic source is unknown. In this study we examined the origin of the domesticated strain of foxes and two other farm-bred fox populations (aggressive and unselected) maintained in Novosibirsk. To identify the phylogenetic origin of these populations we sequenced two regions of mtDNA, cytochrome b and D-loop, from 24 Novosibirsk foxes (8 foxes from each population) and compared them with corresponding sequences of native red foxes from Europe, Asia, Alaska and Western Canada, Eastern Canada, and the Western Mountains of the USA. We identified seven cytochrome b - D-loop haplotypes in Novosibirsk populations, four of which were previously observed in Eastern North America. The three remaining haplotypes differed by one or two base change from the most common haplotype in Eastern Canada. Φ(ST) analysis showed significant differentiation between Novosibirsk populations and red fox populations from all geographic regions except Eastern Canada. No haplotypes of Eurasian origin were identified in the Novosibirsk populations. These results are consistent with historical records indicating that the original breeding stock of farm-bred foxes originated from Prince Edward Island, Canada. Mitochondrial DNA data together with historical records indicate two stages in the selection of domesticated foxes: the first includes captive breeding for ~50 years with unconscious selection for behaviour; the second corresponds to over 50 further years of intensive selection for tame behaviour.

  13. Molecular detection of Theileria annae and Hepatozoon canis in foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in Croatia.

    PubMed

    Dezdek, Danko; Vojta, Lea; Curković, Snjezana; Lipej, Zoran; Mihaljević, Zeljko; Cvetnić, Zeljko; Beck, Relja

    2010-09-20

    An epizootiological field study on tick-borne protozoan infections in foxes (Vulpes vulpes) was carried out in different parts of Croatia. Spleen samples of 191 carcasses of red foxes killed in sanitary hunting, were examined for the presence of hematozoa by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and subsequent sequencing. The investigation revealed four species of hematozoa in 57 foxes (30%), namely Theileria annae, Theileria sp. 3182/05 and Hepatozoon canis. T. annae was found in 10 foxes (5%), Theileria sp. 3182/05 in a single animal (1%), H. canis in 44 (23%) and Hepatozoon sp. was detected in two foxes (1%). T. annae and H. canis were distributed through all the studied regions, while Theileria sp. 3182/05 and Hepatozoon sp. were restricted to the Zagreb and Zagorje, and Istria regions, respectively. Detection of T. annae in all regions of Croatia indicates the presence of the natural cycle of the parasite and raises the possibility of other vectors other than the proposed Ixodes hexagonus.

  14. Porencephaly in a fennec fox (Vulpes zerda).

    PubMed

    Yamazaki, Mutsumi; Yoshimoto, Saeko; Ishikawa, Tomoko; Une, Yumi

    2016-12-01

    A postmortem examination revealed a large brain cavity in the right cerebral hemisphere of a 9-year-old male fennec (Vulpes zerda). The cavity was filled with cerebrospinal fluid and extended to the right lateral ventricle. Swelling and displacement of the right hippocampal area were also observed. Histologic examination revealed no evidence of previous infarct lesions, hemorrhage, inflammation or invasive tumor cells. Observation of the defective part suggested a local circulatory disorder during the fetal stage, although the cause was not detected. No neurological symptoms that could enable a provisional diagnosis were observed during the course of his life. This is the first report of asymptomatic porencephaly in a fennec fox.

  15. North American montane red foxes: expansion, fragmentation, and the origin of the Sacramento Valley red fox

    Treesearch

    Benjamin N. Sacks; Mark J. Statham; John D. Perrine; Samantha M. Wisely; Keith B. Aubry

    2010-01-01

    Most native red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in the western contiguous United States appear to be climatically restricted to colder regions in the major mountain ranges and, in some areas, have suffered precipitous declines in abundance that may be linked to warming trends. However, another population of unknown origin has occurred in arid habitats in the...

  16. Effectiveness of cabergoline for termination of pregnancy in silver fox (Vulpes vulpes fulva).

    PubMed

    Lengwinat, T; Meyer, H H; Jöchle, W

    2001-10-01

    Red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) are a major pest species in Europe and Australia. Traditional methods of control such as hunting or poisoning are no longer sufficient or feasible. As with domestic dogs and cats, prolactin (PRL) in the vixen is an essential luteotropin during the second half of gestation. Hence, PRL inhibitors such as cabergoline have been used to induce abortions. Eighteen mated silver fox vixens (three groups of six foxes each) were treated orally with a placebo of paraffin oil (I), or with 15 microg/kg cabergoline in feed once (11) or twice (III), on day 30 (I and II) or days 30 and 32 (III) post-coitum. Blood samples were taken prior to and after treatments and concentrations of PRL and progesterone (P4) were determined. Normal parturitions were observed in five of six, five of six and two of six vixens in groups I, II and III, respectively. In group III plasma concentrations of PRL and P4 decreased significantly but only temporarily. This drop in hormone concentrations was more pronounced in the vixens that did not carry to term. In conclusion, doses in excess of 15 microg/kg of cabergoline are likely to prevent the development of fetuses to term in pregnant vixens.

  17. Red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and wild dogs (dingoes (Canis lupus dingo) and dingo/domestic dog hybrids), as sylvatic hosts for Australian Taenia hydatigena and Taenia ovis

    PubMed Central

    Jenkins, David J.; Urwin, Nigel A.R.; Williams, Thomas M.; Mitchell, Kate L.; Lievaart, Jan J.; Armua-Fernandez, Maria Teresa

    2014-01-01

    Foxes (n = 499), shot during vertebrate pest control programs, were collected in various sites in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), New South Wales (NSW) and Western Australia (WA). Wild dogs (dingoes (Canis lupus dingo) and their hybrids with domestic dogs) (n = 52) captured also as part of vertebrate pest control programs were collected from several sites in the ACT and NSW. The intestine from each fox and wild dog was collected, and all Taenia tapeworms identified morphologically were collected and identified to species based on the DNA sequence of the small subunit of the mitochondrial ribosomal RNA (rrnS) gene. Taenia species were recovered from 6.0% of the ACT/NSW foxes, 5.1% of WA foxes and 46.1% of ACT/NSW wild dogs. Taenia ovis was recovered from two foxes, 1/80 from Jugiong, NSW and 1/102 from Katanning, WA. We confirm from rrnS sequences the presence of T. ovis in cysts from hearts and diaphragms and Taeniahydatigena in cysts from livers of sheep in Australia. T.ovis was not recovered from any of the wild dogs examined but T. hydatigena were recovered from 4(8.3%) wild dogs and a single fox. With foxes identified as a definitive host for T. ovis in Australia, new control strategies to stop transmission of T. ovis to sheep need to be adopted. PMID:25161904

  18. Red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and wild dogs (dingoes (Canis lupus dingo) and dingo/domestic dog hybrids), as sylvatic hosts for Australian Taenia hydatigena and Taenia ovis.

    PubMed

    Jenkins, David J; Urwin, Nigel A R; Williams, Thomas M; Mitchell, Kate L; Lievaart, Jan J; Armua-Fernandez, Maria Teresa

    2014-08-01

    Foxes (n = 499), shot during vertebrate pest control programs, were collected in various sites in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), New South Wales (NSW) and Western Australia (WA). Wild dogs (dingoes (Canis lupus dingo) and their hybrids with domestic dogs) (n = 52) captured also as part of vertebrate pest control programs were collected from several sites in the ACT and NSW. The intestine from each fox and wild dog was collected, and all Taenia tapeworms identified morphologically were collected and identified to species based on the DNA sequence of the small subunit of the mitochondrial ribosomal RNA (rrnS) gene. Taenia species were recovered from 6.0% of the ACT/NSW foxes, 5.1% of WA foxes and 46.1% of ACT/NSW wild dogs. Taenia ovis was recovered from two foxes, 1/80 from Jugiong, NSW and 1/102 from Katanning, WA. We confirm from rrnS sequences the presence of T. ovis in cysts from hearts and diaphragms and T aenia hydatigena in cysts from livers of sheep in Australia. T. ovis was not recovered from any of the wild dogs examined but T. hydatigena were recovered from 4(8.3%) wild dogs and a single fox. With foxes identified as a definitive host for T. ovis in Australia, new control strategies to stop transmission of T. ovis to sheep need to be adopted.

  19. Porencephaly in a fennec fox (Vulpes zerda)

    PubMed Central

    YAMAZAKI, Mutsumi; YOSHIMOTO, Saeko; ISHIKAWA, Tomoko; UNE, Yumi

    2016-01-01

    A postmortem examination revealed a large brain cavity in the right cerebral hemisphere of a 9-year-old male fennec (Vulpes zerda). The cavity was filled with cerebrospinal fluid and extended to the right lateral ventricle. Swelling and displacement of the right hippocampal area were also observed. Histologic examination revealed no evidence of previous infarct lesions, hemorrhage, inflammation or invasive tumor cells. Observation of the defective part suggested a local circulatory disorder during the fetal stage, although the cause was not detected. No neurological symptoms that could enable a provisional diagnosis were observed during the course of his life. This is the first report of asymptomatic porencephaly in a fennec fox. PMID:27523321

  20. Changes in the distribution of red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in urban areas in Great Britain: findings and limitations of a media-driven nationwide survey.

    PubMed

    Scott, Dawn M; Berg, Maureen J; Tolhurst, Bryony A; Chauvenet, Alienor L M; Smith, Graham C; Neaves, Kelly; Lochhead, Jamie; Baker, Philip J

    2014-01-01

    Urbanization is one of the major forms of habitat alteration occurring at the present time. Although this is typically deleterious to biodiversity, some species flourish within these human-modified landscapes, potentially leading to negative and/or positive interactions between people and wildlife. Hence, up-to-date assessment of urban wildlife populations is important for developing appropriate management strategies. Surveying urban wildlife is limited by land partition and private ownership, rendering many common survey techniques difficult. Garnering public involvement is one solution, but this method is constrained by the inherent biases of non-standardised survey effort associated with voluntary participation. We used a television-led media approach to solicit national participation in an online sightings survey to investigate changes in the distribution of urban foxes in Great Britain and to explore relationships between urban features and fox occurrence and sightings density. Our results show that media-based approaches can generate a large national database on the current distribution of a recognisable species. Fox distribution in England and Wales has changed markedly within the last 25 years, with sightings submitted from 91% of urban areas previously predicted to support few or no foxes. Data were highly skewed with 90% of urban areas having <30 fox sightings per 1000 people km(-2). The extent of total urban area was the only variable with a significant impact on both fox occurrence and sightings density in urban areas; longitude and percentage of public green urban space were respectively, significantly positively and negatively associated with sightings density only. Latitude, and distance to nearest neighbouring conurbation had no impact on either occurrence or sightings density. Given the limitations associated with this method, further investigations are needed to determine the association between sightings density and actual fox density, and

  1. Changes in the Distribution of Red Foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in Urban Areas in Great Britain: Findings and Limitations of a Media-Driven Nationwide Survey

    PubMed Central

    Scott, Dawn M.; Berg, Maureen J.; Tolhurst, Bryony A.; Chauvenet, Alienor L. M.; Smith, Graham C.; Neaves, Kelly; Lochhead, Jamie; Baker, Philip J.

    2014-01-01

    Urbanization is one of the major forms of habitat alteration occurring at the present time. Although this is typically deleterious to biodiversity, some species flourish within these human-modified landscapes, potentially leading to negative and/or positive interactions between people and wildlife. Hence, up-to-date assessment of urban wildlife populations is important for developing appropriate management strategies. Surveying urban wildlife is limited by land partition and private ownership, rendering many common survey techniques difficult. Garnering public involvement is one solution, but this method is constrained by the inherent biases of non-standardised survey effort associated with voluntary participation. We used a television-led media approach to solicit national participation in an online sightings survey to investigate changes in the distribution of urban foxes in Great Britain and to explore relationships between urban features and fox occurrence and sightings density. Our results show that media-based approaches can generate a large national database on the current distribution of a recognisable species. Fox distribution in England and Wales has changed markedly within the last 25 years, with sightings submitted from 91% of urban areas previously predicted to support few or no foxes. Data were highly skewed with 90% of urban areas having <30 fox sightings per 1000 people km−2. The extent of total urban area was the only variable with a significant impact on both fox occurrence and sightings density in urban areas; longitude and percentage of public green urban space were respectively, significantly positively and negatively associated with sightings density only. Latitude, and distance to nearest neighbouring conurbation had no impact on either occurrence or sightings density. Given the limitations associated with this method, further investigations are needed to determine the association between sightings density and actual fox density, and

  2. On the origin of a domesticated species: Identifying the parent population of Russian silver foxes (Vulpes vulpes)

    PubMed Central

    Statham, Mark J.; Trut, Lyudmila N.; Sacks, Ben N.; Kharlamova, Anastasiya V.; Oskina, Irina N.; Gulevich, Rimma G.; Johnson, Jennifer L.; Temnykh, Svetlana V.; Acland, Gregory M.; Kukekova, Anna V.

    2011-01-01

    The foxes at Novosibirsk, Russia, are the only population of domesticated foxes in the world. These domesticated foxes originated from farm-bred silver foxes (Vulpes vulpes), whose genetic source is unknown. In this study we examined the origin of the domesticated strain of foxes and two other farm-bred fox populations (aggressive and unselected) maintained in Novosibirsk. To identify the phylogenetic origin of these populations we sequenced two regions of mtDNA, cytochrome b and D-loop, from 24 Novosibirsk foxes (8 foxes from each population) and compared them with corresponding sequences of native red foxes from Europe, Asia, Alaska and Western Canada, Eastern Canada, and the Western Mountains of the USA. We identified seven cytochrome b - D-loop haplotypes in Novosibirsk populations, four of which were previously observed in Eastern North America. The three remaining haplotypes differed by one or two base change from the most common haplotype in Eastern Canada. ΦST analysis showed significant differentiation between Novosibirsk populations and red fox populations from all geographic regions except Eastern Canada. No haplotypes of Eurasian origin were identified in the Novosibirsk populations. These results are consistent with historical records indicating that the original breeding stock of farm-bred foxes originated from Prince Edward Island, Canada. Mitochondrial DNA data together with historical records indicate two stages in the selection of domesticated foxes: the first includes captive breeding for ~50 years with unconscious selection for behaviour; the second corresponds to over 50 further years of intensive selection for tame behaviour. PMID:21625363

  3. The endocrinology of gestation failure in foxes (Vulpes vulpes).

    PubMed

    Hartley, F G; Follett, B K; Harris, S; Hirst, D; McNeilly, A S

    1994-03-01

    The endocrine basis of reproductive failure in red fox vixens was examined over two breeding seasons in a total of 11 animals. Weekly blood samples were assayed for progesterone, prolactin, LH and cortisol. Vaginal smears taken every 2 days over the oestrous period indicated that all vixens had mated. Vixens that successfully gave birth to a litter of cubs demonstrated significantly higher plasma progesterone and prolactin concentrations but significantly lower cortisol concentrations than did females that had ovulated, but then failed to whelp. There were no significant differences in plasma LH concentrations. These data suggest that reproductive losses could result from lowered plasma progesterone concentrations, possibly resulting from inadequate luteotrophic support by prolactin. A stress-induced mechanism of reproductive failure is implicated and is discussed in relation to social suppression of reproduction.

  4. Complete mitochondrial genome of the fennec fox (Vulpes zerda).

    PubMed

    Yang, Xiufeng; Zhao, Chao; Zhang, Honghai; Zhang, Jin; Chen, Lei; Sha, Weilai; Liu, Guangshuai

    2016-01-01

    In this study, the complete mitochondrial genome of the fennec fox (Vulpes zerda) was sequenced using blood samples obtained from a female individual in Shanghai wildlife Park. Sequence analysis showed that the content of T (26.7%) in total composition was no more than C (27.2%), which is different from most of Canide individuals sequenced previously.

  5. Toxoplasma gondii infection in Blanford's fox (Vulpes cana)

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Fatal toxoplasmosis was diagnosed in a Blanford's fox (Vulpes cana) from the United Arab Emirates. Toxoplasma gondii-like tachyzoites were found associated with necrosis in intestine, spleen, liver, kidneys, lungs, skeletal muscle, brain and heart. Protozoal tachyzoites reacted positively with T. go...

  6. Behavioral interactions of penned red and arctic foxes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rudzinski, D.R.; Graves, H.B.; Sargeant, A.B.; Storm, G.L.

    1982-01-01

    Expansion of the geographical distribution of red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) into the far north tundra region may lead to competition between arctic (Alopex lagopus) and red foxes for space and resources. Behavioral interactions between red and arctic foxes were evaluated during 9 trials conducted in a 4.05-ha enclosure near Woodworth, North Dakota. Each trial consisted of introducing a male-female pair of arctic foxes into the enclosure and allowing them to acclimate for approximately a week before releasing a female red fox into the enclosure, followed by her mate a few days later. In 8 of 9 trials, red foxes were dominant over arctic foxes during encounters. Activity of the arctic foxes decreased upon addition of red foxes. Arctic foxes tried unsuccessfully to defend preferred den, resting, and feeding areas. Even though the outcome of competition between red and arctic foxes in the Arctic is uncertain, the more aggressive red fox can dominate arctic foxes in direct competition for den sites and other limited resources.

  7. Faecal virome of red foxes from peri-urban areas.

    PubMed

    Lojkić, Ivana; Biđin, Marina; Prpić, Jelena; Šimić, Ivana; Krešić, Nina; Bedeković, Tomislav

    2016-04-01

    Red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) are the most abundant carnivore species in the Northern Hemisphere. Since their populations are well established in peri-urban and urban areas, they represent a potential reservoir of viruses that transmit from wildlife to humans or domestic animals. In this study, we evaluated the faecal virome of juvenile and adult foxes from peri-urban areas in central Croatia. The dominating mammalian viruses were fox picobirnavirus and parvovirus. The highest number of viral reads (N=1412) was attributed to a new fox circovirus and complete viral genome was de novo assembled from the high-throughput sequencing data. Fox circovirus is highly similar to dog circoviruses identified in diseased dogs in USA and Italy, and to a recently discovered circovirus of foxes with neurologic disease from the United Kingdom. Our fox picobirnavirus was more closely related to the porcine and human picobirnaviruses than to known fox picobirnaviruses. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Toxoplasma gondii infection in Blanford's fox (Vulpes cana).

    PubMed

    Dubey, J P; Pas, An

    2008-05-06

    Fatal toxoplasmosis was diagnosed in a Blanford's fox (Vulpes cana) from the United Arab Emirates. Toxoplasma gondii-like tachyzoites were found associated with necrosis in intestine, spleen, liver, kidneys, lungs, skeletal muscle, brain and heart. Protozoal tachyzoites reacted positively with T. gondii-specific polyclonal antibodies. Antibodies to T. gondii were detected in 10 of 12 V. cana assayed by the latex agglutination or the modified direct agglutination test.

  9. The origin of recently established red fox populations in the United States: translocations or natural range expansions?

    Treesearch

    Mark J. Statham; Benjamin N. Sacks; Keith B. Aubry; John D. Perrine; Samantha M. Wisely

    2012-01-01

    Red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) are native to boreal and western montane portions of North America but their origins are unknown in many lowland areas of the United States. Red foxes were historically absent from much of the East Coast at the time of European settlement and did not become common until the mid-1800s. Some early naturalists described an...

  10. Commercial sunflowers: food for red foxes in North Dakota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sargeant, A.B.; Allen, S.H.; Fleskes, J.P.

    1986-01-01

    Stomach contents of 70 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) shot in east-central North Dakota during January 1982 and January 1983 were examined. Commercial sunflower seeds were the most frequently found food item, occurring each year in three-fourths of the stomachs and composing about half of the contents. The remainder of the diet was primarily mammals, but included birds, insects, amphibians, and refuse.

  11. Echinococcus multilocularis--adaptation of a worm egg isolation procedure coupled with a multiplex PCR assay to carry out large-scale screening of red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in Norway.

    PubMed

    Davidson, Rebecca K; Oines, Oivind; Madslien, Knut; Mathis, Alexander

    2009-02-01

    Echinococcus multilocularis, causing alveolar echinococcosis in humans, is a highly pathogenic emerging zoonotic disease in central Europe. The gold standard for the identification of this parasite in the main host, the red fox, namely identification of the adult parasite in the intestine at necropsy, is very laborious. Copro-enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) with confirmatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has been suggested as an acceptable alternative, but no commercial copro-ELISA tests are currently available and an in-house test is therefore required. Published methods for taeniid egg isolation and a multiplex PCR assay for simultaneous identification of E. multilocularis, E. granulosus and other cestodes were adapted to be carried out on pooled faecal samples from red foxes in Norway. None of the 483 fox faecal samples screened were PCR-positive for E. multilocularis, indicating an apparent prevalence of between 0% and 1.5%. The advantages and disadvantages of using the adapted method are discussed as well as the results pertaining to taeniid and non-taeniid cestodes as identified by multiplex PCR.

  12. Spirocerca lupi isolated from gastric lesions in foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in Sicily (Italy).

    PubMed

    Ferrantelli, V; Riili, S; Vicari, D; Percipalle, M; Chetta, M; Monteverde, V; Gaglio, G; Giardina, G; Usai, F; Poglayen, G

    2010-01-01

    Spirocerca lupi (Rudolphi 1809) is a cosmopolitan nematode of dogs and wild carnivores. In the past it has been reported in Italy, mainly in southern regions and in Sicily, where the parasite was observed in foxes in 2005. The parasite typically produces nodular masses in the oesophagus and thoracic aorta. During the 2003-2004 hunting season, the authors investigated a total of 55 foxes (Vulpes vulpes) hunted or killed by car accidents in the provinces of Palermo and Agrigento. All the foxes were subjected to necropsy and 6 (9.16%) had S. lupi nodules located exclusively in the gastric wall. The nature of the nodules was determined by opening them and detecting the nematodes inside, which were identified as S. lupi. Some of the nodules were characterized anatomopathologically and histopathologically. The formation of the parasitic nodule in the stomach only suggests a deviation from the route commonly followed by the nematode to reach the oesophagus, the elective anatomical site for completion of its lifecycle. This survey gives a contribution to the epidemiology of this parasite which is severely outdated in Italy and highlights some distinctive features of the life cycle and parasite migration.

  13. "Reversed" intraguild predation: red fox cubs killed by pine marten.

    PubMed

    Brzeziński, Marcin; Rodak, Lukasz; Zalewski, Andrzej

    2014-01-01

    Camera traps deployed at a badger Meles meles set in mixed pine forest in north-eastern Poland recorded interspecific killing of red fox Vulpes vulpes cubs by pine marten Martes martes. The vixen and her cubs settled in the set at the beginning of May 2013, and it was abandoned by the badgers shortly afterwards. Five fox cubs were recorded playing in front of the den each night. Ten days after the first recording of the foxes, a pine marten was filmed at the set; it arrived in the morning, made a reconnaissance and returned at night when the vixen was away from the set. The pine marten entered the den several times and killed at least two fox cubs. It was active at the set for about 2 h. This observation proves that red foxes are not completely safe from predation by smaller carnivores, even those considered to be subordinate species in interspecific competition.

  14. Canine adenovirus type 1 in a fennec fox (Vulpes zerda).

    PubMed

    Choi, Jeong-Won; Lee, Hyun-Kyoung; Kim, Seong-Hee; Kim, Yeon-Hee; Lee, Kyoung-Ki; Lee, Myoung-Heon; Oem, Jae-Ku

    2014-12-01

    A 10-mo-old female fennec fox (Vulpes zerda) with drooling suddenly died and was examined postmortem. Histologic examination of different tissue samples was performed. Vacuolar degeneration and diffuse fatty change were observed in the liver. Several diagnostic methods were used to screen for canine parvovirus, canine distemper virus, canine influenza virus, canine coronavirus, canine parainfluenza virus, and canine adenovirus (CAdV). Only CAdV type 1 (CAdV-1) was detected in several organs (liver, lung, brain, kidney, spleen, and heart), and other viruses were not found. CAdV-1 was confirmed by virus isolation and nucleotide sequencing.

  15. A rural mail-carrier index of North Dakota red foxes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Allen, S.H.; Sargeant, A.B.

    1975-01-01

    Rural mail-carrier sightings of red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) during mid-April, -July, and -September of 1969-73 were compared to spring fox family estimates derived by aerial searches of six townships. The mid-April mail-carrier index reflected annual fox density changes on the six townships (correlation coefficient = 0.958) . Random exclusions of individual mail-carrier reports indicated participation could decline 40 percent without affecting index accuracy.

  16. Lafora's-like disease in a fennec fox (Vulpes zerda).

    PubMed

    Honnold, Shelley P; Schulman, F Yvonne; Bauman, Karen; Nelson, Kevin

    2010-09-01

    A 6-yr-old captive-born female fennec fox (Vulpes zerda) had a history of multiple seizures and was treated with diazepam and phenobarbital therapy. Despite medical treatment, the seizures continued. They were intermittent and progressive, resulting in neurologic deficits and death of the animal within 6 mo of onset of the clinical signs. At necropsy, the animal was in good nutritional condition, and no gross lesions were noted in the brain. Histologically, amphophilic to basophilic, periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) positive, diastase-resistant inclusions were present in the brain, heart, and liver. Ultrastructurally, the inclusions were variably electron dense, fibrillary to occasionally granular, and non-membrane bound. The clinical, histologic, and ultrastructural findings were consistent with Lafora's disease, which in humans is a rare, fatal, autosomal recessive hereditary neurometabolic disorder characterized by progressive myoclonic epilepsy. This is the first report of Lafora's-like disease in a fennec fox.

  17. Identification of Multiple Novel Viruses, Including a Parvovirus and a Hepevirus, in Feces of Red Foxes

    PubMed Central

    van der Giessen, Joke; Haagmans, Bart L.; Osterhaus, Albert D. M. E.; Smits, Saskia L.

    2013-01-01

    Red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) are the most widespread members of the order of Carnivora. Since they often live in (peri)urban areas, they are a potential reservoir of viruses that transmit from wildlife to humans or domestic animals. Here we evaluated the fecal viral microbiome of 13 red foxes by random PCR in combination with next-generation sequencing. Various novel viruses, including a parvovirus, bocavirus, adeno-associated virus, hepevirus, astroviruses, and picobirnaviruses, were identified. PMID:23616657

  18. Sequence comparison of prefrontal cortical brain transcriptome from a tame and an aggressive silver fox (Vulpes vulpes)

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Two strains of the silver fox (Vulpes vulpes), with markedly different behavioral phenotypes, have been developed by long-term selection for behavior. Foxes from the tame strain exhibit friendly behavior towards humans, paralleling the sociability of canine puppies, whereas foxes from the aggressive strain are defensive and exhibit aggression to humans. To understand the genetic differences underlying these behavioral phenotypes fox-specific genomic resources are needed. Results cDNA from mRNA from pre-frontal cortex of a tame and an aggressive fox was sequenced using the Roche 454 FLX Titanium platform (> 2.5 million reads & 0.9 Gbase of tame fox sequence; >3.3 million reads & 1.2 Gbase of aggressive fox sequence). Over 80% of the fox reads were assembled into contigs. Mapping fox reads against the fox transcriptome assembly and the dog genome identified over 30,000 high confidence fox-specific SNPs. Fox transcripts for approximately 14,000 genes were identified using SwissProt and the dog RefSeq databases. An at least 2-fold expression difference between the two samples (p < 0.05) was observed for 335 genes, fewer than 3% of the total number of genes identified in the fox transcriptome. Conclusions Transcriptome sequencing significantly expanded genomic resources available for the fox, a species without a sequenced genome. In a very cost efficient manner this yielded a large number of fox-specific SNP markers for genetic studies and provided significant insights into the gene expression profile of the fox pre-frontal cortex; expression differences between the two fox samples; and a catalogue of potentially important gene-specific sequence variants. This result demonstrates the utility of this approach for developing genomic resources in species with limited genomic information. PMID:21967120

  19. Y-Chromosome Markers for the Red Fox.

    PubMed

    Rando, Halie M; Stutchman, Jeremy T; Bastounes, Estelle R; Johnson, Jennifer L; Driscoll, Carlos A; Barr, Christina S; Trut, Lyudmila N; Sacks, Benjamin N; Kukekova, Anna V

    2017-09-01

    The de novo assembly of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) genome has facilitated the development of genomic tools for the species. Efforts to identify the population history of red foxes in North America have previously been limited by a lack of information about the red fox Y-chromosome sequence. However, a megabase of red fox Y-chromosome sequence was recently identified over 2 scaffolds in the reference genome. Here, these scaffolds were scanned for repeated motifs, revealing 194 likely microsatellites. Twenty-three of these loci were selected for primer development and, after testing, produced a panel of 11 novel markers that were analyzed alongside 2 markers previously developed for the red fox from dog Y-chromosome sequence. The markers were genotyped in 76 male red foxes from 4 populations: 7 foxes from Newfoundland (eastern Canada), 12 from Maryland (eastern United States), and 9 from the island of Great Britain, as well as 48 foxes of known North American origin maintained on an experimental farm in Novosibirsk, Russia. The full marker panel revealed 22 haplotypes among these red foxes, whereas the 2 previously known markers alone would have identified only 10 haplotypes. The haplotypes from the 4 populations clustered primarily by continent, but unidirectional gene flow from Great Britain and farm populations may influence haplotype diversity in the Maryland population. The development of new markers has increased the resolution at which red fox Y-chromosome diversity can be analyzed and provides insight into the contribution of males to red fox population diversity and patterns of phylogeography. © The American Genetic Association 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  20. Molecular identification of Sarcocystis spp. in foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) from Germany.

    PubMed

    Moré, G; Maksimov, A; Conraths, F J; Schares, G

    2016-04-15

    More than 200 Sarcocystis spp. have been named and most of them appear to be involved in a particular predator-prey cycle. Among canids, the European fox (Vulpes vulpes) and the raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides) are widely distributed in Europe and probably play an important role as definitive hosts in the epidemiology of Sarcocystis spp. infections. A total of 50 small intestines from foxes and 38 from raccoon dogs were sampled in the Federal State of Brandenburg, Germany. Mucosal scrapings were collected and analyzed by sugar flotation and when oocysts or sporocysts were detected, an overnight sedimentation was performed and DNA extracted with a commercial kit. A PCR was conducted using primers targeting a fragment of the 18S rRNA gene (with a size of approximately 850 bp) and the amplicons were purified and sequenced. Samples with an inconclusive sequencing were cloned into plasmids and ≥ 3 plasmids from each amplicon were sequenced. Sarcocystis spp. oocysts/sporocysts were detected in 38% (19/50) of fox and 52.6% (20/38) of raccoon dog samples. Sequencing analysis of amplicons from oocyst DNA revealed mixed infections in 9 fox and 5 raccoon dog samples. In the fox samples, the most often identified Sarcocystis spp. were S. tenella or S. capracanis (10.0%); S. miescheriana (8.0%) and S. gracilis (8.0%) followed by Sarcocystis spp., which use birds as intermediate hosts (6.0%), and S. capreolicanis (4.0%). In the raccoon dog samples, sequences with a ≥99% identity with the following species were detected: S. miescheriana (18.4%), S. gracilis (13.1%), Sarcocystis spp. using birds as IH (10.5%), S. tenella or S.capracanis (2.6%) and S. capreolicanis (2.6%). The estimated prevalence of Sarcocystis spp. infections determined using mucosal scrapings was higher than in related studies performed by analyzing faecal samples. The methodology of 18S rRNA gene amplification, cloning and sequencing is suitable to identify mixed infections with Sarcocystis spp. and

  1. Dispersal patterns of red foxes relative to population density

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Allen, Stephen H.; Sargeant, Alan B.

    1993-01-01

    Factors affecting red fox (Vulpes vulpes) dispersal patterns are poorly understood but warranted investigation because of the role of dispersal in rebuilding depleted populations and transmission of diseases. We examined dispersal patterns of red foxes in North Dakota based on recoveries of 363 of 854 foxes tagged as pups and relative to fox density. Foxes were recovered up to 8.6 years after tagging; 79% were trapped or shot. Straight-line distances between tagging and recovery locations ranged from 0 to 302 km. Mean recovery distances increased with age and were greater for males than females, but longest individual recovery distances were by females. Dispersal distances were not related to population density for males (P = 0.36) or females (P = 0.96). The proportion of males recovered that dispersed was inversely related to population density (r = -0.94; n = 5; P = 0.02), but not the proportion of females (r = -0.49; n = 5; P = 0.40). Dispersal directions were not uniform for either males (P = 0.003) or females (P = 0.006); littermates tended to disperse in similar directions (P = 0.09). A 4-lane interstate highway altered dispersal directions (P = 0.001). Dispersal is a strong innate behavior of red foxes (especially males) that results in many individuals of both sexes traveling far from natal areas. Because dispersal distance was unaffected by fox density, populations can be rebuilt and diseases transmitted long distances regardless of fox abundance.

  2. Prevalence of Sarcocystis spp. in two subspecies of caribou (Rangifer tarandus) in Newfoundland and Labrador, and foxes (Vulpes vulpes), wolves (Canis lupus), and husky dogs (Canis familiaris) as potential definitive hosts.

    PubMed

    Khan, R A; Evans, L

    2006-06-01

    A study was conducted to determine the prevalence and geographical distribution of Sarcocystis spp. infecting 2 subspecies of caribou (Rangifer tarandus) inhabiting Newfoundland and Labrador and its potential definitive hosts. Muscle samples of caribou were obtained, primarily from hunters, and feces of red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and wolves (Canis lupus), from trappers, and Husky dogs (Canis familiaris), from owners. Histological sections of muscle and flotation methods for feces were used for parasitic detection. Sarcocystis sp. infected more than 50% of barren-ground caribou (R. t. tarandus) from 4 locations in Newfoundland, but it was significantly greater in the north, where 99% of woodland caribou (R. t. caribou) from Labrador harbored the infection. Sporocysts were observed in 27 of 32 red foxes from eastern and northern Newfoundland, whereas 15 of 15 wolves and 22 of the 38 Husky dogs were infected. Wolves and red foxes probably acquired the infection through scavenging, and Husky dogs, from meat they were fed.

  3. Genetic signatures of adaptation revealed from transcriptome sequencing of Arctic and red foxes.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Vikas; Kutschera, Verena E; Nilsson, Maria A; Janke, Axel

    2015-08-07

    The genus Vulpes (true foxes) comprises numerous species that inhabit a wide range of habitats and climatic conditions, including one species, the Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) which is adapted to the arctic region. A close relative to the Arctic fox, the red fox (Vulpes vulpes), occurs in subarctic to subtropical habitats. To study the genetic basis of their adaptations to different environments, transcriptome sequences from two Arctic foxes and one red fox individual were generated and analyzed for signatures of positive selection. In addition, the data allowed for a phylogenetic analysis and divergence time estimate between the two fox species. The de novo assembly of reads resulted in more than 160,000 contigs/transcripts per individual. Approximately 17,000 homologous genes were identified using human and the non-redundant databases. Positive selection analyses revealed several genes involved in various metabolic and molecular processes such as energy metabolism, cardiac gene regulation, apoptosis and blood coagulation to be under positive selection in foxes. Branch site tests identified four genes to be under positive selection in the Arctic fox transcriptome, two of which are fat metabolism genes. In the red fox transcriptome eight genes are under positive selection, including molecular process genes, notably genes involved in ATP metabolism. Analysis of the three transcriptomes and five Sanger re-sequenced genes in additional individuals identified a lower genetic variability within Arctic foxes compared to red foxes, which is consistent with distribution range differences and demographic responses to past climatic fluctuations. A phylogenomic analysis estimated that the Arctic and red fox lineages diverged about three million years ago. Transcriptome data are an economic way to generate genomic resources for evolutionary studies. Despite not representing an entire genome, this transcriptome analysis identified numerous genes that are relevant to arctic

  4. Geographical distribution of Angiostrongylus vasorum in foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in the Republic of Ireland.

    PubMed

    McCarthy, G; Ferrand, M; De Waal, T; Zintl, A; McGrath, G; Byrne, W; O'Neill, E J

    2016-04-01

    The reported incidence of the metastrongylid nematode Angiostrongylus vasorum, that infects dogs and other canids, is increasing worldwide outside recognized endemic foci. This apparent expansion of the parasite's range is causing concern to veterinary clinicians as the disease caused in dogs can be life threatening and its treatment is not straightforward. The red fox is thought to be a reservoir host for dogs. To investigate the spatial distribution of infection in foxes in Ireland, the hearts and lungs of 542 foxes from all over Ireland were examined. The incidence of infection was found to be 39·9% [95% confidence interval (CI) 35·7-44·1] with positive samples occurring in each of the country's 26 counties. This report confirms that the parasite is endemic in Ireland and the overall prevalence is the second highest in Europe. This is the first survey of A. vasorum infection in Irish foxes and highlights the potential exposure of the Irish dog population to high risk of cross-infection. Additionally, Crenosoma vulpis was found in seven of the foxes, a parasite not previously reported in the Irish fox.

  5. Genotyping-By-Sequencing (GBS) Detects Genetic Structure and Confirms Behavioral QTL in Tame and Aggressive Foxes (Vulpes vulpes).

    PubMed

    Johnson, Jennifer L; Wittgenstein, Helena; Mitchell, Sharon E; Hyma, Katie E; Temnykh, Svetlana V; Kharlamova, Anastasiya V; Gulevich, Rimma G; Vladimirova, Anastasiya V; Fong, Hiu Wa Flora; Acland, Gregory M; Trut, Lyudmila N; Kukekova, Anna V

    2015-01-01

    The silver fox (Vulpes vulpes) offers a novel model for studying the genetics of social behavior and animal domestication. Selection of foxes, separately, for tame and for aggressive behavior has yielded two strains with markedly different, genetically determined, behavioral phenotypes. Tame strain foxes are eager to establish human contact while foxes from the aggressive strain are aggressive and difficult to handle. These strains have been maintained as separate outbred lines for over 40 generations but their genetic structure has not been previously investigated. We applied a genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) approach to provide insights into the genetic composition of these fox populations. Sequence analysis of EcoT22I genomic libraries of tame and aggressive foxes identified 48,294 high quality SNPs. Population structure analysis revealed genetic divergence between the two strains and more diversity in the aggressive strain than in the tame one. Significant differences in allele frequency between the strains were identified for 68 SNPs. Three of these SNPs were located on fox chromosome 14 within an interval of a previously identified behavioral QTL, further supporting the importance of this region for behavior. The GBS SNP data confirmed that significant genetic diversity has been preserved in both fox populations despite many years of selective breeding. Analysis of SNP allele frequencies in the two populations identified several regions of genetic divergence between the tame and aggressive foxes, some of which may represent targets of selection for behavior. The GBS protocol used in this study significantly expanded genomic resources for the fox, and can be adapted for SNP discovery and genotyping in other canid species.

  6. Genotyping-By-Sequencing (GBS) Detects Genetic Structure and Confirms Behavioral QTL in Tame and Aggressive Foxes (Vulpes vulpes)

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Jennifer L.; Wittgenstein, Helena; Mitchell, Sharon E.; Hyma, Katie E.; Temnykh, Svetlana V.; Kharlamova, Anastasiya V.; Gulevich, Rimma G.; Vladimirova, Anastasiya V.; Fong, Hiu Wa Flora; Acland, Gregory M.; Trut, Lyudmila N.; Kukekova, Anna V.

    2015-01-01

    The silver fox (Vulpes vulpes) offers a novel model for studying the genetics of social behavior and animal domestication. Selection of foxes, separately, for tame and for aggressive behavior has yielded two strains with markedly different, genetically determined, behavioral phenotypes. Tame strain foxes are eager to establish human contact while foxes from the aggressive strain are aggressive and difficult to handle. These strains have been maintained as separate outbred lines for over 40 generations but their genetic structure has not been previously investigated. We applied a genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) approach to provide insights into the genetic composition of these fox populations. Sequence analysis of EcoT22I genomic libraries of tame and aggressive foxes identified 48,294 high quality SNPs. Population structure analysis revealed genetic divergence between the two strains and more diversity in the aggressive strain than in the tame one. Significant differences in allele frequency between the strains were identified for 68 SNPs. Three of these SNPs were located on fox chromosome 14 within an interval of a previously identified behavioral QTL, further supporting the importance of this region for behavior. The GBS SNP data confirmed that significant genetic diversity has been preserved in both fox populations despite many years of selective breeding. Analysis of SNP allele frequencies in the two populations identified several regions of genetic divergence between the tame and aggressive foxes, some of which may represent targets of selection for behavior. The GBS protocol used in this study significantly expanded genomic resources for the fox, and can be adapted for SNP discovery and genotyping in other canid species. PMID:26061395

  7. Detection of herpesvirus DNA in Arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus; syn. Alopex lagopus) with fatal encephalitis.

    PubMed

    Widén, F; Sundström, E; Gavier-Widén, D; Berg, A L; Dillner, B; Berg, M

    2012-06-01

    A captive breeding programme for the Fennoscandian Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus; syn. Alopex lagopus) failed due to fatal encephalitis. The aim of this study was to identify the causative agent. Viral nucleic acid was detected by PCR and in situ hybridization in the brain of affected foxes. The results suggest that a herpesvirus might be the causative agent. Whether this infection also occurs in free-living Arctic foxes is unknown.

  8. Atrioventricular valvular anomalies and their role in the etiopathogenesis of cardiorespiratory syndrome in farmed common foxes (Vulpes vulpes).

    PubMed

    Noszczyk-Nowak, Agnieszka; Piasecki, Tomasz; Cepiel, Alicja; Nowak, Marcin; Janus, Izabela; Pasławska, Urszula

    2016-01-01

    Cardiorespiratory syndrome of common foxes is associated with a mortality rate ranging from 2.1% to 20%. The aim of this study was to analyze the prevalence of cardiac abnormalities in common foxes (Vulpes vulpes) from Polish farms with a history of cardiorespiratory syndrome. The prevalence of cardiac abnormalities in common foxes from a Polish farm with a history of cardiorespiratory syndrome was assessed as well as morphological examination of 60 heart specimens from clinically healthy animals. In addition, 38 foxes were examined echocardiographically and subjected to postmortem examination. Atrioventricular valvular abnormalities were found in 57 out of the 98 (58%) analyzed hearts. The abnormalities of the mitral valve documented in more than 20% of the foxes in involved tendinous chords (completely lacking or shortened), papillary muscles and mitral cusps associated with both insufficiency and stenosis of the left atrioventricular orifice. Abnormalities of the tricuspid valve included significant shortening of the tendinous chords and thickening of the valve cusps with the impairment of their mobility. The results of the echocardiographic and postmortem examination were consistent in 79% of the cases. The specimens collected from animals with and without atrioventricular valvular anomalies did not differ significantly in terms of cardiomyocyte width, number of inflammatory cells, adipose tissue content and presence of polychromatic cardiomyocytes. Congenital atrioventricular valvular defects may be involved in the etiology of cardiorespiratory syndrome in common foxes, and echocardiography can be used as a measure of stock's health and a criterion for selection for mating.

  9. A spring aerial census of red foxes in North Dakota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sargeant, A.B.; Pfeifer, W.K.; Allen, S.H.

    1975-01-01

    Systematic aerial searches were flown on transects to locate adult red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), pups, and rearing dens on 559.4 km2 (six townships) in eastern North Dakota during mid-May and mid-June each year from 1969 through 1973 and during mid-April 1969 and early May 1970. The combined sightings of foxes and fox dens from the mid-May and mid-June searches were used to identify individual fox families. The number of fox families was used as the measurement of density. Dens, highly visible during the mid-May searches, were the most reliable family indicator; 84 percent of 270 families identified during the study were represented by dens. Adult foxes second in importance, were most observable during the mid-May searches when 20 to 35 percent of those estimated to be available were sighted. Adult sightings during other search periods ranged from 4 to 17 percent of those available. Pup sightings were the most variable family indicator, but they led to the discovery of some dens. Sources of error for which adjustment factors were determined are: den moves exceeding criterion established for the spacing of dens in a single family, overestimation of the number of fox families living near township boundaries, and the percentage of fox families overlooked during the aerial searches. These adjustment factors appeared to be largely compensatory.

  10. Preliminary evaluation of Raboral V-RG® oral rabies vaccine in Arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus).

    PubMed

    Follmann, Erich; Ritter, Don; Swor, Rhonda; Dunbar, Mike; Hueffer, Karsten

    2011-10-01

    We tested the Raboral V-RG® recombinant oral rabies vaccine for its response in Arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus), the reservoir of rabies virus in the circumpolar North. The vaccine, which is currently the only licensed oral rabies vaccine in the United States, induced a strong antibody response and protected foxes against a challenge of 500,000 mouse intracerebral lethal dose 50% of an Arctic rabies virus variant. However, one unvaccinated control fox survived challenge with rabies virus, either indicating a high resistance of Arctic foxes to rabies infection or a previous exposure that induced immunity. This preliminary study suggested that Raboral V-RG vaccine may be efficacious in Arctic foxes.

  11. Tularaemia seroprevalence of captured and wild animals in Germany: the fox (Vulpes vulpes) as a biological indicator.

    PubMed

    Kuehn, A; Schulze, C; Kutzer, P; Probst, C; Hlinak, A; Ochs, A; Grunow, R

    2013-04-01

    A total of 2475 animals from Germany, both captive and wild, were tested for antibodies against Francisella tularensis to obtain more knowledge about the presence of this pathogen in Germany. An indirect and a competitive ELISA served as screening methods, positive and inconclusive samples were confirmed by Western blot. Of the zoo animals sampled between 1992 and 2007 (n = 1122), three (0·3%) were seropositive. The seroconversion of a hippopotamus in Berlin Zoo was documented. From 1353 serum samples of wild foxes (Vulpes vulpes), raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) and wild boars (Sus scrofa), collected between 2005 and 2009 in the federal state of Brandenburg (surrounding Berlin), a total of 101 (7·5%) tested positive for antibodies to F. tularensis lipopolysaccharide. Our results indicate a higher seroprevalence of F. tularensis in wildlife in eastern Germany than commonly assumed. Furthermore, we found foxes and raccoon dogs to be biological indicators for tularaemia.

  12. Range-wide multilocus phylogeography of the red fox reveals ancient continental divergence, minimal genomic exchange and distinct demographic histories

    Treesearch

    Mark J. Statham; James Murdoch; Jan Janecka; Keith B. Aubry; Ceiridwen J. Edwards; Carl D. Soulsbury; Oliver Berry; Zhenghuan Wang; David Harrison; Malcolm Pearch; Louise Tomsett; Judith Chupasko; Benjamin N. Sacks

    2014-01-01

    Widely distributed taxa provide an opportunity to compare biogeographic responses to climatic fluctuations on multiple continents and to investigate speciation. We conducted the most geographically and genomically comprehensive study to date of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes), the world’s most widely distributed wild terrestrial carnivore. Analyses of 697 bp of...

  13. Canine distemper virus infection in fennec fox (Vulpes zerda).

    PubMed

    Woo, Gye-Hyeong; Jho, Yeon-Sook; Bak, Eun-Jung

    2010-08-01

    Fifteen 8-month-old fennec foxes imported from Sudan showed fever, mucopurulent ocular discharge, diarrhea, severe emaciation, seizures, and generalized ataxia, and died. Three of the 15 animals were presented for diagnostic investigation. Severe dehydration, brain congestion, and gastric ulcers were observed in all animals. In one animal, the lungs had failed to collapse and were multifocally dark red in appearance. Histopathologically, there were lymphohistiocytic meningoencephalitis with malacia, mild interstitial pneumonia, lymphoid depletion of lymphoid tissues and organs, and intestinal villous atrophy with intralesional coccidia. There were many intracytoplasmic and/or intranuclear inclusion bodies in the epithelial cells of the medullary velum, lungs, liver, kidneys, trachea, pancreas, stomach, gall bladder, urinary bladder, and ureters, and in macrophages of malacia foci and lymphocytes and macrophages of lymphoid organs. Additionally, intestinal coccidia were confirmed to be Isospora species by a fecal test. To our knowledge, this is the first report of canine distemper with intestinal coccidiosis in fennec fox.

  14. Primary structure of fox (Vulpes vulpes) proinsulin based on sequence studies of pancreatic peptides and cDNA.

    PubMed

    Fiertek, D; Gromowska, M; Andersen, A S; Hansen, P H; Majewski, T; Izdebski, J

    2000-08-01

    Insulin and C-peptide were extracted and purified from fox (Vulpes vulpes) pancreas using gel filtration, ion-exchange chromatography and HPLC. Chromatographic data for the insulin, as well as for its oxidized and carboxymethylated chains proved it to be identical to that of polar fox (Alopex lagopus) and dog. The sequence analysis of a peptide which was assumed to be the corresponding C-peptide revealed that it comprises 23 amino acid residues and is identical to the C-peptide fragment isolated from dog pancreas: it differs from polar fox C-peptide by a single substitution (Asp-->Glu). mRNA was isolated from pancreatic tissue and cDNA was obtained by reverse transcription. A polymerase chain reaction was performed using gene-specific primers to obtain a DNA fragment corresponding to part of fox proinsulin. DNA sequencing revealed 100% identity to dog proinsulin at the protein level, although some amino acids were encoded by different codons. The total sequence of proinsulin was deduced from these results.

  15. First isolate of Toxoplasma gondii from arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) from Svalbard

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Cats are considered essential for the maintenance of Toxoplasma gondii in nature. However, T. gondii infection has been reported in arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) from the Svalbard high arctic archipelago where felids are virtually absent. To identify the potential source of T. gondii, we attempted to ...

  16. Landscape genetics of the nonnative red fox of California.

    PubMed

    Sacks, Benjamin N; Brazeal, Jennifer L; Lewis, Jeffrey C

    2016-07-01

    Invasive mammalian carnivores contribute disproportionately to declines in global biodiversity. In California, nonnative red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) have significantly impacted endangered ground-nesting birds and native canids. These foxes derive primarily from captive-reared animals associated with the fur-farming industry. Over the past five decades, the cumulative area occupied by nonnative red fox increased to cover much of central and southern California. We used a landscape-genetic approach involving mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences and 13 microsatellites of 402 nonnative red foxes removed in predator control programs to investigate source populations, contemporary connectivity, and metapopulation dynamics. Both markers indicated high population structuring consistent with origins from multiple introductions and low subsequent gene flow. Landscape-genetic modeling indicated that population connectivity was especially low among coastal sampling sites surrounded by mountainous wildlands but somewhat higher through topographically flat, urban and agricultural landscapes. The genetic composition of populations tended to be stable for multiple generations, indicating a degree of demographic resilience to predator removal programs. However, in two sites where intensive predator control reduced fox abundance, we observed increases in immigration, suggesting potential for recolonization to counter eradication attempts. These findings, along with continued genetic monitoring, can help guide localized management of foxes by identifying points of introductions and routes of spread and evaluating the relative importance of reproduction and immigration in maintaining populations. More generally, the study illustrates the utility of a landscape-genetic approach for understanding invasion dynamics and metapopulation structure of one of the world's most destructive invasive mammals, the red fox.

  17. Increase in number of helminth species from Dutch red foxes over a 35-year period

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) is host to a community of zoonotic and other helminth species. Tracking their community structure and dynamics over decades is one way to monitor the long term risk of parasitic infectious diseases relevant to public and veterinary health. Methods We identified 17 helminth species from 136 foxes by mucosal scraping, centrifugal sedimentation/flotation and the washing and sieving technique. We applied rarefaction analysis to our samples and compared the resulting curve to the helminth community reported in literature 35 years ago. Results Fox helminth species significantly increased in number in the last 35 years (p-value <0.025). Toxascaris leonina, Mesocestoides litteratus, Trichuris vulpis and Angiostrongylus vasorum are four new veterinary-relevant species. The zoonotic fox tapeworm (E. multilocularis) was found outside the previously described endemic regions in the Netherlands. Conclusions Helminth fauna in Dutch red foxes increased in biodiversity over the last three decades. PMID:24708710

  18. Increase in number of helminth species from Dutch red foxes over a 35-year period.

    PubMed

    Franssen, Frits; Nijsse, Rolf; Mulder, Jaap; Cremers, Herman; Dam, Cecile; Takumi, Katsuhisa; van der Giessen, Joke

    2014-04-03

    The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) is host to a community of zoonotic and other helminth species. Tracking their community structure and dynamics over decades is one way to monitor the long term risk of parasitic infectious diseases relevant to public and veterinary health. We identified 17 helminth species from 136 foxes by mucosal scraping, centrifugal sedimentation/flotation and the washing and sieving technique. We applied rarefaction analysis to our samples and compared the resulting curve to the helminth community reported in literature 35 years ago. Fox helminth species significantly increased in number in the last 35 years (p-value <0.025). Toxascaris leonina, Mesocestoides litteratus, Trichuris vulpis and Angiostrongylus vasorum are four new veterinary-relevant species. The zoonotic fox tapeworm (E. multilocularis) was found outside the previously described endemic regions in the Netherlands. Helminth fauna in Dutch red foxes increased in biodiversity over the last three decades.

  19. SMALL INTESTINAL ADENOCARCINOMA WITH CARCINOMATOSIS IN A SWIFT FOX (VULPES VELOX).

    PubMed

    Choudhary, Shambhunath; Andrews, Gordon A; Carpenter, James W

    2015-09-01

    A 7-yr-old, intact, female swift fox (Vulpes velox) presented to the Veterinary Health Center at Kansas State University with a history of chronic weight loss, lethargy, inappetence, and myiasis. On physical examination, a firm mass was palpated in the mid- to cranial abdomen. The fox was euthanatized as a result of the grave prognosis. Gross necropsy and histologic findings included a small intestinal adenocarcinoma with diffuse transperitoneal spread throughout the abdominal cavity (carcinomatosis). To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of intestinal adenocarcinoma with carcinomatosis in a swift fox.

  20. A Multiplex PCR assay to differentiate between dog and red fox.

    PubMed

    Weissenberger, M; Reichert, W; Mattern, R

    2011-11-01

    Foxes are frequently the cause of car accidents in Baden-Württemberg (BW, Germany). The domestic dog (Canis familiaris) is in close relation to the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and the silver fox which is a coat colour variant of the red fox. As insurance claims that involve accidents with animals require authentication, we analyzed frequency distribution and allele sizes in two canine microsatellite loci in 26 dogs (different breeds) and 19 red foxes of the region of BW, Germany. Moreover, sequencing analysis was performed. Red foxes exhibited only 1 allele at each microsatellite locus, whereas in dog 7 alleles at the CPH4 locus and 6 alleles at the CPH12 locus were detected. Sequences of PCR products from the two species revealed several differences between dogs and foxes. We established a sequenced allelic ladder and give population data from dogs and red foxes from the region of BW, Germany. Using microsatellite polymorphisms is efficient in differentiating between dogs and foxes in forensic casework.

  1. First genetic characterization of Toxoplasma gondii infection in Arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) in China.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiao-Xuan; Cong, Wei; Ma, Jian-Gang; Lou, Zhi-Long; Zhao, Quan; Meng, Qing-Feng; Qian, Ai-Dong; Zhu, Xing-Quan

    2016-10-01

    Toxoplasma gondii can infect virtually all warm-blooded animals including foxes. However, little is known of the molecular epidemiology and genotypes of T. gondii infecting foxes in China. Therefore, the present study characterized T. gondii genotypes in foxes in China for the first time. During November 2014 to October 2015, brain tissue samples collected from 264 Arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) in Jilin, Heilongjiang and Shandong provinces were used to detect the T. gondii B1 gene by a semi-nested PCR, and the positive samples were genotyped at 10 nuclear loci (i.e., SAG1, alternative SAG2, 5'-and 3'-SAG2, SAG3, L358, BTUB, c22-8, GRA6, c29-2, PK1) and an apicoplast locus (Apico) by multi-locus PCR-RFLP technology. Twenty-one (7.96%) samples from 264 foxes were positive for T. gondii B1 gene. T. gondii infection in male and female foxes was 7.14% and 8.70%, respectively. The highest infection rate (11.86%) was detected in foxes from Shandong, followed by foxes from Jilin (6.49%) and Heilongjiang (2.90%). Two genotypes (ToxoDB#9 and ToxoDB#10) were identified. This is the first genetic characterization of T. gondii from foxes in China, which provides basic data for the surveillance and control of T. gondii infection in foxes, other animals and humans.

  2. Satellite DNA Sequences in Canidae and Their Chromosome Distribution in Dog and Red Fox.

    PubMed

    Vozdova, Miluse; Kubickova, Svatava; Cernohorska, Halina; Fröhlich, Jan; Rubes, Jiri

    2016-01-01

    Satellite DNA is a characteristic component of mammalian centromeric heterochromatin, and a comparative analysis of its evolutionary dynamics can be used for phylogenetic studies. We analysed satellite and satellite-like DNA sequences available in NCBI for 4 species of the family Canidae (red fox, Vulpes vulpes, VVU; domestic dog, Canis familiaris, CFA; arctic fox, Vulpes lagopus, VLA; raccoon dog, Nyctereutes procyonoides procyonoides, NPR) by comparative sequence analysis, which revealed 86-90% intraspecies and 76-79% interspecies similarity. Comparative fluorescence in situ hybridisation in the red fox and dog showed signals of the red fox satellite probe in canine and vulpine autosomal centromeres, on VVUY, B chromosomes, and in the distal parts of VVU9q and VVU10p which were shown to contain nucleolus organiser regions. The CFA satellite probe stained autosomal centromeres only in the dog. The CFA satellite-like DNA did not show any significant sequence similarity with the satellite DNA of any species analysed and was localised to the centromeres of 9 canine chromosome pairs. No significant heterochromatin block was detected on the B chromosomes of the red fox. Our results show extensive heterogeneity of satellite sequences among Canidae and prove close evolutionary relationships between the red and arctic fox. © 2017 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  3. Vocalization toward conspecifics in silver foxes (Vulpes vulpes) selected for tame or aggressive behavior toward humans

    PubMed Central

    Gogoleva, Svetlana S.; Volodin, Ilya A.; Volodina, Elena V.; Kharlamova, Anastasia V.; Trut, Lyudmila N.

    2010-01-01

    We examined the production of different vocalizations in three strains of silver fox (Unselected, Aggressive, and Tame) attending three kinds of behavior (aggressive, affiliative, and neutral) in response to their same-strain conspecifics. This is a follow up to previous experiments which demonstrated that in the presence of humans tame foxes produced cackles and pants but never coughed or snorted, whilst Aggressive foxes produced coughs and snorts but never cackled or panted. Thus, cackle/pant and cough/snort were indicative of the Tame and Aggressive fox strains respectively toward humans. Wild-type Unselected foxes produced cough and snort toward humans similarly to Aggressive foxes. Here we found that vocal responses to conspecifics were similar in Tame, Aggressive and Unselected fox strains. Both cackle/pant and cough/snort occurred in foxes of all strains. The difference in the use of cackle/pant and cough/snort among these strains toward humans and toward conspecifics suggest that silver foxes do not perceive humans as their conspecifics. We speculate that these vocalizations are produced in response to a triggering internal state, affiliative or aggressive, that is suppressed by default in these fox strains toward humans as a result of their strict selection for tame or aggressive behavior, whilst still remaining flexible toward conspecifics. PMID:20123117

  4. Vocalization toward conspecifics in silver foxes (Vulpes vulpes) selected for tame or aggressive behavior toward humans.

    PubMed

    Gogoleva, S S; Volodin, I A; Volodina, E V; Kharlamova, A V; Trut, L N

    2010-06-01

    We examined the production of different vocalizations in three strains of silver fox (unselected, aggressive, and tame) attending three kinds of behavior (aggressive, affiliative, and neutral) in response to their same-strain conspecifics. This is a follow-up to previous experiments which demonstrated that in the presence of humans, tame foxes produced cackles and pants but never coughed or snorted, whilst aggressive foxes produced coughs and snorts but never cackled or panted. Thus, cackle/pant and cough/snort were indicative of the tame and aggressive fox strains respectively toward humans. Wild-type unselected foxes produced cough and snort toward humans similarly to aggressive foxes. Here, we found that vocal responses to conspecifics were similar in tame, aggressive and unselected fox strains. Both cackle/pant and cough/snort occurred in foxes of all strains. The difference in the use of cackle/pant and cough/snort among these strains toward humans and toward conspecifics suggest that silver foxes do not perceive humans as their conspecifics. We speculate that these vocalizations are produced in response to a triggering internal state, affiliative or aggressive, that is suppressed by default in these fox strains toward humans as a result of their strict selection for tame or aggressive behavior, whilst still remaining flexible toward conspecifics.

  5. Red fox spatial characteristics in relation to waterfowl predation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sargeant, A.B.

    1972-01-01

    Radio-equipped red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) on the Cedar Creek area in Minnesota were spatially distributed, with individual families occupying well defined, nonoverlapping, contiguous territories. Territory boundaries often conformed to natural physical boundaries and appeared to be maintained through some nonaggressive behavior mechanism. Individual foxes traveled extensively throughout the family territory each night. Fox territories appeared to range from approximately 1 to 3 square miles in size, dependent largely on population density. Red foxes used a sequence of dens to rear their pups, and the amount and location of food remains at individual dens changed as the pups matured. The denning season was divided into pre-emergence, confined-use, and dispersed-use periods of 4 to 5 weeks each. Remains of adult waterfowl were collected at rearing dens on six townships in three ecologically different regions of eastern North Dakota. Remains of 172 adult dabbling ducks and 16 adult American coots (Fulica americana) were found at 35 dens. No remains from diving ducks were found. The number of adult ducks per den averaged 1.6, 5.9, and 10.2 for paired townships in regions with relatively low, moderate and high duck populations, respectively. Eighty-four percent of the ducks were females. The species and sex composition of ducks found at dens during early and late sampling periods reflected the nesting chronology of prairie dabbling ducks. Occupied rearing dens were focal points of red fox travel, and the locations of dens may have had considerable influence on predation. Thirty-five of 38 dens found on the six township study areas were on pastured or idle lands. The distribution of rearing dens on the Sand Lake and Arrowwood national wildlife refuges suggested that, on these areas, fox dens were concentrated because of the topography and land-use practices.

  6. Responses of red foxes to first and second infection with Sarcoptes scabiei.

    PubMed

    Little, S E; Davidson, W R; Rakich, P M; Nixon, T L; Bounous, D I; Nettles, V F

    1998-07-01

    The clinical response of red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) to the mange mite, Sarcoptes scabiei, was characterized by infection of five, 4-mo-old red foxes with S. scabiei originally isolated from a wild red fox. The infected foxes and three uninfected control foxes were monitored with weekly complete blood counts and biweekly serum chemistry profiles, hypersensitivity tests, and evaluation of skin biopsies. After 7 wk, the foxes were treated and held free of infection for 2 mo. Six foxes, three previously infected and three with no history of exposure, were then infected with the same isolate of S. scabiei and followed for another 7 wk; two additional previously infected foxes were held as treatment controls, and two foxes with no history of exposure as naive controls. All infected foxes developed significant immediate (Type I) hypersensitivity reactions to a S. scabiei mite extract within 2 wk of exposure and maintained this reaction as long as 4 mo after clearance of mites. Pronounced mast cell hyperplasia and infiltration with eosinophils were the earliest inflammatory cell responses noted in biopsy samples from infected foxes and were maintained throughout infection. Infected foxes also showed significant increases in white blood cell counts, due primarily to increases in numbers of circulating neutrophils and eosinophils. Clinical response, severity of disease, and relative numbers of mites per cm2 of skin of previously infected foxes and foxes undergoing their first infection did not differ. These results show that red foxes develop strong immediate hypersensitivity reactions to S. scabiei but, under our experimental conditions, did not exhibit resistance to reinfection.

  7. Predation on seabirds by red foxes at Shaiak Island, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Petersen, M.R.

    1982-01-01

    Two Red Foxes (Vulpes fulva) that invaded Shaiak Island before the 1976 nesting season had a marked impact on the nesting success of five of seven species of seabirds breeding on the island that year. Common Eiders (Somateria mollissima), Glaucous-winged Gulls (Larus glaucescens), and Common Murres (Uria aalge), that nest in areas accessible to foxes, did not raise any young to fledging. Double-crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) were only slightly more successful; 13 (4.3%) of 300 pairs raised one or more young to fledging. Evidence suggested that 21 (35.6%) of 62 pairs of Tufted Puffins (Lunda cirrhata) lost eggs or chicks to foxes, and foxes killed at least 13 (8.3%) of 156 adult puffins on ten sample plots. Conversely, Black-Legged Kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla) and Pelagic Cormorants (Phalacrocorax pelagicus), which nested primarily on cliffs inaccessible to foxes, lost very few nests. There was no apparent change in general nest site selections by seabirds the following year, when foxes were no longer present. Any avoidance by birds of areas vulnerable to fox predation would probably be discernible only after several years of continuous predation.

  8. Hereditary hyperplastic gingivitis in North American farmed silver fox (Vulpes vulpes).

    PubMed

    Clark, Jo-Anna B J; Hudson, Robert C; Marshall, H Dawn

    2015-04-01

    Hereditary hyperplastic gingivitis is a progressive growth of gingival tissues in foxes resulting in dental encapsulation. It is an autosomal recessive condition displaying a gender-biased penetrance, with an association with superior fur quality. This disease has been primarily described in European farmed foxes. Here we document its emergence in Canada.

  9. Hereditary hyperplastic gingivitis in North American farmed silver fox (Vulpes vulpes)

    PubMed Central

    Clark, Jo-Anna B.J.; Hudson, Robert C.; Marshall, H. Dawn

    2015-01-01

    Hereditary hyperplastic gingivitis is a progressive growth of gingival tissues in foxes resulting in dental encapsulation. It is an autosomal recessive condition displaying a gender-biased penetrance, with an association with superior fur quality. This disease has been primarily described in European farmed foxes. Here we document its emergence in Canada. PMID:25829563

  10. Spatial relations between sympatric coyotes and red foxes in North Dakota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sargeant, A.B.; Allen, S.H.; Hastings, J.O.

    1987-01-01

    Spatial relations between coyotes (Canis latrans) and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) on a 360-km2 area in North Dakota were studied during 1977-78. Coyote families occupied large (mean = 61.2 km2), relatively exclusive territories that encompassed about one-half of the study area. Fox families occupied much smaller (mean = 11.9 km2), relatively exclusive, territories that overlapped perimeters of coyote territories and/or encompassed area unoccupied by coyotes. No fox family lived totally within a coyote territory, but 3 fox families lived within the 153.6-km2 home range of an unattached yearling male coyote. Both coyotes and foxes, from families with overlapping territories, tended to use their overlap areas less than was expected by amount of overlap. Encounters between radio-equipped coyotes and foxes from families with overlapping territories occurred less often than was expected by chance. Foxes living near coyotes exhibited considerable tenacity to their territories, and no monitored fox was killed by coyotes during 2,518 fox-days of radio surveillance. A hypothesis for coyote-induced fox population declines, based largely on fox avoidance mechanisms, is presented.

  11. Morphological and molecular characterization of Sarcocystis arctica-like sarcocysts from the Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus)from Alaska, USA

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Sarcocystis sarcocysts are common in muscles of herbivores but are rare in muscles of carnivores. Here, we report Sarcocystis arctica-like sarcocysts in muscles of Arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) from Alaska, USA for the first time. Tongues of 57 foxes were examined for Sarcocystis infection using sev...

  12. First report of Cryptosporidium canis in farmed Arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) in China.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiao-Xuan; Cong, Wei; Ma, Jian-Gang; Lou, Zhi-Long; Zheng, Wen-Bin; Zhao, Quan; Zhu, Xing-Quan

    2016-03-03

    Cryptosporidium is an important genus of enteric zoonotic parasites, which can infect a wide range of animals including foxes. Little information is available concerning the prevalence and molecular characterisation of Cryptosporidium spp. in farmed Arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) in China. Thus, the objective of the present study was to investigate the prevalence of Cryptosporidium spp. in Arctic foxes in China using nested PCR amplification of the small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU rRNA) gene. The overall prevalence of Cryptosporidium spp. in Arctic foxes was 15.9 % (48/302), with 12.9 % in male (18/139) and 18.4 % in female (30/163) foxes, respectively. The prevalence in different farms varied from 0 to 31.43 %. The prevalence of infection in different age groups varied from 14.1 % to 19.0 %. Foxes from Hebei Province (7.8 %, 11/141) had a significantly lower Cryptosporidium spp. prevalence than those from Heilongjiang Province (22.9 %, 16/70) and Jilin Province (23.1 %, 21/91) (P= 0.0015). Sequence analysis of the SSU rRNA gene indicated that all the 48 isolates represented C. canis. This is the first report of C. canis infection in farmed Arctic foxes in China, which also provides foundation data for preventing and controlling Cryptosporidium infection in foxes, other animals and humans.

  13. Polymorphism of prion protein gene in Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus).

    PubMed

    Wan, Jiayu; Bai, Xue; Liu, Wensen; Xu, Jing; Xu, Ming; Gao, Hongwei

    2009-07-01

    Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative disorders of humans and certain other mammals. Prion protein gene (Prnp) is associated with susceptibility and species barrier to prion diseases. No natural and experimental prion diseases have been documented to date in Arctic fox. In the present study, coding region of Prnp from 135 Arctic foxes were cloned and screened for polymorphisms. Our results indicated that the Arctic fox Prnp open reading frame (ORF) contains 771 nucleotides encoding 257 amino acids. Four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (G312C, A337G, C541T, and A723G) were identified. SNPs G312C and A723G produced silent mutations, but SNPs A337G and C541T resulted in a M-V change at codon 113 and R-C at codon 181, respectively. The Arctic fox Prnp amino acid sequence was similar to that of the dog (XM 542906). In short, this study provides preliminary information about genotypes of Prnp in Arctic fox.

  14. Habitat selection by female swift foxes (Vulpes velox) during the pup-rearing season

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sasmal, Indrani; Jenks, Jonathan A.; Grovenburg, Troy W.; Datta, Shubham; Schroeder, Greg M.; Klaver, Robert W.; Honness, Kevin M.

    2011-01-01

    The swift fox (Vulpes velox) was historically distributed in western South Dakota including the region surrounding Badlands National Park (BNP). The species declined during the mid-1800s, largely due to habitat loss and poisoning targeted at wolves (Canis lupis) and coyotes (C. latrans). Only a small population of swift foxes near Ardmore, South Dakota persisted. In 2003, an introduction program was initiated at BNP with swift foxes translocated from Colorado and Wyoming. We report on habitat use by female swift foxes during the pup-rearing season (May–July) in 2009. Analyses of location data from 13 radiomarked female foxes indicated disproportional use (P Ŷ = 1.01), sparse vegetation (Ŷ = 1.43) and prairie dog towns (Ŷ = 1.18) in proportion to their availability, whereas they were less likely to use woodland (Ŷ = 0.00), shrubland (Ŷ = 0.14), pasture/agricultural-land (Ŷ = 0.25) and development (Ŷ = 0.16) relative to availability. Swift foxes typically are located in habitats that provide greater visibility, such as shortgrass prairie and areas with sparse vegetation; which allow detection of approaching coyotes (e.g., primary predator of swift foxes).

  15. Diets of swift foxes (Vulpes velox) in continuous and fragmented prairie in Northwestern Texas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kamler, J.F.; Ballard, W.B.; Wallace, M.C.; Gipson, P.S.

    2007-01-01

    Distribution of the swift fox (Vulpes velox) has declined dramatically since the 1800s, and suggested causes of this decline are habitat fragmentation and transformation due to agricultural expansion. However, impacts of fragmentation and human-altered habitats on swift foxes still are not well understood. To better understand what effects these factors have on diets of swift foxes, scats were collected in northwestern Texas at two study sites, one of continuous native prairie and one representing fragmented native prairie interspersed with agricultural and fields in the Conservation Reserve Program. Leporids, a potential food source, were surveyed seasonally on both sites. Diets of swift foxes differed between sites; insects were consumed more on continuous prairie, whereas mammals, birds, and crops were consumed more on fragmented prairie. Size of populations of leporids were 2-3 times higher on fragmented prairie, and swift foxes responded by consuming more leporids on fragmented (11.1% frequency occurrence) than continuous (3.8%) prairie. Dietary diversity was greater on fragmented prairie during both years of the study. Differences in diets between sites suggested that the swift fox is an adaptable and opportunistic feeder, able to exploit a variety of food resources, probably in relation to availability of food. We suggest that compared to continuous native prairie, fragmented prairie can offer swift foxes a more diverse prey base, at least within the mosaic of native prairie, agricultural, and fields that are in the Conservation Reserve Program.

  16. Intestinal helminths of golden jackals and red foxes from Tunisia.

    PubMed

    Lahmar, Samia; Boufana, Belgees; Ben Boubaker, Sarra; Landolsi, Faouzi

    2014-08-29

    Forty wild canids including 31 golden jackals (Canis aureus Linné, 1758) and 9 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes Linné, 1758) collected between 2008 and 2011 in the northeast, northwest and center of Tunisia were necropsied and examined for intestinal helminth parasites. All jackals and foxes were found infected with a prevalence rate of 95% for cestodes, 82.5% for nematodes and 7.5% for acanthocephalans. A total of twelve helminth species were recorded in red foxes: cestodes, Dipylidium caninum (55.6%), Diplopylidium noelleri (55.6%), Mesocestoïdes lineatus (55.6%), Mesocestoïdes litteratus (33%), Mesocestoïdes corti (22%); nematodes, Ancylostoma caninum (11%), Uncinaria stenocephala (44%), Spirura rytipleurites (11%), Trichuris vulpis (33%), Pterygodermatites affinis (67%), Oxynema linstowi (33%) and the acanthocephalan Macracanthorhynchus hirudinaceus (22%). The fifteen recovered helminth species in jackals were Echinococcus granulosus (9.7%), D. caninum (16%), D. noelleri (16%), M. lineatus (74%), M. litteratus (23%), M. corti (12.9%), Taenia pisiformis (3.2%), Taenia spp. (19%), Toxocara canis (16%), Toxascaris leonina (6.5%), A. caninum (9.7%), U. stenocephala (68%), P. affinis (6.5%), O. linstowi (3.2%) and Macracanthorhynchus hirudinaceus (3.2%). This is the first report on the presence of P. affinis, D. noelleri and O. linstowi in Tunisia. E. granulosus was found in young jackals, aged less than 4 years old, with a higher abundance in females (8.9 worms). M. lineatus presented the highest mean intensity of 231.86 and 108.8 tapeworms respectively in jackals and foxes. Canids from the northwest region had the highest prevalence (77.5%) and highest intensity (243.7) of helminth species compared to those from the northeast and central areas. U. stenocephala and O. linstowi had the highest mean intensity for nematodes in both jackals and foxes at 14.3 and 88 worms respectively.

  17. [The coat color mutation in silver foxes (Vulpes vulpes): morphology of guard hairs].

    PubMed

    Prasolova, L A; Jing, S

    1999-09-01

    The structure of guard hairs was analyzed in the mottling mutants of silver foxes. The mottling mutation occurred in the population of silver foxes which has been subjected to domestication. Hairs from the mottling areas were shown to have the following distinctions from silvery-black hairs: the lack of clear grana-shaft separation, a lesser thickness and length, another shape and pattern of guard-hair scales, another thickness ratio between cortical and medullar layers, a lesser number of melanocytes in hair bulbs, and a lesser number of dendritic processes in melanocytes. Putative mechanisms underlying the phenotypic effect of the mutant gene that controls mottling are suggested.

  18. Red fox prey demands and implications to prairie duck production

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sargeant, A.B.

    1978-01-01

    Experiments were conducted during spring and summer with 33 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) to determine prey demands, feeding characteristics, and growth rates using natural foods. Pups began eating prey the 4th week after birth. Then, prey consumption averaged 1.38 and 1.90 kg/pup/week for weeks 5-8 and 9-12 of the denning season respectively, and 2.54 kg/pup/week for the postdenning period. Feeding by adults averaged 2.25 kg/adult/week. Free water was not needed by either pups or adults. About 90 percent of the prey offered to pups on simulated natural diets was consumed, remains varied with prey availability and prey type. Prey biomass required by a typical fox family was estimated at 18.5 kg/km2 for the 12-week denning season and 2.4 kg/km2/week for the postdenning period. Because of the large prey demands, ducks could represent a small part of the foxes' diet and yet be of consequence to the productivity of particular species. An example is provided for the mallard (Anas platyrhynchos).

  19. Differential effects of coyotes and red foxes on duck nest success

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sovada, Marsha A.; Sargeant, A.; Grier, J.W.

    1995-01-01

    Low recruitment rates prevail among ducks in the Prairie Pothole Region of North America, primarily because of high nest depredation rates. The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) is a major predator of duck eggs, but fox abundance is depressed by coyotes (Canis latrans). We tested the hypothesis that nest success of upland-nesting ducks is higher in areas with coyotes than in areas with red foxes. We conducted the study during 1990-92 in uplands of 36 areas managed for nesting ducks in North Dakota and South Dakota. Overall nest success averaged 32% (95% CI = 25-40) on 17 study areas where coyotes were the principal canid and 17% (CI = 11-25) on 13 study areas where red foxes were the principal canid (P = 0.01). Both canids were common on 6 other areas, where nest success averaged 25% (CI = 13-47). Habitat composition, predator communities with the exception of canids, and species composition of duck nests in coyote and red fox areas were similar overall. Upon examining only nests with greater than or equal to 6 eggs on the last visit prior to hatch or depredation, we determined nests with evidence characteristic of fox predation accounted for 4% of depredated nests in coyote areas and 27% in fox areas (P = 0.001). An expanding coyote population is contributing to higher overall nest success. Management of coyotes may be an effective method for increasing duck nest success.

  20. SARCOPTIC MANGE IN ENDANGERED KIT FOXES (VULPES MACROTIS MUTICA): CASE HISTORIES, DIAGNOSES, AND IMPLICATIONS FOR CONSERVATION.

    PubMed

    Cypher, Brian L; Rudd, Jaime L; Westall, Tory L; Woods, Leslie W; Stephenson, Nicole; Foley, Janet E; Richardson, Donald; Clifford, Deana L

    2017-01-01

    The San Joaquin kit fox ( Vulpes macrotis mutica) is a federally endangered small carnivore whose distribution is limited to the San Joaquin Valley in central California. Population decline is due to profound habitat loss, and conservation of all remaining populations is critical. A robust urban population occurs in the city of Bakersfield. In spring of 2013, putative cases of mange were reported in this population. Mites from affected animals were confirmed to be Sarcoptes scabiei morphologically and by DNA sequencing. By the end of 2014, 15 cases of kit foxes with mange had been confirmed. As with other species, sarcoptic mange in kit foxes is characterized by intense pruritus and dermatitis, caused by mites burrowing into the epidermal layers, as well as alopecia, hyperkeratosis, and encrustations, secondary bacterial infections, and finally extreme morbidity and death. Of the 15 cases, six foxes were found dead, six were captured but died during attempted rehabilitation, and three were successfully treated. We have no evidence that untreated kit foxes can recover from mange. Sarcoptic mange constitutes a significant threat to the Bakersfield kit fox population and could pose an even greater threat to this imperiled species if it spreads to populations in nearby natural lands.

  1. Interference competition: odours of an apex predator and conspecifics influence resource acquisition by red foxes.

    PubMed

    Leo, Viyanna; Reading, Richard P; Letnic, Mike

    2015-12-01

    Apex predators can impact smaller predators via lethal effects that occur through direct killing, and non-lethal effects that arise when fear-induced behavioural and physiological changes reduce the fitness of smaller predators. A general outcome of asymmetrical competition between co-existing predator species is that larger predators tend to suppress the abundances of smaller predators. Here, we investigate interference effects that an apex predator, the dingo (Canis dingo), has on the acquisition of food and water by the smaller red fox (Vulpes vulpes), by exposing free-ranging foxes to the odour of dingoes and conspecifics in an arid environment. Using giving-up densities we show that foxes foraged more apprehensively at predator-odour treatments than unscented controls, but their food intake did not differ between dingo- and fox-odour treatments. Using video analysis of fox behaviour at experimental water stations we show that foxes spent more time engaged in exploration behaviour at stations scented with fox odour and spent more time drinking at water stations scented with dingo odour. Our results provide support for the idea that dingo odour exerts a stronger interference effect on foxes than conspecific odour, but suggest that the odours of both larger dingoes and unfamiliar conspecifics curtailed foxes' acquisition of food resources.

  2. Chromosomal mapping of canine-derived BAC clones to the red fox and American mink genomes.

    PubMed

    Kukekova, Anna V; Vorobieva, Nadegda V; Beklemisheva, Violetta R; Johnson, Jennifer L; Temnykh, Svetlana V; Yudkin, Dmitry V; Trut, Lyudmila N; Andre, Catherine; Galibert, Francis; Aguirre, Gustavo D; Acland, Gregory M; Graphodatsky, Alexander S

    2009-01-01

    High-quality sequencing of the dog (Canis lupus familiaris) genome has enabled enormous progress in genetic mapping of canine phenotypic variation. The red fox (Vulpes vulpes), another canid species, also exhibits a wide range of variation in coat color, morphology, and behavior. Although the fox genome has not yet been sequenced, canine genomic resources have been used to construct a meiotic linkage map of the red fox genome and begin genetic mapping in foxes. However, a more detailed gene-specific comparative map between the dog and fox genomes is required to establish gene order within homologous regions of dog and fox chromosomes and to refine breakpoints between homologous chromosomes of the 2 species. In the current study, we tested whether canine-derived gene-containing bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clones can be routinely used to build a gene-specific map of the red fox genome. Forty canine BAC clones were mapped to the red fox genome by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Each clone was uniquely assigned to a single fox chromosome, and the locations of 38 clones agreed with cytogenetic predictions. These results clearly demonstrate the utility of FISH mapping for construction of a whole-genome gene-specific map of the red fox. The further possibility of using canine BAC clones to map genes in the American mink (Mustela vison) genome was also explored. Much lower success was obtained for this more distantly related farm-bred species, although a few BAC clones were mapped to the predicted chromosomal locations.

  3. Chromosomal Mapping of Canine-Derived BAC Clones to the Red Fox and American Mink Genomes

    PubMed Central

    Vorobieva, Nadegda V.; Beklemisheva, Violetta R.; Johnson, Jennifer L.; Temnykh, Svetlana V.; Yudkin, Dmitry V.; Trut, Lyudmila N.; Andre, Catherine; Galibert, Francis; Aguirre, Gustavo D.; Acland, Gregory M.; Graphodatsky, Alexander S.

    2009-01-01

    High-quality sequencing of the dog (Canis lupus familiaris) genome has enabled enormous progress in genetic mapping of canine phenotypic variation. The red fox (Vulpes vulpes), another canid species, also exhibits a wide range of variation in coat color, morphology, and behavior. Although the fox genome has not yet been sequenced, canine genomic resources have been used to construct a meiotic linkage map of the red fox genome and begin genetic mapping in foxes. However, a more detailed gene-specific comparative map between the dog and fox genomes is required to establish gene order within homologous regions of dog and fox chromosomes and to refine breakpoints between homologous chromosomes of the 2 species. In the current study, we tested whether canine-derived gene–containing bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clones can be routinely used to build a gene-specific map of the red fox genome. Forty canine BAC clones were mapped to the red fox genome by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Each clone was uniquely assigned to a single fox chromosome, and the locations of 38 clones agreed with cytogenetic predictions. These results clearly demonstrate the utility of FISH mapping for construction of a whole-genome gene-specific map of the red fox. The further possibility of using canine BAC clones to map genes in the American mink (Mustela vison) genome was also explored. Much lower success was obtained for this more distantly related farm-bred species, although a few BAC clones were mapped to the predicted chromosomal locations. PMID:19546120

  4. Den site activity patterns of adult male and female swift foxes, Vulpes velox, in Northwestern Texas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lemons, P.R.; Ballard, W.B.; Sullivan, R.M.; Sovada, M.A.

    2003-01-01

    Activity of Swift Foxes (Vulpes velox) at den sites was studied in northwestern Texas during pup rearing seasons in 2000 and 2001 to determine role of males in parental care. Twenty-four percent of radio-collared females with a potential to breed successfully raised pups to eight weeks of age. We intensively monitored presence and absence of male and female Swift Foxes at two den sites each year. Females were present >2.6 times more at den sites than males during the pup rearing season. Female and male Swift Foxes largely stayed at dens during diurnal hours and were active away from dens during nocturnal and crepuscular hours. Females and males spent 12.4% and 3.0% more time at dens before pups emerged, than after pups emerged, respectively. Following depredation of one male parent, the female spent 29% less time at the den site. Decrease in time spent at the den by the female following loss of her mate suggested that loss of one parent might severely impact recruitment of Swift Foxes. Our observations indicated that intense Coyote (Canis latrans) depredation may severely impact pup-rearing success as well as the parental care within Swift Fox family groups.

  5. First isolate of Toxoplasma gondii from arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) from Svalbard.

    PubMed

    Prestrud, Kristin Wear; Dubey, J P; Asbakk, Kjetil; Fuglei, Eva; Su, C

    2008-02-14

    Cats are considered essential for the maintenance of Toxoplasma gondii in nature. However, T. gondii infection has been reported in arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) from the Svalbard high arctic archipelago where felids are virtually absent. To identify the potential source of T. gondii, we attempted to isolate and genetically characterize the parasite from arctic foxes in Svalbard. Eleven foxes were trapped live in Grumant (78 degrees 11'N, 15 degrees 09'E), Svalbard, in September 2005 and 2006. One of the foxes was found to be seropositive to T. gondii by the modified agglutination test (MAT). The fox was euthanized and its heart and brain were bioassayed in mice for the isolation of T. gondii. All 10 mice inoculated with brain tissue and one of the five inoculated with heart developed MAT antibodies, and tissue cysts were found in the brains of seropositive mice. Two cats fed tissues from infected mice shed T. gondii oocysts. Genotyping using 10 PCR-RFLP markers and DNA sequencing of gene loci BSR4, GRA6, UPRT1 and UPRT2 determined the isolate to be Type II strain, the predominant T. gondii lineage in the world.

  6. [Helminths of the common fox (Vulpes vulpes L.) from the massif central (France) (author's transl)].

    PubMed

    Petavy, A F; Deblock, S

    1980-01-01

    Sixty nine wild foxes originating from Auvergne for the period January 1977 to January 1978 have shown intestinal parasites in the proportion of 76,8 per cent. 59,4 per cent are invaded with Cestodes; 72,4 per cent with Nematodes and none with Trematodes. The list of the identified species is following: 1. Cestodes. A) Adults and fertile forms of: Mesocestoides litteratus in 27,5 per cent of the hosts; Taenia crassiceps in 15,9 p.c.; T. polyacantha in 27,5 p.c.; Echinococcus multilocularis in 7,2 p.c.; Amoebotaenia paradoxa in 4,3 p.c. B) Immature forms of : Taenia pisiformis in 2,89 p.c.; T. ovis in 1,44 p.c. 2. Nematodes. Uncinaria stenocephala in 68,1 per cent of the hosts; Ancylostoma caninum in 1,4 p.c.; Molineus patens in 1,4 p.c.; Oxyurid sp. in 1,4 p.c.; Toxocara canis in 27,5 p.c. and Toxascaris leonina in 33,3 p.c. The composition of the helminth fauna of the foxes in the center countries of France is not different of the European species from the same host, except Amoebotaenia paradoxa, Dilepidid cestode of birds, quite unusual from a carnivorus mammal.

  7. Correlates between feeding ecology and mercury levels in historical and modern arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus).

    PubMed

    Bocharova, Natalia; Treu, Gabriele; Czirják, Gábor Árpád; Krone, Oliver; Stefanski, Volker; Wibbelt, Gudrun; Unnsteinsdóttir, Ester Rut; Hersteinsson, Páll; Schares, Gereon; Doronina, Lilia; Goltsman, Mikhail; Greenwood, Alex D

    2013-01-01

    Changes in concentration of pollutants and pathogen distribution can vary among ecotypes (e.g. marine versus terrestrial food resources). This may have important implications for the animals that reside within them. We examined 1) canid pathogen presence in an endangered arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) population and 2) relative total mercury (THg) level as a function of ecotype ('coastal' or 'inland') for arctic foxes to test whether the presence of pathogens or heavy metal concentration correlate with population health. The Bering Sea populations on Bering and Mednyi Islands were compared to Icelandic arctic fox populations with respect to inland and coastal ecotypes. Serological and DNA based pathogen screening techniques were used to examine arctic foxes for pathogens. THg was measured by atomic absorption spectrometry from hair samples of historical and modern collected arctic foxes and samples from their prey species (hair and internal organs). Presence of pathogens did not correlate with population decline from Mednyi Island. However, THg concentration correlated strongly with ecotype and was reflected in the THg concentrations detected in available food sources in each ecotype. The highest concentration of THg was found in ecotypes where foxes depended on marine vertebrates for food. Exclusively inland ecotypes had low THg concentrations. The results suggest that absolute exposure to heavy metals may be less important than the feeding ecology and feeding opportunities of top predators such as arctic foxes which may in turn influence population health and stability. A higher risk to wildlife of heavy metal exposure correlates with feeding strategies that rely primarily on a marine based diet.

  8. Prevalence, risk factors and multilocus genotyping of Enterocytozoon bieneusi in farmed foxes (Vulpes lagopus), Northern China.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiao-Xuan; Cong, Wei; Lou, Zhi-Long; Ma, Jian-Gang; Zheng, Wen-Bin; Yao, Qiu-Xia; Zhao, Quan; Zhu, Xing-Quan

    2016-02-05

    Microsporidiosis is a common disease in animals and humans around the world. Enterocytozoon bieneusi is the most common microsporidian species in humans. Many animal species may be a potential source of human microsporidiosis. However, information concerning prevalence and genotypes of E. bieneusi infection in farmed foxes (Vulpes lagopus) is scarce. Therefore, the present study examined prevalence, risk factors and genotypes of E. bieneusi in farmed foxes in northern China using a genetic approach. Of 302 fecal samples from farmed foxes, 37 (12.25%, 95% CI 8.55-15.95) were PCR-positive for E. bieneusi, and the prevalence was highly associated with the farming mode in that foxes raised outdoors (26.03% positive, 95% CI 18.91-33.15) had a significantly higher E. bieneusi prevalence than those raised indoors. Eleven internal transcribed spacer (ITS) genotypes were identified among the positive samples: four known E. bieneusi genotypes (Peru 8, Types IV, CHN-DC1 and D) and seven novel genotypes (NCF1-NCF7). Genotype NCF2 was the commonest (n = 13) and was found in five farms across three provinces (Jilin, Heilongjiang and Hebei). All genotypes belonged to phylogenetic group 1. Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) analyses revealed additional diversity. These findings indicate the presence of zoonotic E. bieneusi infection in farmed foxes in northern China. This is also the first report of genotypes Peru8, CHN-DC1 and Type IV, and seven novel genotypes (NCF1-NCF7) in farmed foxes by ITS combining with microsatellite and minisatellite markers for the first time. The results will provide baseline data for preventing and controlling E. bieneusi infection in farmed foxes, other animals and humans.

  9. Correlates between Feeding Ecology and Mercury Levels in Historical and Modern Arctic Foxes (Vulpes lagopus)

    PubMed Central

    Krone, Oliver; Stefanski, Volker; Wibbelt, Gudrun; Unnsteinsdóttir, Ester Rut; Hersteinsson, Páll; Schares, Gereon; Doronina, Lilia; Goltsman, Mikhail; Greenwood, Alex D.

    2013-01-01

    Changes in concentration of pollutants and pathogen distribution can vary among ecotypes (e.g. marine versus terrestrial food resources). This may have important implications for the animals that reside within them. We examined 1) canid pathogen presence in an endangered arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) population and 2) relative total mercury (THg) level as a function of ecotype (‘coastal’ or ‘inland’) for arctic foxes to test whether the presence of pathogens or heavy metal concentration correlate with population health. The Bering Sea populations on Bering and Mednyi Islands were compared to Icelandic arctic fox populations with respect to inland and coastal ecotypes. Serological and DNA based pathogen screening techniques were used to examine arctic foxes for pathogens. THg was measured by atomic absorption spectrometry from hair samples of historical and modern collected arctic foxes and samples from their prey species (hair and internal organs). Presence of pathogens did not correlate with population decline from Mednyi Island. However, THg concentration correlated strongly with ecotype and was reflected in the THg concentrations detected in available food sources in each ecotype. The highest concentration of THg was found in ecotypes where foxes depended on marine vertebrates for food. Exclusively inland ecotypes had low THg concentrations. The results suggest that absolute exposure to heavy metals may be less important than the feeding ecology and feeding opportunities of top predators such as arctic foxes which may in turn influence population health and stability. A higher risk to wildlife of heavy metal exposure correlates with feeding strategies that rely primarily on a marine based diet. PMID:23671561

  10. Genetic footprints reveal geographic patterns of expansion in Fennoscandian red foxes.

    PubMed

    Norén, Karin; Statham, Mark J; Ågren, Erik O; Isomursu, Marja; Flagstad, Øystein; Eide, Nina E; Berg, Thomas Bjørneboe G; Bech-Sanderhoff, Lene; Sacks, Benjamin N

    2015-09-01

    Population expansions of boreal species are among the most substantial ecological consequences of climate change, potentially transforming both structure and processes of northern ecosystems. Despite their importance, little is known about expansion dynamics of boreal species. Red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) are forecasted to become a keystone species in northern Europe, a process stemming from population expansions that began in the 19th century. To identify the relative roles of geographic and demographic factors and the sources of northern European red fox population expansion, we genotyped 21 microsatellite loci in modern and historical (1835-1941) Fennoscandian red foxes. Using Bayesian clustering and Bayesian inference of migration rates, we identified high connectivity and asymmetric migration rates across the region, consistent with source-sink dynamics, whereby more recently colonized sampling regions received immigrants from multiple sources. There were no clear clines in allele frequency or genetic diversity as would be expected from a unidirectional range expansion from south to north. Instead, migration inferences, demographic models and comparison to historical red fox genotypes suggested that the population expansion of the red fox is a consequence of dispersal from multiple sources, as well as in situ demographic growth. Together, these findings provide a rare glimpse into the anatomy of a boreal range expansion and enable informed predictions about future changes in boreal communities. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Widespread presence of human-pathogenic Enterocytozoon bieneusi genotype D in farmed foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) in China: first identification and zoonotic concern.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yuqi; Lin, Yongchao; Li, Qiao; Zhang, Siwen; Tao, Wei; Wan, Qiang; Jiang, Yanxue; Li, Wei

    2015-11-01

    Enterocytozoon bieneusi is a well-known causative agent of microsporidial infections in a variety of mammal hosts including humans in China, whereas there were no epidemiological data on wild animals bred in captivity, and the role of the neglected hosts in transmission of zoonotic microsporidiasis remains unknown. Herein, we investigated feces from 191 farmed foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and 162 farmed raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) for the prevalence and genotypic characteristics of E. bieneusi in Harbin City, northeast China. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) targeting the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) of the rRNA gene enabled the identification of 53 (27.7%) and 17 (10.5%) positives from fox and raccoon dog specimens, respectively. There was only minor difference in prevalence between juvenile and adult foxes. Adult raccoon dogs have an infection rate significantly higher than juveniles. The most common human-pathogenic E. bieneusi, genotype D, is widespread among foxes and raccoon dogs of various ages by sequence analysis of the ITS locus. Genotypes CHN-DC1 and mixed CHN-DC1/WildBoar3 were detected in one adult raccoon dog each. Here is the first report describing the presence of zoonotic E. bieneusi genotypes in farmed foxes and raccoon dogs. The widespread existence of genotype D in surveyed animals is of great concern for public health.

  12. Seasonal food habits of swift fox (Vulpes velox) in cropland and rangeland landscapes in western Kansas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sovada, M.A.; Roy, C.C.; Telesco, D.J.

    2001-01-01

    Food habits of swift foxes (Vulpes velox) occupying two distinct landscapes (dominated by cropland versus rangeland) in western Kansas were determined by analysis of scats collected in 1993 and 1996. Frequencies of occurrence of prey items in scats were compared between cropland and rangeland areas by season. Overall, the most frequently occurring foods of swift foxes were mammals (92% of all scats) and arthropods (87%), followed by birds (24%), carrion (23%), plants (15%) and reptiles (4%). No differences were detected between landscapes for occurrence of mammals, arthropods or carrion in any season (P ??? 0.100). Plants, specifically commercial sunflower seeds, were consumed more frequently in cropland than in rangeland in spring (P = 0.004) and fall (P = 0.001). Birds were more common in the swift fox diet in cropland than in rangeland during the fall (P = 0.008), whereas reptiles occurred more frequently in the diet in rangeland than in cropland during spring (P = 0.042). Variation in the diet of the swift fox between areas was most likely due to its opportunistic foraging behavior, resulting in a diet that closely links prey use with availability.

  13. Organochlorine-induced histopathology in kidney and liver tissue from Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus).

    PubMed

    Sonne, Christian; Wolkers, Hans; Leifsson, Pall S; Jenssen, Bjørn Munro; Fuglei, Eva; Ahlstrøm, Oystein; Dietz, Rune; Kirkegaard, Maja; Muir, Derek C G; Jørgensen, Even

    2008-04-01

    The effects of persistent organic pollutants on renal and liver morphology in farmed arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) were studied under experimental conditions. Control animals received a diet containing pork (Sus scrofa) fat with low amounts of persistent organic pollutants, while the diet of the exposed animals contained whale blubber, 'naturally' contaminated with persistent organic pollutants. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) and organochlorine pesticide (OCP) concentrations in the whale blubber were 488 and 395 ng/g wet weight, respectively. Animals were sacrificed and sampled when they were at their fattest (winter) as well as their lowest body weight (summer). The results show that PCB and OCP exposure causes renal (and probably also liver) lesions in arctic foxes. The prevalence of glomerular, tubular and interstitial lesions was significantly highest in the exposed group (chi-square: all p<0.05). The frequency of liver lesions (steatosis, intravascular granulocyte accumulations, interstitial cell infiltrations, lipid granulomas, portal fibrosis and bile duct hyperplasia) were also highest in the exposed group, although not significantly (chi-square: all p>0.05). The prevalence of lesions was not significantly different between lean (winter) and fat (summer) foxes for any of the lesions (chi-square: all p>0.05). We suggest that wild arctic foxes exposed to an environmental cocktail of persistent organic pollutants, such as PCBs and OCPs, in their natural diet are at risk for developing chronic kidney and liver damage. Whether such lesions may have an impact on age and health of the animals remains uncertain.

  14. Human-behavioral and paleoecological implications of terminal Pleistocene fox remains at the Marmes Site (45FR50), eastern Washington state, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyman, R. Lee

    2012-05-01

    Examination of terminal Pleistocene-age fox remains from the Marmes archaeological site in southeastern Washington State (USA) reveals that a previous identification of one specimen as arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) was incorrect. Of nearly four-dozen associated specimens, eleven, including the one originally identified as arctic fox, represent red fox (Vulpes vulpes). Cut-marked fox bones and associated stone artifacts and eyed bone needles suggest several foxes were butchered and perhaps hides sewn together. The modern environmental setting of the Marmes site is too warm for modern red fox; the prehistoric red fox remains suggest (summer) climate was cooler when those remains were deposited.

  15. Historical range, current distribution, and conservation status of the Swift Fox, Vulpes velox, in North America

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sovada, Marsha A.; Woodward, Robert O.; Igl, Lawrence D.

    2009-01-01

    The Swift Fox (Vulpes velox) was once common in the shortgrass and mixed-grass prairies of the Great Plains of North America. The species' abundance declined and its distribution retracted following European settlement of the plains. By the late 1800s, the species had been largely extirpated from the northern portion of its historical range, and its populations were acutely depleted elsewhere. Swift Fox populations have naturally recovered somewhat since the 1950s, but overall abundance and distribution remain below historical levels. In a 1995 assessment of the species' status under the US Endangered Species Act, the US Fish and Wildlife Service concluded that a designation of threatened or endangered was warranted, but the species was "precluded from listing by higher listing priorities." A major revelation of the 1995 assessment was the recognition that information useful for determining population status was limited. Fundamental information was missing, including an accurate estimate of the species' distribution before European settlement and an estimate of the species' current distribution and trends. The objectives of this paper are to fill those gaps in knowledge. Historical records were compiled and, in combination with knowledge of the habitat requirements of the species, the historical range of the Swift Fox is estimated to be approximately 1.5 million km2. Using data collected between 2001 and 2006, the species' current distribution is estimated to be about 44% of its historical range in the United States and 3% in Canada. Under current land use, approximately 39% of the species' historical range contains grassland habitats with very good potential for Swift Fox occupation and another 10% supports grasslands with characteristics that are less preferred (e.g., a sparse shrub component or taller stature) but still suitable. Additionally, land use on at least 25% of the historical range supports dryland farming, which can be suitable for Swift Fox

  16. Historical range, current distribution, and conservation status of the Swift Fox, Vulpes velox, in North America

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sovada, M.A.; Woodward, R.O.; Igl, L.D.

    2009-01-01

    The Swift Fox (Vulpes velox) was once common in the shortgrass and mixed-grass prairies of the Great Plains of NorthAmerica. The species' abundance declined and its distribution retracted following European settlement of the plains. By the late 1800s, the species had been largely extirpated from the northern portion of its historical range, and its populations were acutely depleted elsewhere. Swift Fox populations have naturally recovered somewhat since the 1950s, but overall abundance and distribution remain below historical levels. In a 1995 assessment of the species' status under the US Endangered Species Act, the US Fish and Wildlife Service concluded that a designation of threatened or endangered was warranted, but the species was "precluded from listing by higher listing priorities." A major revelation of the 1995 assessment was the recognition that information useful for determining population status was limited. Fundamental information was missing, including an accurate estimate of the species' distribution before European settlement and an estimate of the species' current distribution and trends. The objectives of this paper are to fill those gaps in knowledge. Historical records were compiled and, in combination with knowledge of the habitat requirements of the species, the historical range of the Swift Fox is estimated to be approximately 1.5 million km2. Using data collected between 2001 and 2006, the species' current distribution is estimated to be about 44% of its historical range in the United States and 3% in Canada. Under current land use, approximately 39% of the species' historical range contains grassland habitats with very good potential for Swift Fox occupation and another 10% supports grasslands with characteristics that are less preferred (e.g., a sparse shrub component or taller stature) but still suitable. Additionally, land use on at least 25% of the historical range supports dryland farming, which can be suitable for Swift Fox occupation

  17. Serologic survey of antibodies to Trypanosoma cruzi in coyotes and red foxes from Pennsylvania and Tennessee.

    PubMed

    Rosypal, Alexa C; Smith, Trynecia; Alexander, Andrew; Weaver, Melanie; Stewart, Richard; Houston, Allan; Gerhold, Richard; Van Why, Kyle; Dubey, Jitender P

    2014-12-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi is a zoonotic parasite of humans and other mammalian hosts with distribution throughout the Americas. Domestic and wild canine species are reservoirs for human T. cruzi infections. The present study examined the prevalence of antibodies to T. cruzi in wild canids from the United States. Sera from 13 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and 263 coyotes (Canis latrans), originating in Pennsylvania and Tennessee, were assayed for antibodies to T. cruzi with immunochromatographic tests. Antibodies to T. cruzi were found in 2 of 276 (0.72%) of all wild canids tested. Both T. cruzi-positive wild canids were coyotes and represented 2 of 21 (9.52%) wild canids assayed from Tennessee. Antibodies to T. cruzi were not detected in red fox. Anti-T. cruzi antibodies were not found in any wild canids from Pennsylvania. These results suggest that coyotes are exposed to T. cruzi in Tennessee but not in Pennsylvania.

  18. On the move? Echinococcus multilocularis in red foxes of Saxony-Anhalt (Germany).

    PubMed

    Denzin, N; Schliephake, A; Fröhlich, A; Ziller, M; Conraths, F J

    2014-06-01

    Echinococcus multilocularis is a cestode parasites that frequently occurs in the red fox (Vulpes vulpes), which is the main definitive host in Central Europe. The parasite may infect humans as accidental intermediate hosts and cause alveolar echinococcosis. In the German federal state of Saxony-Anhalt, the occurrence of E. multilocularis in red foxes as a possible source of infection for humans was studied from 1998 to 2010. A significant shift in the geographical centroid of the occurrence of E. multilocularis from a long-known highly endemic area in the southwest of the state towards the north-northeast (3.2 km/year) was found. The overall prevalence in the state increased significantly from 13.6% (1998-2005) to 23.4% (2006-2010). No autochthonous cases of alveolar echinococcosis have been reported to date in Saxony-Anhalt, but this might change in the near future with the spread and increasing biomass of the parasite.

  19. Hematologic values of the endangered San Joaquin kit fox, Vulpes macrotis mutica

    SciTech Connect

    McCue, P.M.; O'Farrell, T.P.

    1986-01-01

    Between 1981 and 1982 a total of 102 blood samples was collected from 91 San Joaquin kit foxes, Vulpes macrotis mutica, won the US Department of Energy's Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1 (Elk Hills), in western Kern County, California. The goal of the study was to establish normal blood parameters for this endangered species and to determine whether changes in them could be used to assess the possible effects of petroleum developments on foxes. Adult foxes had the following average hematological characteristics: RBC, 8.4 x 10/sup 6/ cells/..mu..l; Hb, 14.9 g/dl; PCV, 46.9%; MCV, 56.4 fl; MCH, 18.2 pg; MCHC, 32.0 g/dl; and WBC, 6900/..mu..l. None of the parameters differed significantly between the sexes. RBC, Hb, PCV, MCV, and MCHC varied as a function of age for puppies between three and six months of age. The highest values of MCV and MCH were obtained in summer, 1982, and the highest value of MCHC was obtained in winter, 1981-1982. These were the only parameters that appeared to change with season. None of the blood parameters appeared to be affected by petroleum developments. Hematological data for kit foxes, coyotes, and wolves confirmed a previously published observation that within mammalian families RBC is inversely correlated with body weight, and that MCV is directly correlated with body weight. It was speculated that it was an adaptive advantage for kit foxes having a high weight-specific metabolic rate to have evolved a high RBC and low MCV, allowing increased oxygen transport and exchange, while PCV was maintained relatively constant, avoiding hemoconcentration and increased viscosity of blood. 33 refs., 1 fig., 6 tabs.

  20. Serological survey for selected diseases in the endangered San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes macrotis mutica).

    PubMed

    McCue, P M; O'Farrell, T P

    1988-04-01

    Blood from endangered San Joaquin kit foxes (Vulpes macrotis mutica) inhabiting the Elk Hills Naval Petroleum Reserve, Kern County, and the Elkhorn Plain, San Luis Obispo County, California, was collected in 1981, 1982 and 1984 and sera were tested for antibodies against 10 selected pathogens. Proportions of kit fox sera containing antibodies against pathogens were: canine parvovirus, 100% in 1981-1982 and 67% in 1984; infectious canine hepatitis virus, 6% in 1981-1982 and 21% in 1984; canine distemper virus, none in 1981-1982 and 14% in 1984; Francisella tularensis, 8% in 1981-1982 and 31% in 1984; Brucella abortus, 8% in 1981-1982 and 3% in 1984; Brucella canis, 14% in 1981-1982 and none in 1984; Toxoplasma gondii, 6% in 1981-1982; Coccidioides immitis, 3% in 1981-1982; and Yersinia pestis and Leptospira interrogans serotypes canicola, grippotyphosa, hardjo, icterohaemorrhagiae, and pomona, none in 1981-1982. Although antibodies against selected pathogens were present, no clinical indications of disease were observed in these fox populations.

  1. Vector-borne pathogens in arctic foxes, Vulpes lagopus, from Canada.

    PubMed

    Mascarelli, Patricia E; Elmore, Stacey A; Jenkins, Emily J; Alisauskas, Ray T; Walsh, Mary; Breitschwerdt, Edward B; Maggi, Ricardo G

    2015-04-01

    Because of the relatively low biodiversity within arctic ecosystems, arctic foxes, Vulpes lagopus, could serve as sentinels for the study of changes in the ecology of vector-borne zoonotic pathogens. The objective of this study was to determine the molecular prevalence of 5 different genera of vector borne pathogens (Anaplasma, Babesia, Bartonella, Ehrlichia, and Hemotropic Mycoplasma spp.) using blood collected from 28 live-trapped arctic foxes from the region of Karrak Lake, Nunavut, Canada. Bartonella henselae (n = 3), Mycoplasma haemocanis (n = 1), Ehrlichia canis (n = 1), and an Anaplasma sp. (n = 1) DNA were PCR amplified and subsequently identified by sequencing. This study provides preliminary evidence that vector borne pathogens, not typically associated with the arctic ecosystem, exist at low levels in this arctic fox population, and that vector exposure, pathogen transmission dynamics, and changes in the geographic distribution of pathogens over time should be investigated in future studies. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  2. Effect of body condition on tissue distribution of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus).

    PubMed

    Aas, Camilla Bakken; Fuglei, Eva; Herzke, Dorte; Yoccoz, Nigel G; Routti, Heli

    2014-10-07

    Arctic animals undergo large seasonal fluctuations in body weight. The effect of body condition on the distribution and composition of 16 perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) was investigated in liver, blood, kidney, adipose tissue, and muscle of Arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) from Svalbard (n = 18, age 1-3 years). PFAS concentrations were generally highest in liver, followed by blood and kidney, while lowest concentrations were found in adipose tissue and muscle. Concentrations of summed perfluorocarboxylic acids and perfluoroalkyl sulfonates were five and seven times higher, respectively, in adipose tissue of lean compared to fat foxes. In addition, perfluorodecanoate (PFDA) and perfluoroheptanesulfonate (PFHpS) concentrations in liver, kidney, and blood, and, perfluorononanoate (PFNA) in liver and blood, were twice as high in the lean compared to the fat foxes. The ratio between perfluorooctane sulfonamide (FOSA) and its metabolite perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) was lowest in liver, muscle, and kidney, while significantly higher proportions of FOSA were found in adipose tissue and blood. The results of the present study suggest that toxic potential of exposure to PFAS among other pollutants in Arctic mammals may increase during seasonal emaciation. The results also suggest that body condition should be taken into account when assessing temporal trends of PFASs.

  3. The complete mitochondrial genome of the Tibetan fox (Vulpes ferrilata) and implications for the phylogeny of Canidae.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Chao; Zhang, Honghai; Liu, Guangshuai; Yang, Xiufeng; Zhang, Jin

    2016-02-01

    Canidae is a family of carnivores comprises about 36 extant species that have been defined as three distinct monophyletic groups based on multi-gene data sets. The Tibetan fox (Vulpes ferrilata) is a member of the family Canidae that is endemic to the Tibetan Plateau and has seldom been in the focus of phylogenetic analyses. To clarify the phylogenic relationship of V. ferrilata between other canids, we sequenced the mitochondrial genome and firstly attempted to clarify the relative phylogenetic position of V. ferrilata in canids using the complete mitochondrial genome data. The mitochondrial genome of the Tibetan fox was 16,667 bp, including 37 genes (13 protein-coding genes, 2 rRNA, and 22 tRNA) and a control region. A comparison analysis among the sequenced data of canids indicated that they shared a similar arrangement, codon usage, and other aspects. A phylogenetic analysis on the basis of the nearly complete mtDNA genomes of canids agreed with three monophyletic clades, and the Tibetan fox was highly supported as a sister group of the corsac fox within Vulpes. The estimation of the divergence time suggested a recent split between the Tibetan fox and the corsac fox and rapid evolution in canids. There was no genetic evidence for positive selection related to high-altitude adaption for the Tibetan fox in mtDNA and following studies should pay more attention to the detection of positive signals in nuclear genes involved in energy and oxygen metabolisms.

  4. Survey of potential habitat for the endangered San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes macrotis mutica) in the Carrizo Plain, San Luis Obispo County, California. [Vulpes macrotis mutica

    SciTech Connect

    Kato, T.T.

    1986-10-01

    A field study was conducted for the US Fish and Wildlife Service to determine the presence and distribution of the endangered San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes macrotis mutica), and to map land use patterns on the Carrizo Plain, eastern San Luis Obispo County, California. The survey was conducted in July 1985 and covered approximately 8140 acres in 20 sections of land. A total of 41 kit fox dens were found. The highest number of kit fox dens observed per 1000 acres was 12; the lowest was 1.5. Approximately 29,720 acres (49%) were grazed by cattle and sheep, 25,600 acres (42%) were cultivated for dry-land farming, but land use was not determined for 5560 acres (9%).

  5. Zoonotic Bartonella species in fleas and blood from red foxes in Australia.

    PubMed

    Kaewmongkol, Gunn; Kaewmongkol, Sarawan; Fleming, Patricia A; Adams, Peter J; Ryan, Una; Irwin, Peter J; Fenwick, Stanley G

    2011-12-01

    Bartonella are arthropod-borne, fastidious, Gram-negative, and aerobic bacilli distributed by fleas, lice, sand flies, and, possibly, ticks. The zoonotic Bartonella species, Bartonella henselae and Bartonella clarridgeiae, which are the causes of cat scratch disease and endocarditis in humans, have been reported from cats, cat fleas, and humans in Australia. However, to date, there has been no report of B. henselae or B. clarridgeiae in Australian wild animals and their ectoparasites. B. henselae and B. clarridgeiae were detected in fleas (Ctenocephalides felis) from red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), an introduced pest animal species in Australia, and only B. clarridgeiae was detected in blood from one red fox. Phylogenetic analysis of the ribosomal intergenic spacer region revealed that the B. henselae detected in the current study were related to B. henselae strain Houston-1, a major pathogenic strain in humans in Australia, and confirmed the genetic distinctness of B. clarridgeiae. The identification and characterization of Bartonella species in red foxes in the Southwest of Western Australia suggests that red foxes may act as reservoirs of infection for animals and humans in this region.

  6. Red fox and tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) in humans: can predators influence public health?

    PubMed

    Haemig, Paul D; Lithner, Stefan; Sjostedt De Luna, Sara; Lundkvist, Ake; Waldenström, Jonas; Hansson, Lennart; Arneborn, Malin; Olsen, Björn

    2008-01-01

    Analysing datasets from hunting statistics and human cases of tick-borne encephalitis (TBE), we found a positive correlation between the number of human TBE cases and the number of red fox (Vulpes vulpes). Time lags were also present, indicating that high numbers of red fox in 1 y translated into high numbers of human TBE cases the following y. Results for smaller predators were mixed and inconsistent. Hares and grouse showed negative correlations with human TBE cases, suggesting that they might function as dilution hosts. Combining our findings with food web dynamics, we hypothesize a diversity of possible interactions between predators and human disease - some predators suppressing a given disease, others enhancing its spread, and still others having no effect at all. Larger-sized predators that suppress red fox numbers and activity (i.e. wolf, Canis lupus; European lynx, Lynx lynx) were once abundant in our study area but have been reduced or extirpated from most parts of it by humans. We ask what would happen to red foxes and TBE rates in humans if these larger predators were restored to their former abundances.

  7. Gray Fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) ecology and management

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Howell, Judd A.

    1997-01-01

    The gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) is a petite member of the family Canidae in the order Carnivora with a long muzzle and pointed ears (Samuel and Nelson 1982). The coat of the gray fox is silver gray across the back with significant amounts of rufus along the sides. This characteristic is often confused by people who see the flash of red and assume that the fox is a red fox (Vulpes vulpes). The gray fox has a black tipped tail with a dorsal black stripe that differentiates this species from the kit fox (Vulpes macrotis). The red fox has a white tipped tail. The gray fox weighs between 3-5 kg, occasionally to 7 kg. TL 800-1125, T 275-443, HF 100-150. (Jameson and Peeters 1988).

  8. First molecular evidence of Hepatozoon canis infection in red foxes and golden jackals from Hungary.

    PubMed

    Farkas, Róbert; Solymosi, Norbert; Takács, Nóra; Hornyák, Ákos; Hornok, Sándor; Nachum-Biala, Yaarit; Baneth, Gad

    2014-07-02

    Recently, Hepatozoon canis infection has been detected among shepherd, hunting and stray dogs in the southern part of Hungary, which is considered to be free of Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato and close to the border with Croatia. The aim of this study was to acquire information on the possibility that red foxes and/or golden jackals could play a role in the appearance and spread of H. canis in Hungary. A conventional PCR was used to amplify a 666 bp long fragment of the Hepatozoon 18S rRNA gene from blood samples collected from 334 foxes shot in 231 locations in 16 counties and 15 golden jackals shot in 9 locations in two southwestern counties close to Croatia. A second PCR assay was performed in some of the samples positive by the first PCR to amplify a larger segment (approximately 1500 bp) of the 18S rRNA gene of Hepatozoon spp. for further phylogenetic analysis. Hepatozoon infection was detected in canids shot in 30 locations and 9 counties. Altogether 26 foxes (8.0%, 95% CI: 5-11%) and 9 jackals (60%, 95% CI: 33-81%) were PCR positive. Hepatozoon canis sequences were obtained from 12 foxes and 7 jackals. DNA sequences from 16 animals were 99-100% similar to H. canis from Croatian foxes or dogs while two of the sequences were 99% similar to an Italian fox. Half (13/26) of the infected red foxes and all golden jackals were shot in the two southwestern counties. This is the first report on molecular evidence of H. canis in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and golden jackals (Canis aureus) from Hungary, which is considered free from the tick vector of H. canis, R. sanguineus. Although no R. sanguineus sensu lato had been found on infected or non-infected wild canids, the detection of authochnous canine hepatozoonosis in Hungary might imply that the range of R. sanguineus sensu lato has reached this country.

  9. Hammondia triffittae n. comb. of foxes ( Vulpes spp.): biological and molecular characteristics and differentiation from Hammondia heydorni of dogs.

    PubMed

    Gjerde, Bjørn; Dahlgren, Stina S

    2011-03-01

    Genomic DNAs from 3 oocyst isolates of Hammondia sp. from foxes (Vulpes vulpes and V. lagopus) and 1 oocyst isolate of Hammondia heydorni from a dog, were examined by PCR and sequence analysis of 6 loci in order to determine whether the isolates were conspecific. Consistent genetic differences were found between the fox and dog isolates, respectively, at the ITS-2 region, the lsu rRNA gene, the alpha tubulin gene and the HSP70 gene, but not at the ssu rRNA gene or ITS-1 locus. Infection experiments established that dogs were unsuitable as definitive hosts for Hammondia sp. of foxes; hence this species is regarded as separate from H. heydorni of wolf-like canids, but probably identical with Isospora triffittae (syn. Isospora triffitti) previously reported from foxes. This species has therefore been named Hammondia triffittae n. comb. Reindeer, moose, sheep, goats, foxes and rabbits may act as intermediate hosts for H. triffittae. Muscle tissues of inoculated intermediate hosts were infectious for foxes from 16 days post-infection. Oocysts of H. triffittae were subspherical, averaging 12.5 × 10.9 μm in size. The lsu rRNA gene and the alpha tubulin gene seem to be suitable genetic markers for differentiating between H. triffittae and H. heydorni.

  10. Echinococcus multilocularis and other zoonotic parasites in red foxes in Estonia.

    PubMed

    Laurimaa, Leidi; Moks, Epp; Soe, Egle; Valdmann, Harri; Saarma, Urmas

    2016-09-01

    Red fox (Vulpes vulpes) is the most widely distributed canid in the world and an important source of multiple zoonotic pathogens capable of causing life-threatening diseases, such as rabies and alveolar echinococcosis. Informing general public of potential risks related to foxes is becoming more important since the fox densities have increased in many countries and the species is colonizing urban areas in Europe and around the world with increasing pace, bringing zoonotic pathogens to the immediate neighbourhood of humans and their companion animals. The aim of this study was to examine the parasite fauna of red foxes in Estonia. We found in Estonian foxes a total of 17 endoparasite taxa, including ten zoonotic species. All the analysed individuals were infected and the average parasite species richness was 6·37. However, the infection rates varied to a very large extent for different parasite species, ranging from 0·9 to 91·5%. Of zoonotic species, the highest infection rate was observed for Alaria alata (90·7%), Eucoleus aerophilus (87·6%) and Uncinaria stenocephala (84·3%). The prevalence of tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis, a causative agent for alveolar echinococcosis, was also relatively high (31·5%), presenting a potential risk to human health.

  11. Inferring the distribution and demography of an invasive species from sighting data: the red fox incursion into Tasmania.

    PubMed

    Caley, Peter; Ramsey, David S L; Barry, Simon C

    2015-01-01

    A recent study has inferred that the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) is now widespread in Tasmania as of 2010, based on the extraction of fox DNA from predator scats. Heuristically, this inference appears at first glance to be at odds with the lack of recent confirmed discoveries of either road-killed foxes--the last of which occurred in 2006, or hunter killed foxes--the most recent in 2001. This paper demonstrates a method to codify this heuristic analysis and produce inferences consistent with assumptions and data. It does this by formalising the analysis in a transparent and repeatable manner to make inference on the past, present and future distribution of an invasive species. It utilizes Approximate Bayesian Computation to make inferences. Importantly, the method is able to inform management of invasive species within realistic time frames, and can be applied widely. We illustrate the technique using the Tasmanian fox data. Based on the pattern of carcass discoveries of foxes in Tasmania, we infer that the population of foxes in Tasmania is most likely extinct, or restricted in distribution and demographically weak as of 2013. It is possible, though unlikely, that that population is widespread and/or demographically robust. This inference is largely at odds with the inference from the predator scat survey data. Our results suggest the chances of successfully eradicating the introduced red fox population in Tasmania may be significantly higher than previously thought.

  12. Scavenging efficiency and red fox abundance in Mediterranean mountains with and without vultures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morales-Reyes, Zebensui; Sánchez-Zapata, José A.; Sebastián-González, Esther; Botella, Francisco; Carrete, Martina; Moleón, Marcos

    2017-02-01

    Vertebrate scavenging assemblages include two major functional groups: obligate scavengers (i.e., vultures), which depend totally on carrion and are undergoing severe declines around the globe, and facultative scavengers, which exploit carrion opportunistically and are generally ubiquitous. Our goal was to investigate the hypothesis that vultures can indirectly regulate the abundance of mesopredators (i.e., facultative scavengers) through modulating their access to carrion resources. We studied scavenging efficiency and red fox (Vulpes vulpes) abundance in two neighbouring areas of South-eastern Spain where vultures (mainly griffon vultures Gyps fulvus) are present (Cazorla) and absent (Espuña). To do so, we monitored ungulate carcasses consumption during winter and summer, and counted red fox scats along walking transects as a proxy of fox density. Our results confirmed that scavenging efficiency was higher in Cazorla and in carcasses visited by vultures. This resulted in increasing scavenging opportunities for facultative scavengers where vultures were absent. Accordingly, mean red fox abundance was higher in Espuña. These results suggest the existence of a vulture-mediated mesopredator release (i.e., an increase of mesopredator numbers following vulture loss), which could trigger important indirect ecological effects. Also, our study demonstrates that facultative scavengers are hardly able to functionally replace vultures, mainly because the former exploit carrion on a slower time scale.

  13. A case history of a dynamic resource--the red fox

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sargeant, A.B.; Sanderson, G.C.

    1982-01-01

    Red fox (Vulpes vulpes) population trends in midwestern North America since 1800 were examined. During 1801-1900, the red fox expanded its range south to include most of the region, but populations remained low in most areas. During 1901-30, it became scarce or absent in many northern areas but was common in southern areas. During 1931-45, populations in most of the region increased to high levels. From 1946 to 1980 populations remained high and westward range expansions occurred on the northern plains. Three factors appear primarily responsible for major population changes. Habitat conditions improved after settlement, but in many areas population buildup was delayed. Interspecific canid competition, especially from expanding coyote (Canis latrans) populations, held red fox populations at low levels, especially in the west. Excessive harvest for fur contributed to holding populations down in many areas, especially during the early 1900's when pelt values were exceptionally high. Major population increases during the 1930's and early 1940's coincided with declining pelt prices and resulted in widespread implementation of fox bounties. In the 1960's, bounties were gradually discontinued, pelt prices increased, and restrictions on season length and harvest methods were implemented in most states.

  14. The oldest African fox ( Vulpes riffautae n. sp., Canidae, Carnivora) recovered in late Miocene deposits of the Djurab desert, Chad

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Bonis, Louis; Peigné, Stéphane; Likius, Andossa; Mackaye, Hassane Taïsso; Vignaud, Patrick; Brunet, Michel

    2007-07-01

    We report on the oldest fox (Canidae) ever found in Africa. It is dated to 7 Ma based on the degree of evolution of the whole fauna. It belongs to a new species. Its overall size and some morphological characteristics distinguish the Chadian specimen from all the other foxes. The presence of Vulpes and of the genus Eucyon in slightly younger African locality, as well as in southwestern Europe in the late Miocene, may indicate that canids migrated in Europe from Africa through a trans-Mediterranean route.

  15. The oldest African fox (Vulpes riffautae n. sp., Canidae, Carnivora) recovered in late Miocene deposits of the Djurab desert, Chad.

    PubMed

    de Bonis, Louis; Peigné, Stéphane; Likius, Andossa; Mackaye, Hassane Taïsso; Vignaud, Patrick; Brunet, Michel

    2007-07-01

    We report on the oldest fox (Canidae) ever found in Africa. It is dated to 7 Ma based on the degree of evolution of the whole fauna. It belongs to a new species. Its overall size and some morphological characteristics distinguish the Chadian specimen from all the other foxes. The presence of Vulpes and of the genus Eucyon in slightly younger African locality, as well as in southwestern Europe in the late Miocene, may indicate that canids migrated in Europe from Africa through a trans-Mediterranean route.

  16. Chronic dietary exposure to environmental organochlorine contaminants induces thyroid gland lesions in Arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus).

    PubMed

    Sonne, Christian; Wolkers, Hans; Leifsson, Pall S; Iburg, Tine; Jenssen, Bjørn Munro; Fuglei, Eva; Ahlstrøm, Oystein; Dietz, Rune; Kirkegaard, Maja; Muir, Derek C G; Jørgensen, Even H

    2009-08-01

    The impact of dietary organochlorine (OC) exposure on thyroid gland pathology was studied in farmed male Arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus). The exposed group (n=16) was fed a diet based on wild minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) blubber as a main fat source in order to mimic the exposure to OC cocktails in the Artic environment. This resulted in an exposure of approximately 17 microg Sigma OC/kg day and a Sigma OC residue adipose tissue and liver concentration of 1700 and 4470 ng/gl.w., respectively, after 16 months of exposure. Control foxes (n=13) were fed a diet with pork (Sus scrofa) fat as a main fat source containing significantly lower OC concentrations. The food composition fed to the control and exposed group was standardized for nutrient contents. Four OC-related histopathological changes were found: (1) flat-epithelial-cell true thyroid cysts (TC) characterized by neutral content; (2) remnants of simple squamous epithelial-cell embryonic ducts containing neutral debris (EDN); (3) remnants of stratified squamous epithelial-cell embryonic ducts containing acid mucins often accompanied with debris of leukocyte inflammatory nature (EDM) and (4) disseminated thyroid C-cell hyperplasia (HPC). Of these, the prevalence of TC, EDN and HPC was significantly highest in the exposed group (chi(2) test: all p<0.04). The study shows that the OC mixture in minke whale blubber may cause development of thyroid gland cysts, C-cell hyperplasia and increase the prevalence of cystic remnants of embryonic ducts. The mechanism causing these effects could include endocrine disruption of the hypothalamus-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis, a disturbance of the calcium homeostasis/metabolism or energy metabolism or immune suppression. Because concentrations of OCs are higher in wild Arctic foxes, it is likely that these animals could suffer from similar OC-induced thyroid gland pathological and functional changes.

  17. Accumulation and potential health effects of organohalogenated compounds in the arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus)--a review.

    PubMed

    Pedersen, Kathrine Eggers; Styrishave, Bjarne; Sonne, Christian; Dietz, Rune; Jenssen, Bjørn Munro

    2015-01-01

    This review addresses biological effects of anthropogenic organohalogenated compounds in the arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus). When considering the current levels, spatial and tissue distributions of selected organic pollutants in arctic fox subpopulations, especially the Svalbard based populations accumulate high levels. The dominating contaminant groups are the polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and chlordanes (CHLs), which reach high levels in adipose tissues, adrenals and liver. Recent controlled exposure studies on domesticated arctic fox and Greenland sledge dogs, show adverse health effects associated with OC concentrations lower than those measured in free-ranging populations. This indicates that especially populations at Svalbard may be at risk of experiencing OC related effects. The arctic fox as such may be an overlooked species in the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programs and it would add further information about pollution in the Arctic to include this species in the monitoring program.

  18. Fear or food - abundance of red fox in relation to occurrence of lynx and wolf.

    PubMed

    Wikenros, Camilla; Aronsson, Malin; Liberg, Olof; Jarnemo, Anders; Hansson, Jessica; Wallgren, Märtha; Sand, Håkan; Bergström, Roger

    2017-08-22

    Apex predators may affect mesopredators through intraguild predation and/or supply of carrion from their prey, causing a trade-off between avoidance and attractiveness. We used wildlife triangle snow-tracking data to investigate the abundance of red fox (Vulpes vulpes) in relation to lynx (Lynx lynx) and wolf (Canis lupus) occurrence as well as land composition and vole (Microtus spp.) density. Data from the Swedish wolf-monitoring system and VHF/GPS-collared wolves were used to study the effect of wolf pack size and time since wolf territory establishment on fox abundance. Bottom-up processes were more influential than top-down effects as the proportion of arable land was the key indicator of fox abundance at the landscape level. At this spatial scale, there was no effect of wolf abundance on fox abundance, whereas lynx abundance had a positive effect. In contrast, at the wolf territory level there was a negative effect of wolves on fox abundance when including detailed information of pack size and time since territory establishment, whereas there was no effect of lynx abundance. This study shows that different apex predator species may affect mesopredator abundance in different ways and that the results may be dependent on the spatiotemporal scale and resolution of the data.

  19. Population dynamics and epidemiology of Toxocara canis in Danish red foxes.

    PubMed

    Saeed, Isam S; Kapel, Christian M O

    2006-12-01

    Toxocara canis, an intestinal helminth of canids with zoonotic potential, was found in 618 (59%) of 1,040 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) collected from all Danish provinces (1997-2002). The prevalence and average worm burden were significantly higher for cubs than older foxes and in males than in females. A multiple logistic regression demonstrated that the prevalence was influenced significantly by sex and age of foxes in addition to location, season, and year of collection. The highest prevalence and worm burden were found in rural areas. The size and number of female worms was positively correlated to the fecal egg excretion. The length and fecundity of the worms was significantly higher in male foxes, and a general intensity dependence was suggested from a negative correlation between worm numbers and worm lengths. As compared to intestinal recovery of worms, somatic larvae were recovered from 20% of muscle samples and fecal eggs in 41% of fecal samples. The consistent finding of T. canis larvae in somatic tissues of naturally infected foxes is new.

  20. Concentrations and patterns of hydroxylated polybrominated diphenyl ethers and polychlorinated biphenyls in arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) from Svalbard.

    PubMed

    Routti, Heli; Andersen, Martin S; Fuglei, Eva; Polder, Anuschka; Yoccoz, Nigel G

    2016-09-01

    Concentrations and patterns of hydroxylated (OH) polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were investigated in liver from arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) sampled from Svalbard 1997-2011 (n = 100). The most important OH-PBDE in the arctic foxes was 6-OH-BDE47 detected in 24% of the samples. Relationships between 6-OH-BDE47, δ(13)C and BDE47 suggest that 6-OH-BDE47 residues in arctic foxes are related to marine dietary input, while the relative importance of the metabolic/natural origin of this compound remains unclear. 4-OH-CB187 and 4-OH-CB146 were the main OH-PCBs among the analyzed compounds. The OH-PCB pattern in the present arctic foxes indicates that arctic foxes have a capacity to biotransform a wide range of PCBs of different structures. Formation and retention of OH-PCBs was tightly related to PCB exposure. Furthermore, ΣOH-PCB concentrations were four times higher in the leanest compared to the fattest foxes. Concentrations of 4-OH-CB187 and 4-OH-CB146 among the highest contaminated arctic foxes were similar to the previously reported concentrations for polar bears. Given the high endocrine disruptive potential of OH-PCBs, we suggest that endocrine system may be affected by the relatively high OH-PCB residues in the Svalbard arctic fox population. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Muscular sarcocystosis in two arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) due to Sarcocystis arctica n. sp.: sarcocyst morphology, molecular characteristics and phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Gjerde, Bjørn; Schulze, Johan

    2014-03-01

    The arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) is a critically endangered species in Norway, and therefore, the small population is closely monitored, and most foxes found dead are subjected to necropsy. In two deceased foxes, thin-walled muscular sarcocysts were first detected in histological sections, and numerous sarcocysts were later found in frozen and thawed muscle samples from Fox 1. These sarcocysts measured 1-12 × 0.1-0.25 mm and had closely spaced, short, knob-like protrusions, giving the cysts a serrated outline. Genomic DNA was extracted from eight isolated sarcocysts (Fox 1) and two muscle samples (Fox 2) and subjected to polymerase chain reaction amplification at four loci: the nuclear 18S and 28S ribosomal RNA genes and internal transcribed spacer 1 region and the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 gene (cox1). Both foxes were infected by the same Sarcocystis sp., which displayed little or no genetic variation at the three nuclear loci (99.9-100% identity) and slightly more variation at cox1 (99.4-100% identity). Sequence comparisons and phylogenetic analyses revealed that this species was distinct from other named Sarcocystis spp. but was closely related to various species using avian intermediate hosts and possibly identical to an unnamed species reported from two American dogs. The species described from the two arctic foxes was named Sarcocystis arctica n. sp.

  2. First report of Toxoplasma gondii Seroprevalence in Farmed Arctic Foxes (Vulpes lagopus) in Eastern and Northeastern China.

    PubMed

    Lou, Zhi-Long; Cong, Wei; Meng, Qing-Feng; Sun, Wu-Wen; Qin, Si-Yuan; Zhang, Xiao-Xuan; Zhu, Xing-Quan; Qian, Ai-Dong

    2015-12-01

    Until now, no information on Toxoplasma gondii seroprevalence in Arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) was available in China. A serological survey was undertaken to assess T. gondii seroprevalence in farmed Arctic foxes in eastern and northeastern China. Antibodies to T. gondii were examined in 1346 farmed Arctic foxes using the modified agglutination test (MAT). A total of 113 (8.39%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 6.91-9.87) serum samples were positive to T. gondii at a 1:25 cutoff. Seroprevalence of T. gondii infection in male Arctic foxes was 8.68% (95% CI 6.75-10.6), which was higher than that in the female Arctic foxes (7.95%, 95% CI 5.65-10.26). The prevalence in polar foxes was 7.07% (95% CI 5.14-8.99), which was lower than that in the blue foxes (9.75%, 95% CI 7.49-11.99). T. gondii seroprevalence in Arctic foxes in Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, and Shandong Provinces was 9.85% (95% CI 5.75-13.95), 9.21% (95% CI 5.54-12.87), 7.37% (95% CI 5.22-9.51), and 8.68% (95% CI 5.66-11.70), respectively. There were no statistically significant differences between T. gondii seroprevalence and morphs, sex, or regions of Arctic foxes in logistic regression analysis (p < 0.05). The results of the present survey indicated that T. gondii infection in farmed Arctic foxes is prevalent in China. To our knowledge, this is the first report of T. gondii seroprevalence in Arctic foxes in China.

  3. Field evaluation of an intravital diagnostic test of Echinococcus multilocularis infection in red foxes.

    PubMed

    Reiterová, K; Miterpáková, M; Turceková, L'; Antolová, D; Dubinský, P

    2005-03-10

    Echinococcus multilocularis parasitizes the small intestine of red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and other carnivores, and has a wide distribution throughout the northern hemisphere. This cestode is the causative agent of human alveolar echinococcosis, a life-threatening helminth zoonosis. In 2000-2002, 2130 red foxes were examined for its presence in Slovakia, with a total prevalence of 30.7%. The data on occurrence were obtained by the combination of necropsy of small intestines from red foxes and coproantigen detection in faecal samples. The correlation between the number of detected specimens and the value of optical density of copro-ELISA test was found. When worm burdens were low (1-25 specimens) the sensitivity of the method was 31.3+/-8.64%, when worm burdens were >50 specimens, 81.8+/-0.66%, and with high worm burdens (>1000 specimens) the sensitivity reached 100+/-0.34%. E. multilocularis presence was detected using the nested PCR method from the eggs in the faecal samples with a 100% specificity. In epidemiological surveys of this zoonosis, it is of crucial importance to detect animals with a high level of infection, which are responsible for the bulk of environmental contamination. The advantage of copro-ELISA test lies in allowing the intravital diagnostics to be employed within the epidemiological survey of E. multilocularis occurrence in the protected and urban areas.

  4. Mesopredator Management: Effects of Red Fox Control on the Abundance, Diet and Use of Space by Feral Cats

    PubMed Central

    Molsher, Robyn; Newsome, Thomas M.; Dickman, Christopher R.

    2017-01-01

    Apex predators are subject to lethal control in many parts of the world to minimize their impacts on human industries and livelihoods. Diverse communities of smaller predators—mesopredators—often remain after apex predator removal. Despite concern that these mesopredators may be 'released' in the absence of the apex predator and exert negative effects on each other and on co-occurring prey, these interactions have been little studied. Here, we investigate the potential effects of competition and intraguild predation between red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and feral cats (Felis catus) in south-eastern Australia where the apex predator, the dingo (Canis dingo), has been extirpated by humans. We predicted that the larger fox would dominate the cat in encounters, and used a fox-removal experiment to assess whether foxes affect cat abundance, diet, home-range and habitat use. Our results provide little indication that intraguild predation occurred or that cats responded numerically to the fox removal, but suggest that the fox affects some aspects of cat resource use. In particular, where foxes were removed cats increased their consumption of invertebrates and carrion, decreased their home range size and foraged more in open habitats. Fox control takes place over large areas of Australia to protect threatened native species and agricultural interests. Our results suggest that fox control programmes could lead to changes in the way that cats interact with co-occurring prey, and that some prey may become more vulnerable to cat predation in open habitats after foxes have been removed. Moreover, with intensive and more sustained fox control it is possible that cats could respond numerically and alter their behaviour in different ways to those documented herein. Such outcomes need to be considered when estimating the indirect impacts of fox control. We conclude that novel approaches are urgently required to control invasive mesopredators at the same time, especially in areas

  5. Mesopredator Management: Effects of Red Fox Control on the Abundance, Diet and Use of Space by Feral Cats.

    PubMed

    Molsher, Robyn; Newsome, Alan E; Newsome, Thomas M; Dickman, Christopher R

    2017-01-01

    Apex predators are subject to lethal control in many parts of the world to minimize their impacts on human industries and livelihoods. Diverse communities of smaller predators-mesopredators-often remain after apex predator removal. Despite concern that these mesopredators may be 'released' in the absence of the apex predator and exert negative effects on each other and on co-occurring prey, these interactions have been little studied. Here, we investigate the potential effects of competition and intraguild predation between red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and feral cats (Felis catus) in south-eastern Australia where the apex predator, the dingo (Canis dingo), has been extirpated by humans. We predicted that the larger fox would dominate the cat in encounters, and used a fox-removal experiment to assess whether foxes affect cat abundance, diet, home-range and habitat use. Our results provide little indication that intraguild predation occurred or that cats responded numerically to the fox removal, but suggest that the fox affects some aspects of cat resource use. In particular, where foxes were removed cats increased their consumption of invertebrates and carrion, decreased their home range size and foraged more in open habitats. Fox control takes place over large areas of Australia to protect threatened native species and agricultural interests. Our results suggest that fox control programmes could lead to changes in the way that cats interact with co-occurring prey, and that some prey may become more vulnerable to cat predation in open habitats after foxes have been removed. Moreover, with intensive and more sustained fox control it is possible that cats could respond numerically and alter their behaviour in different ways to those documented herein. Such outcomes need to be considered when estimating the indirect impacts of fox control. We conclude that novel approaches are urgently required to control invasive mesopredators at the same time, especially in areas where

  6. Evaluation of the first oral rabies vaccination campaign of the red foxes in Greece.

    PubMed

    Korou, Laskarina-Maria; Tasioudi, Konstantia E; Tzani, Myrsini; Konstantinidis, Athanasios; Plevraki, Aikaterini; Iliadou, Peristera; Kostoglou, Petroula; Kaimaras, Dimitrios; Doudounakis, Spyridon; Mangana-Vougiouka, Olga

    2016-01-02

    Following the late 2012 recurrence of rabies in wild foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in central and north-western Greece, the first oral fox vaccination campaign co-financed by the European Union (EU) and the Greek state budget, was implemented. Initially, it involved 24 regional units of the Greek territory during the period October-December 2013. Vaccine-baits were aerially distributed by fixed-wing aircrafts. Vaccines were scattered along parallel flight paths 500m apart in order to optimize aerial missions and achieve homogeneous distribution. A geographical information system was used to objectively evaluate bait distribution. This system identified areas of inadequate bait density that would require additional flights. A total number of 1,504,821 baits were distributed covering an area of 54,584.29km(2). To assess the effectiveness of oral vaccination campaign a monitoring program was introduced, which entailed examination of serum samples and canine teeth derived from red foxes collected in the field. The laboratory analysis revealed 60% seropositivity and detection of tetracycline biomarker in 70% of the foxes tested. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Range-wide multilocus phylogeography of the red fox reveals ancient continental divergence, minimal genomic exchange and distinct demographic histories.

    PubMed

    Statham, Mark J; Murdoch, James; Janecka, Jan; Aubry, Keith B; Edwards, Ceiridwen J; Soulsbury, Carl D; Berry, Oliver; Wang, Zhenghuan; Harrison, David; Pearch, Malcolm; Tomsett, Louise; Chupasko, Judith; Sacks, Benjamin N

    2014-10-01

    Widely distributed taxa provide an opportunity to compare biogeographic responses to climatic fluctuations on multiple continents and to investigate speciation. We conducted the most geographically and genomically comprehensive study to date of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes), the world's most widely distributed wild terrestrial carnivore. Analyses of 697 bp of mitochondrial sequence in ~1000 individuals suggested an ancient Middle Eastern origin for all extant red foxes and a 400 kya (SD = 139 kya) origin of the primary North American (Nearctic) clade. Demographic analyses indicated a major expansion in Eurasia during the last glaciation (~50 kya), coinciding with a previously described secondary transfer of a single matriline (Holarctic) to North America. In contrast, North American matrilines (including the transferred portion of Holarctic clade) exhibited no signatures of expansion until the end of the Pleistocene (~12 kya). Analyses of 11 autosomal loci from a subset of foxes supported the colonization time frame suggested by mtDNA (and the fossil record) but, in contrast, reflected no detectable secondary transfer, resulting in the most fundamental genomic division of red foxes at the Bering Strait. Endemic continental Y-chromosome clades further supported this pattern. Thus, intercontinental genomic exchange was overall very limited, consistent with long-term reproductive isolation since the initial colonization of North America. Based on continental divergence times in other carnivoran species pairs, our findings support a model of peripatric speciation and are consistent with the previous classification of the North American red fox as a distinct species, V. fulva.

  8. Fleas of the San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes velox macrotis) on Camp Roberts Army National Guard Training Site, California

    SciTech Connect

    Spencer, K.A.; Egoscue, H.J.

    1992-09-01

    A total of 3,241 fleas, representing seven species, were identified from 398 samples collected from San Joaquin kit foxes (Vulpes velox macrotis), California ground squirrels (Spermophilus beecheyi), and deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) at Camp Roberts Army National Guard Training Site, California, from November 1988 through September 1991. Of 3,109 fleas collected from kit foxes 95.7% were Echidnophaga gallinacea, 4.0% Pulex irritans, 0.2% Hoplopsyllus anomolus, and 0.1% Odontopsyllus dentatus. One male Ctenocephalides fells was also collected from a kit fox. The 118 fleas collected from California ground squirrels consisted of Hoplopsyllus anomolus (55.9%), Echidnophaga gallinacea (37.3%), and Oropsylla montanus (6.8%). The 14 fleas collected from deer mice were Aetheca wagneri. Based on the distribution and abundance of flea species collected, and the vector efficiency of these fleas, it appears that kit foxes could play a role in the transfer of natural vectors of sylvatic plague between rodent populations, if the bacterium responsible for plague (Yersinia pestis) were present at Camp Roberts. Little information regarding kit fox food habits was evidenced by the distribution and abundance of small mammal flea species collected from kit foxes.

  9. Mortality of San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes velox macrotis) at Camp Roberts Army National Guard Training Site, California

    SciTech Connect

    Standley, W.G.; Berry, W.H.; O'Farrell, T.P.; Kato, T.T.

    1992-09-01

    Sources and rates of mortality of a San Joaquin kit fox population (Vulpes velox macrotis) were investigated at Camp Roberts Army National Guard Training Site, California, from November 1988 through September 1991. National Guard-authorized activities, including military training, caused the death of three of the 94 (3%) kit foxes radiocollared, and do not appear to jeopardize the continued existence of the population. Predation by larger carnivores, primarily coyotes (Canis latrans), caused the death of 75% of the 32 radiocollared kit foxes recovered dead for which a cause of death could be determined; vehicle impacts, disease (rabies), poisoning, and shooting were each responsible for the deaths of 6.3%. Adult annual mortality rate was 0.47 and the juvenile mortality rate was 0.80, and both rates are similar to rates reported for kit foxes in other locations. There was no significant difference between male and female mortality rates in either age class. The proportions of dead kit foxes recovered in different habitat types were similar to the availability of the habitat types within the distribution of kit fox on the installation.

  10. Seasonal emaciation causes tissue redistribution and an increased potential for toxicity of lipophilic pollutants in farmed arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus).

    PubMed

    Helgason, Lisa B; Wolkers, Hans; Fuglei, Eva; Ahlstrøm, Oystein; Muir, Derek; Jørgensen, Even H

    2013-08-01

    Many Arctic animals carry high body burdens of organochlorine contaminants (OCs) as a result of long-range transport of persistent pollutants. It has been shown that seasonal mobilization of body fat in these species results in increased blood concentration of OCs. The authors investigated OC assimilation, tissue distribution, and biotransformation in farmed Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) continuously fed a diet containing contaminated minke whale blubber or lard (control) from 8 wk of age in August 2003, until sampling when they were at their fattest (in November 2004) and leanest (in June 2005). Markedly higher tissue (liver, adrenals, brain, and blood) OC levels were found in June than in November despite low exposure to OCs during emaciation, suggesting that OCs had been redistributed from adipose tissues to vital organs. There were no differences in the activities of hepatic biotransforming enzymes between exposed fat and control fat foxes, except for 16α-hydroxylation, which was higher in exposed fat foxes. In emaciated foxes, ethoxyresorufin activity was higher in exposed than in control foxes, indicating an enhanced potential for toxicity of OCs with emaciation. Lower activities of 6β- and 2β-hydroxylation were found in lean than in fat foxes, irrespective of OC treatment. The results show that emaciation increase the toxic potential of accumulated OCs and emphasize that body adiposity must be considered when time-trend analyses, risk assessments, and effect studies are designed. Environ Toxicol Chem 2013;32:1784-1792. © 2013 SETAC. Copyright © 2013 SETAC.

  11. Red fox predation on breeding ducks in midcontinent North America

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sargeant, Alan B.; Allen, Stephen H.; Eberhardt, Robert T.

    1984-01-01

    Red fox (Vulpes vulpes) predation on nesting ducks was assessed by examining 1,857 adult duck remains found at 1,432 fox rearing dens from 1968 to 1973. Dabbling ducks were much more vulnerable to foxes than diving ducks. Dabbling ducks (1,798) found at dens consisted of 27% blue-winged teals (Anas discors), 23% mallards (A. platyrhynchos), 20% northern pintails (A. acuta), 9% northern shovelers (Spatula clypeata), 8% gadwalls (A. strepera), 3% green-winged teals (A. crecca), 2% American wigeons (A. americana), and 10% unidentified. Relative abundance of individual species and nesting chronology were the most important factors affecting composition of ducks taken by foxes. Seventy-six percent of 1,376 adult dabbling ducks and 40% of 30 adult diving ducks for which sex was determined were hens. In western North Dakota and western South Dakota, 65% of mallard and northern pintail remains found at dens were hens compared with 76% in eastern North Dakota and eastern South Dakota (P < 0.05). Percentage hens varied among the 5 most common dabbling ducks found at dens. In eastern North Dakota and eastern South Dakota, where predation on ducks was greatest, an average of 64% of gadwall, 73% of northern pintail, 81% of blue-winged teal, 81% of mallard, and 90% of northern shoveler remains found at dens were hens. Percentage hens among duck remains found at dens increased as the duck nesting season progressed. Numbers of adult ducks found at individual dens ranged from 0 to 67. The average number of ducks found in and around den entrances was used as an index of fox predation rates on ducks. Predation rate indices ranged from 0.01 duck/den in Iowa to 1.80 ducks/den in eastern North Dakota. Average annual predation rate indices for dabbling ducks in a 3-county intensive study area in eastern North Dakota were closely correlated with May pond numbers (r = 0.874, P < 0.10) and duck population size (r = 0.930, P < 0.05), but all species were not affected in the same manner or to

  12. Inferring the Distribution and Demography of an Invasive Species from Sighting Data: The Red Fox Incursion into Tasmania

    PubMed Central

    Caley, Peter; Ramsey, David S. L.; Barry, Simon C.

    2015-01-01

    A recent study has inferred that the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) is now widespread in Tasmania as of 2010, based on the extraction of fox DNA from predator scats. Heuristically, this inference appears at first glance to be at odds with the lack of recent confirmed discoveries of either road-killed foxes—the last of which occurred in 2006, or hunter killed foxes—the most recent in 2001. This paper demonstrates a method to codify this heuristic analysis and produce inferences consistent with assumptions and data. It does this by formalising the analysis in a transparent and repeatable manner to make inference on the past, present and future distribution of an invasive species. It utilizes Approximate Bayesian Computation to make inferences. Importantly, the method is able to inform management of invasive species within realistic time frames, and can be applied widely. We illustrate the technique using the Tasmanian fox data. Based on the pattern of carcass discoveries of foxes in Tasmania, we infer that the population of foxes in Tasmania is most likely extinct, or restricted in distribution and demographically weak as of 2013. It is possible, though unlikely, that that population is widespread and/or demographically robust. This inference is largely at odds with the inference from the predator scat survey data. Our results suggest the chances of successfully eradicating the introduced red fox population in Tasmania may be significantly higher than previously thought. PMID:25602618

  13. Abundances of red fox and pine marten in relation to the composition of boreal forest landscapes.

    PubMed

    Kurki, S; Nikula, A; Helle, P; Lindén, H

    1998-11-01

    The effects of human-caused fragmentation of boreal forest on the abundance of red fox Vulpes vulpes L. and pine marten Martes martes L. were studied by combining the Finnish wildlife-triangle snow-track data (1990-94) with land-use and forest resources data employing the GIS. Two study areas (each 45 000 km(2) ) located in northern and southern Finland were selected for the investigation. The extent of landscape that best explained predator abundance (tracks per 10 km 24 h(-1) ) was the same (about 100 km(2) ) in both species and study areas. The decreasing proportion of older forest and the increasing proportions of young forest and agricultural land in the landscape positively affected track density of red fox. The relationship between agricultural land and fox abundance, however, was characterized by a convex curve peaking at 20-30% of agricultural land. With the habitat classification used, landscape composition explained 26% and 11% of the spatial variation in fox abundance in the northern and southern study area, respectively. The relationship between landscape composition and pine marten abundance was not as clear as in that of red fox. Landscape composition explained 10% and 6% of spatial variation in pine marten abundance in the northern and southern study area, respectively. In both areas a positive impact occurred with the increasing proposition of young forest in the landscape, but in the northern area the negative effect of increasing proportion of agricultural land was dominant. The abundances of red fox and pine marten were not negatively correlated, indicating that competition or intraguild predation by red fox do not determine abundance of pine marten on a landscape scale. A general increase in predation pressure by generalist predators in fragmented forest landscapes has been an intensively discussed conservation problem during recent years. We conclude that the red fox is a species potentially able to cause elevated predation pressure in boreal

  14. Effects of roadside habitat and fox density on a snow track survey for foxes in Ohio

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stanley, Thomas R.; Bart, Jonathan

    1991-01-01

    Many methods have been used to survey red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and gray fox (Urocyon dnereoargenteus) populations. However, none has proven entirely satisfactory, and wild foxes remain one of the most difficult economically important wildlife species to monitor. In this study we evaluated the reliability of a snow track survey method for foxes by investigating whether the average number of road crossings per fox is influenced by changes in roadside habitat or changes in fox density. Several snow track surveys were conducted in two Ohio counties during January and February, 1984. Data on roadside habitat, relative fox densities, and fox crossings were collected. Results suggested that changes in roadside habitat could influence the average number of crossings per fox and, therefore, changes in the index could occur independent of actual population changes. We found no evidence that crossings per fox varied with fox density, but further research is needed to substantiate this finding.

  15. Blood characteristics of San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes velox macrotis) at Camp Roberts Army National Guard Training Site, California

    SciTech Connect

    Standley, W.G.; McCue, P.M.

    1992-09-01

    Hematology, serum chemistry, and prevalence of antibodies against selected, pathogens in a San Joaquin kit fox population (Vulpes velox macrotis) were investigated at Camp Roberts Army National Guard Training Site, California, in 1989 and 1990. Samples from 18 (10 female, 8 male) adult kit foxes were used to establish normal hematology and serum chemistry values for this population. Average values were all within the normal ranges reported for kit foxes in other locations. Three hematology parameters had significant differences between male and female values; males had higher total white blood cell and neutrophil counts, and lower lymphocyte counts. There were no significant differences between serum chemistry values from male and female foxes. Prevalence of antibodies was determined from serum samples from 47 (26 female, 21 male) adult kit foxes and eight (4 female, 4 male) juveniles. Antibodies were detected against five of the eight pathogens tested: canine parvovirus, Toxoplasma gondii Leptospira interrogans, canine distemper virus, and canine hepatitis virus. Antibodies were not detected against Brucella, canis, Coccidioides immitis, or Yersinia pestis.

  16. Blood characteristics of San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes velox macrotis) at Camp Roberts Army National Guard Training Site, California

    SciTech Connect

    Standley, W.G.; McCue, P.M.

    1992-09-01

    Hematology, serum chemistry, and prevalence of antibodies against selected, pathogens in a San Joaquin kit fox population (Vulpes velox macrotis) were investigated at Camp Roberts Army National Guard Training Site, California, in 1989 and 1990. Samples from 18 (10 female, 8 male) adult kit foxes were used to establish normal hematology and serum chemistry values for this population. Average values were all within the normal ranges reported for kit foxes in other locations. Three hematology parameters had significant differences between male and female values; males had higher total white blood cell and neutrophil counts, and lower lymphocyte counts. There were no significant differences between serum chemistry values from male and female foxes. Prevalence of antibodies was determined from serum samples from 47 (26 female, 21 male) adult kit foxes and eight (4 female, 4 male) juveniles. Antibodies were detected against five of the eight pathogens tested: canine parvovirus, Toxoplasma gondii Leptospira interrogans, canine distemper virus, and canine hepatitis virus. Antibodies were not detected against Brucella, canis, Coccidioides immitis, or Yersinia pestis.

  17. Impact of historical founder effects and a recent bottleneck on MHC variability in Commander Arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus)

    PubMed Central

    Ploshnitsa, Anna I; Goltsman, Mikhail E; Macdonald, David W; Kennedy, Lorna J; Sommer, Simone

    2012-01-01

    Populations of Arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) have been isolated on two of the Commander Islands (Bering and Mednyi) from the circumpolar distributed mainland population since the Pleistocene. In 1970–1980, an epizootic outbreak of mange caused a severe population decline on Mednyi Island. Genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) play a primary role in infectious disease resistance. The main objectives of our study were to compare contemporary variation of MHC class II in mainland and island Arctic foxes, and to document the effects of the isolation and the recent bottleneck on MHC polymorphism by analyzing samples from historical and contemporary Arctic foxes. In 184 individuals, we found 25 unique MHC class II DRB and DQB alleles, and identified evidence of balancing selection maintaining allelic lineages over time at both loci. Twenty different MHC alleles were observed in mainland foxes and eight in Bering Island foxes. The historical Mednyi population contained five alleles and all contemporary individuals were monomorphic at both DRB and DQB. Our data indicate that despite positive and diversifying selection leading to elevated rates of amino acid replacement in functionally important antigen-binding sites, below a certain population size, balancing selection may not be strong enough to maintain genetic diversity in functionally important genes. This may have important fitness consequences and might explain the high pathogen susceptibility in some island populations. This is the first study that compares MHC diversity before and after a bottleneck in a wild canid population using DNA from museum samples. PMID:22408734

  18. Mortality of arctic fox pups in northern Alaska

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1982-01-01

    Reports of mortality among arctic foxes, Alopex lagopus, generally consist of isolated incidents of predation by bald eagles, Haliaeetus leucocephalus, snowy owls, Nyctea scandiaca, red foxes, Vulpes vulpes, and dogs, Canis familiaris. This is a report of observations made on mortality of arctic fox pups observed at dens in the Prudhoe Bay and Colville River Delta areas of northern Alaska during summers of 1975 to 1978 and 1976 to 1979, respectively.

  19. Population trends of San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes velox macrotis) at Camp Roberts Army National Guard Training Site, California

    SciTech Connect

    Berry, W.H.; Standley, W.G.

    1992-10-01

    Population trends of a San Joaquin kit fox population (Vulpes velox macrotis) were investigated at Camp Roberts Army National Guard Training Site, California, from November 1989 through August 1991. Six semiannual livetrapping sessions and eight scent-station survey sessions were conducted. Livetrapping results and radiotelemetry data were used to calculate minimum population size, density, and distribution. A total of 175 individual foxes were trapped 463 times. The number of individuals trapped and minimum population size calculations showed a decline over time. The highest minimum population (109) was observed in winter 1988. Summer 1991 had the lowest minimum population size (45). No evidence was found to indicate that the apparent population decline was a result of military-authorized activities.

  20. The influence of habitat structure on genetic differentiation in red fox populations in north-eastern Poland.

    PubMed

    Mullins, Jacinta; McDevitt, Allan D; Kowalczyk, Rafał; Ruczyńska, Iwona; Górny, Marcin; Wójcik, Jan M

    2014-01-01

    The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) has the widest global distribution among terrestrial carnivore species, occupying most of the Northern Hemisphere in its native range. Because it carries diseases that can be transmitted to humans and domestic animals, it is important to gather information about their movements and dispersal in their natural habitat but it is difficult to do so at a broad scale with trapping and telemetry. In this study, we have described the genetic diversity and structure of red fox populations in six areas of north-eastern Poland, based on samples collected from 2002-2003. We tested 22 microsatellite loci isolated from the dog and the red fox genome to select a panel of nine polymorphic loci suitable for this study. Genetic differentiation between the six studied populations was low to moderate and analysis in Structure revealed a panmictic population in the region. Spatial autocorrelation among all individuals showed a pattern of decreasing relatedness with increasing distance and this was not significantly negative until 93 km, indicating a pattern of isolation-by-distance over a large area. However, there was no correlation between genetic distance and either Euclidean distance or least-cost path distance at the population level. There was a significant relationship between genetic distance and the proportion of large forests and water along the Euclidean distances. These types of habitats may influence dispersal paths taken by red foxes, which is useful information in terms of wildlife disease management.

  1. Serologic responses after vaccination of fennec foxes (Vulpes zerda) and meerkats (Suricata suricatta) with a live, canarypox-vectored canine distemper virus vaccine.

    PubMed

    Coke, Rob L; Backues, Kay A; Hoover, John P; Saliki, Jeremiah T; Ritchey, Jerry W; West, Gary D

    2005-06-01

    Fennec foxes (Vulpes zerda) and meerkats (Suricata suricatta) are considered to be susceptible to canine distemper virus (CDV) infection. Although no definitive clinical cases of natural CDV infections have been reported, mortalities due to CDV have been suspected and are reported in other closely related species. A commercially available monovalent, live, canarypox-vectored CDV vaccine induced neutralizing antibody titers that were maintained for at least a year in both fennec foxes and meerkats.

  2. The fall and rise of the Icelandic Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus): a 50-year demographic study on a non-cyclic Arctic fox population.

    PubMed

    Unnsteinsdottir, E R; Hersteinsson, P; Pálsson, S; Angerbjörn, A

    2016-08-01

    In territorial species, observed density dependence is often manifest in lowered reproductive output at high population density where individuals have fewer resources or are forced to inhabit low-quality territories. The Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) in Iceland is territorial throughout the year and feeds mostly on birds, since lemmings are absent from the country. Thus, the population does not exhibit short-term population cycles that are evident in most of the species' geographical range. The population has, however, gone through a major long-term fluctuation in population size. Because of the stability in hunting effort and reliable hunting records since 1958, the total number of adult foxes killed annually can be used as an index of population size (N t ). An index of carrying capacity (K) from population growth data for five separate time blocks during 1958-2007 revealed considerable variation in K and allowed a novel definition of population density in terms of K, or N t /K. Correlation analysis suggested that the reproductive rate was largely determined by the proportion of territorial foxes in the population. Variation in litter size and cub mortality was, on the other hand, related to climatic variation. Thus, Arctic foxes in Iceland engage in typical contest competition but can adapt their territory sizes in response to both temporal and spatial variation in carrying capacity, resulting in surprisingly little variation in litter size.

  3. First molecular evidence of Hepatozoon canis infection in red foxes and golden jackals from Hungary

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Recently, Hepatozoon canis infection has been detected among shepherd, hunting and stray dogs in the southern part of Hungary, which is considered to be free of Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato and close to the border with Croatia. The aim of this study was to acquire information on the possibility that red foxes and/or golden jackals could play a role in the appearance and spread of H. canis in Hungary. Methods A conventional PCR was used to amplify a 666 bp long fragment of the Hepatozoon 18S rRNA gene from blood samples collected from 334 foxes shot in 231 locations in 16 counties and 15 golden jackals shot in 9 locations in two southwestern counties close to Croatia. A second PCR assay was performed in some of the samples positive by the first PCR to amplify a larger segment (approximately 1500 bp) of the 18S rRNA gene of Hepatozoon spp. for further phylogenetic analysis. Results Hepatozoon infection was detected in canids shot in 30 locations and 9 counties. Altogether 26 foxes (8.0%, 95% CI: 5-11%) and 9 jackals (60%, 95% CI: 33-81%) were PCR positive. Hepatozoon canis sequences were obtained from 12 foxes and 7 jackals. DNA sequences from 16 animals were 99-100% similar to H. canis from Croatian foxes or dogs while two of the sequences were 99% similar to an Italian fox. Half (13/26) of the infected red foxes and all golden jackals were shot in the two southwestern counties. Conclusions This is the first report on molecular evidence of H. canis in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and golden jackals (Canis aureus) from Hungary, which is considered free from the tick vector of H. canis, R. sanguineus. Although no R. sanguineus sensu lato had been found on infected or non-infected wild canids, the detection of authochnous canine hepatozoonosis in Hungary might imply that the range of R. sanguineus sensu lato has reached this country. PMID:24985073

  4. Genome-wide expression analysis of hereditary hyperplastic gingivitis in silver foxes (Vulpes vulpes) using canine microarrays.

    PubMed

    Clark, Jo-Anna B J; Booman, Marije; Hudson, Robert C; Marshall, H Dawn

    2014-08-01

    Hereditary hyperplastic gingivitis (HHG) is an autosomal recessive condition found predominantly in farmed silver foxes, first documented in Europe in the 1940s. Hereditary gingival fibromatosis (HGF) is an analogous condition occurring in humans. HGF has a heterogeneous aetiology with emphasis placed on the autosomal dominant forms of inheritance for which there are three known loci: HGF1, HGF2, and HGF3. Among these, only one causative mutation has been determined, in the Son of sevenless homolog 1 (SOS1) gene. The goal of this study was to explore potential molecular or cellular mechanisms underlying HHG by analysis of global gene expression patterns from Affymetrix Canine 2.0 microarrays cross-referenced against candidate genes within the human loci. We conclude that the SOS1 gene involved in HGF1 is not significantly up-regulated in HHG. However, the structurally and functionally similar SOS2 gene is up-regulated in affected foxes, and we propose this as a candidate gene for HHG. At HGF2 we identify RASA1 (rat sarcoma viral p21 protein activator 1) as a candidate gene for HHG, as it is up-regulated in affected foxes and is involved in MAPK signalling. From comparison to the genes within the HGF3 locus, we find evidence for a role of androgens in HHG phenotype severity by differential up-regulation of SRD5A2 in HHG-affected foxes. We hypothesize that the putative mutation occurs upstream of RAS in the extracellular signal-regulated kinase component of MAPK signalling.

  5. ESTIMATING TOXOPLASMA GONDII EXPOSURE IN ARCTIC FOXES (VULPES LAGOPUS) WHILE NAVIGATING THE IMPERFECT WORLD OF WILDLIFE SEROLOGY.

    PubMed

    Elmore, Stacey A; Samelius, Gustaf; Al-Adhami, Batol; Huyvaert, Kathryn P; Bailey, Larissa L; Alisauskas, Ray T; Gajadhar, Alvin A; Jenkins, Emily J

    2016-01-01

    Although the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii is ubiquitous in birds and mammals worldwide, the full suite of hosts and transmission routes is not completely understood, especially in the Arctic. Toxoplasma gondii occurrence in humans and wildlife can be high in Arctic regions, despite apparently limited opportunities for transmission of oocysts shed by felid definitive hosts. Arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) are under increasing anthropogenic and ecologic pressure, leading to population declines in parts of their range. Our understanding of T. gondii occurrence in arctic foxes is limited to only a few regions, but mortality events caused by this parasite have been reported. We investigated the exposure of arctic foxes to T. gondii in the Karrak Lake goose colony, Queen Maud Gulf Migratory Bird Sanctuary, Nunavut, Canada. Following an occupancy-modeling framework, we performed replicated antibody testing on serum samples by direct agglutination test (DAT), indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT), and an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) that can be used in multiple mammalian host species. As a metric of test performance, we then estimated the probability of detecting T. gondii antibodies for each of the tests. Occupancy estimates for T. gondii antibodies in arctic foxes under this framework were between 0.430 and 0.758. Detection probability was highest for IFAT (0.716) and lower for DAT (0.611) and ELISA (0.464), indicating that the test of choice for antibody detection in arctic foxes might be the IFAT. We document a new geographic record of T. gondii exposure in arctic foxes and demonstrate an emerging application of ecologic modeling techniques to account for imperfect performance of diagnostic tests in wildlife species.

  6. Invading parasites cause a structural shift in red fox dynamics.

    PubMed Central

    Forchhammer, M C; Asferg, T

    2000-01-01

    The influence of parasites on host life histories and populations is pronounced. Among several diseases affecting animal populations throughout the world, sarcoptic mange has influenced many carnivore populations dramatically and during the latest epizootic in Fennoscandia reduced the abundance of red fox by over 70%. While the numerical responses of red fox populations, their prey and their competitors as well as clinical implications are well known, knowledge of how sarcoptic mange affects the structure of the dynamics of red fox populations is lacking. Integrating ecological theory and statistical modelling, we analysed the long-term dynamics (1955-1996) of 14 Danish red fox populations. As suggested by the model, invading sarcoptic mange significantly affected direct and delayed density dependence in red fox dynamics and concomitant shifts in fluctuation patterns were observed. Our statistical analyses also revealed that the spatial progressive spread of mange mites was mirrored in the autocovariate structures of red fox populations progressively exposed to sarcoptic mange. PMID:10819147

  7. A retrospective economic analysis of the Ontario red fox oral rabies vaccination programme.

    PubMed

    Shwiff, S A; Nunan, C P; Kirkpatrick, K N; Shwiff, S S

    2011-05-01

    Ontario initiated a red fox (Vulpes vulpes) oral rabies vaccination (ORV) programme in 1989. This study utilized a benefit-cost analysis to determine if this ORV programme was economically worthwhile. Between 1979 and 1989, prior to ORV baiting, the average annual human post-exposure treatments, positive red fox rabies diagnostic tests and indemnity payments for livestock lost to rabies were 2248, 1861 and $246,809, respectively. After baiting, from 1990 to 2000, a 35%, 66% and 41% decrease in post-exposure treatments, animal rabies tests and indemnity payments was observed, respectively. These reductions were viewed as benefits of the ORV programme, whereas total costs were those associated with ORV baiting. Multiple techniques were used to estimate four different benefit streams and the total estimated benefits ranged from $35,486,316 to $98,413,217. The annual mean ORV programme cost was $6,447,720, with total programme costs of $77,372,637. The average benefit-cost ratios over the analysis period were .49, 1.06, 1.27 and 1.36, indicating overall programme efficiency in three of the four conservative scenarios.

  8. The prevalence of Echinococcus multilocularis in red foxes in Poland--current results (2009-2013).

    PubMed

    Karamon, Jacek; Kochanowski, Maciej; Sroka, Jacek; Cencek, Tomasz; Różycki, Mirosław; Chmurzyńska, Ewa; Bilska-Zając, Ewa

    2014-01-01

    The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of Echinococcus multilocularis in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in Poland. Overall, 1,546 intestinal samples from 15 of the 16 provinces in Poland were examined by the sedimentation and counting technique (SCT). The mean prevalence of E. multilocularis in Poland was 16.5% and was found in 14 of the 15 examined provinces. The mean intensity of infection was 2,807 tapeworms per intestine. Distinct differences in prevalence were observed between regions. In some provinces of eastern and southern Poland, the level of prevalence was 50.0% (Warmińsko-Mazurskie), 47.2% (Podkarpackie), 30.4% (Podlaskie) and 28.6% (Małopolskie), while in other provinces (west and south-west), only a few percent was found: 2.0% (Dolnośląskie), 2.5% (Wielkopolskie) and 0.0% (in Opolskie). The border between areas with higher and lower prevalence seems to coincide with a north-south line running through the middle of Poland, with prevalence from 17.5 to 50.0% in the eastern half and from 0.0 to 11.8% in the western half. The dynamic situation observed in the prevalence of this tapeworm indicated the necessity of continuing to monitor the situation concerning E. multilocularis in red foxes in Poland.

  9. Mineral density and biomechanical properties of bone tissue from male Arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) exposed to organochlorine contaminants and emaciation.

    PubMed

    Sonne, Christian; Wolkers, Hans; Rigét, Frank F; Jensen, Jens-Erik Beck; Teilmann, Jenni; Jenssen, Bjørn Munro; Fuglei, Eva; Ahlstrøm, Øystein; Dietz, Rune; Muir, Derek C G; Jørgensen, Even H

    2009-01-01

    We investigated the impact from dietary OC (organochlorine) exposure and restricted feeding (emaciation) on bone mineral density (BMD; g hydroxy-apatite cm(-2)) in femoral, vertebrate, skull and baculum osteoid tissue from farmed Arctic blue foxes (Vulpes lagopus). For femur, also biomechanical properties during bending (displacement [mm], load [N], energy absorption [J] and stiffness [N/mm]) were measured. Sixteen foxes (EXP) were fed a wet food containing 7.7% OC-polluted minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) blubber in two periods of body fat deposition (Aug-Dec) and two periods of body fat mobilisation (Jan-July) in which the food contained less energy and only 2% blubber. SigmaOC food concentration in the food containing 7.7% whale blubber was 309 ng/g wet mass. This corresponded to a SigmaOC exposure of ca. 17 microg/kg body mass/d and a responding SigmaOC residue in subcutaneous adipose tissue of ca. 1700 ng/g live mass in the 8 EXP fat foxes euthanized after 16 months. A control group (CON) composed of 15 foxes were fed equal daily caloric amounts of clean pork (Sus scrofa) fat. After 16 months, 8 EXP and 7 CON foxes were euthanized (mean body mass=9.25 kg) while the remaining 8 EXP and 8 CON foxes were given restricted food rations for 6 months resulting in a body weight reduction (mean body mass=5.46 kg). The results showed that only BMD(skull) vs. BMD(vertebrae) were significantly correlated (R=0.68; p=0.03; n=10) probably due to a similar composition of trabecular and cortical osteoid tissue. No difference in any of the BMD measurements or femoral biomechanical properties was found between EXP and CON foxes although BMD baculum was 1.6-folds lower in the EXP group. However, lean summer foxes had significantly lower femoral biomechanical properties measured as displacement (mm), energy absorption (J) and time (s) biomechanical properties than fat winter foxes (all p<0.004). This indicates lower stiffness and softer bones from fasting which is in

  10. Prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum in red foxes in Slovakia.

    PubMed

    Reiterová, Katarína; Špilovská, Silvia; Čobádiová, Andrea; Hurníková, Zuzana

    2016-12-01

    Sera or meat juices of 177 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) originated from the localities of a human-influenced landscape (Group 1) and 126 foxes from the protected mountain region (Group 2) of Slovakia, collected during 2010-2014 were tested for the presence of antibodies against Toxoplasma gondii using indirect ELISA and Neospora caninum by competitive ELISA. The tissue and uncoagulated blood samples were examined for the presence of the parasite's DNA. The total seropositivity to T. gondii was 62.7% (190/303) and to N. caninum 26.4% (80/303). In the Group 1 antibodies to T. gondii were detected in 74.0% (131/177) and to N. caninum in 38.9% (69/177). In the Group 2 significantly lower seropositivity of 46.8% (59/126) to T. gondii antigens (P = 0.0218) and 8.7% (11/126) to N. caninum (P = 0.0001) was detected, respectively. However, by using molecular method, the presence of both parasites, was recorded less frequently. While in Group 1 T. gondii DNA was detected in 10.0% and N. caninum DNA in 18.3% of examined samples, in Group 2 T. gondii DNA was not detected at all and N. caninum was detected in 9.1% samples only. Results indicate that examined infections are highly common in the red foxes in Slovakia and are widespread in the locations of Eastern Slovakia bordering Poland, Ukraine and Hungary. The high infection rate in foxes representing reservoir hosts, presumably originates from their infected prey, ungulate carcasses, or from residual infected tissues in the hunting grounds after evisceration of shot animals during a hunting season.

  11. Morphology of the transverse ligament of the atlas and the alar ligaments in the silver fox (Vulpes vulpes var)

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Recent new anatomical and histological features of craniocervical junction in dogs and cats were described providing evidence of differences between the carnivore species. No information on these structures in foxes exists. Results Two parts of the alar ligaments were found. A longer one aroused from dens of axis to the internal (medial) surface of the occipital condyles and was called apical part. A shorter part originated from the entire length of the lateral edge of the dens of axis and terminated on the internal wall of the vertebral foramen of atlas and thus was called the lateral part. The transverse ligament of the atlas was widened in the mid region, above the dens of axis, and thickened at enthesis. Periosteal fibrocartilage was detected in the transverse ligament of the atlas at the enthesis, and sesamoid fibrocartilage was present on periphery in the middle of the ligament. Conclusions The craniocervical junction in foxes differs in part from other carnivores such as dogs and cats but resembles that of mesaticephalic dogs. The sesamoid and periosteal fibrocartilage supports the transverse ligament of the atlas whereas the alar ligaments have no cartilage. PMID:23557095

  12. Morphology of the transverse ligament of the atlas and the alar ligaments in the silver fox (Vulpes vulpes var).

    PubMed

    Kupczynska, Marta; Barszcz, Karolina; Janczyk, Pawel; Wasowicz, Michal; Czubaj, Norbert

    2013-04-04

    Recent new anatomical and histological features of craniocervical junction in dogs and cats were described providing evidence of differences between the carnivore species. No information on these structures in foxes exists. Two parts of the alar ligaments were found. A longer one aroused from dens of axis to the internal (medial) surface of the occipital condyles and was called apical part. A shorter part originated from the entire length of the lateral edge of the dens of axis and terminated on the internal wall of the vertebral foramen of atlas and thus was called the lateral part. The transverse ligament of the atlas was widened in the mid region, above the dens of axis, and thickened at enthesis. Periosteal fibrocartilage was detected in the transverse ligament of the atlas at the enthesis, and sesamoid fibrocartilage was present on periphery in the middle of the ligament. The craniocervical junction in foxes differs in part from other carnivores such as dogs and cats but resembles that of mesaticephalic dogs. The sesamoid and periosteal fibrocartilage supports the transverse ligament of the atlas whereas the alar ligaments have no cartilage.

  13. Morphological and molecular characterization of Sarcocystis arctica-like sarcocysts from the Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) from Alaska, USA.

    PubMed

    Cerqueira-Cézar, Camila K; Thompson, Peter C; Verma, Shiv Kumar; Mowery, Joseph; Calero-Bernal, Rafael; Antunes Murata, Fernando H; Sinnett, David R; Van Hemert, Caroline; Rosenthal, Benjamin M; Dubey, Jitender P

    2017-07-01

    The muscles of herbivores commonly harbor sarcocysts of parasites belonging to species in the genus Sarcocystis, but such muscle parasites are rare in carnivores. Here, we report Sarcocystis arctica-like sarcocysts in muscles of Arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) from Alaska, USA, for the first time. The tongues of 56 foxes were examined for Sarcocystis infection using several methods. Sarcocystis bradyzoites were detected in pepsin digests of 13 (23.2%), and sarcocysts were found in histological sections stained with hematoxylin and eosin (HE) of 9 (16.0%). By light microscopy, sarcocysts were up to 4 mm long and up to 245 μm wide. In HE-stained sections, the sarcocyst wall appeared smooth and up to 1.5 μm thick without visible protrusions. By transmission electron microscopy, the sarcocyst wall had a wavy parasitophorous vacuolar membrane (pvm) folded as pleomorphic villar protrusions (vp), sometimes with anastomoses of villar tips. The vp and the ground substance (gs) layer were smooth and without microtubules. The gs was up to 2.0 μm thick. The total width of the wall including vp and the gs was up to 4.0 μm. The vp were up to 3.0 μm long and most closely resembled "type 9c." All sarcocysts were mature and contained numerous 8.1 × 2.1 μm sized bradyzoites. Molecular characterization (at 18S rDNA, 28S rDNA, ITS-1, and cox1) showed the highest affinity for S. arctica of the Arctic fox (V. lagopus) from Norway. In the present investigation, we provide evidence that sarcocysts are common in tongues of Alaskan Arctic foxes suggesting that these carnivores are serving as intermediate hosts, and we also provide ultrastructure of S. arctica from the Arctic fox for the first time.

  14. Dispersal of San Joaquin kit foxes, Vulpes macrotis mutica, on Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1, Kern County, California

    SciTech Connect

    Scrivner, J.H.; O'Farrell, T.P.; Kato, T.T.

    1987-09-01

    Between 1980-1986, the movements of 332 pups and 267 adult San Joaquin kit foxes (Vulpes macrotis mutica) were analyzed to determine which animals had dispersed. Of 129 foxes radiocollared as pups and whose parental den ranges were known, 48 (33 males, 15 females) dispersed; about 51% dispersed between July-September, and all but 11 dispersed as pups. There was no sex-specific difference in the average date that dispersal commenced. The number of days between dispersal and death was greater for pups that delayed dispersing until they became adults. Of the 90 radiocollared adults, 23 (14 males, 9 females) dispersed. Adults were found dispersing nearly equally in all months. Foxes less than 1 y old dispersed more frequently than older animals. When dispersal distances of radiocollared pups and adults were combined, no sex-specific differences were found in the average dispersal distance of 4.0 +- 0.5 miles. However, pups dispersed 5.0 +- 0.9 miles, while adults dispersed 3.0 +- 0.5 miles. An adult male traveled 29 miles. No evidence gathered demonstrated that petroleum development activities were responsible for a tendency for more foxes to disperse from developed habitat than from undeveloped habitat. Of the dispersing radiocollared foxes that were recovered dead, 47.9% were killed by predators, 15.1% were killed by vehicles, 1.4% died from other causes, and 35.6% died from unknown causes. These proportions were similar to those observed for nondispersers. 35 refs., 3 figs., 15 tabs.

  15. Reproduction of the San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes velox macrotis) on Camp Roberts Army National Guard Training Site, California

    SciTech Connect

    Spencer, K A; Berry, W H; Standley, W G; O`Farrell, T P

    1992-09-01

    The reproduction of a San Joaquin kit fox population (Vulpes velox macrotis) was investigated at Camp Roberts Army National Guard Training Site, California, from November 1988 through September 1991. Of 38 vixens radiocollared prior to parturition, 12 (32%) were successful in raising pups from conception to the point where pups were observed above ground. No yearling vixens were known tb be reproductively active. The mean litter size during 1989 - 1991 was 3.0 (n = 21, SE = 0.28) and ranged from one to six pups. Both the proportion of vixens successfully raising pups and the mean litter size observed at Camp Roberts during this study were lower than those reported at other locations. Sex ratios of kit fox pups were male biased two of the three years, but did not differ statistically from 1:1 throughout the study. Whelping was estimated to occur between February 15 and March 5. Results of this study support previous reports that kit foxes are primarily monogamous, although one case of polygamy may have occurred. Both the proportion of dispersing radiocollared juveniles (26%) and the mean dispersal distance (5.9 km) of juveniles at Camp Roberts appeared low compared to other locations.

  16. [Morphology of hair pigmentation in wild red foxes, silver foxes, and their hybrids].

    PubMed

    Prasolova, L A; Trut, L N; Vsevolodov, E B; Latypov, I F

    2002-04-01

    The effects of dominant allele Ar of locus Agouti on the morphology of hair pigmentation were described in foxes. The Ar allele was shown to determine the type of melanin and its content in hair with no effect on the morphology of pigment granules and their distribution throughout a hair. Using the method of electron spin resonance (ESR), the types of melanin (eumelanin and pheomelanin) and their content in the hair of red (ArArEE) and silver (aaEE) foxes and their hybrids (AraEE) were determined. In silver foxes, only one type of melanin (eumelanin) was found. In red foxes and their hybrids (which are phenotypically similar but darker than red foxes), both types of melanin (eu- and pheomelanin) were found. The highest melanin content was detected in the coat of silver foxes. In the hybrids, the total melanin content was lower than in silver foxes, but significantly higher than in red foxes. In red foxes, the contribution of pheomelanin to the total hair melanin content was twice as large as in the hybrids.

  17. Variation in the diet composition of a generalist predator, the red fox, in relation to season and density of main prey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dell'Arte, Graziella Lucia; Laaksonen, Toni; Norrdahl, Kai; Korpimäki, Erkki

    2007-05-01

    Diet composition of a generalist predator, the red fox ( Vulpes vulpes) in relation to season (winter or summer) and abundance of multi-annually cyclic voles was studied in western Finland from 1983 to 1995. The proportion of scats (PS; a total of 58 scats) including each food category was calculated for each prey group. Microtus voles (the field vole M. agrestis and the sibling vole M. rossiaemeridionalis) were the main prey group of foxes (PS = 0.55) and they frequently occurred in the scats both in the winter and summer (PSs 0.50 and 0.62, respectively). There was a positive correlation between the PSs of Microtus voles in the winter diet of foxes and the density indices of these voles in the previous autumn. Other microtine rodents (the bank vole Clethrionomys glareolus, the water vole Arvicola terrestris and the muskrat Ondatra zibethicus) were consumed more in winter than in summer. The unusually high small mustelid predation by red foxes (PS = approx. 0.10) in our study area gives qualitative support for the hypothesis on the limiting impact of mammalian predators on least weasel and stoat populations. None of the important prey groups was preyed upon more at low than at high densities of main prey ( Microtus voles). This is consistent with the notion that red foxes are generalist predators that tend to opportunistically subsist on many prey groups. Among these prey groups, particularly hares and birds (including grouse), were frequently used as food by foxes.

  18. Echinococcus species from red foxes, corsac foxes, and wolves in Mongolia.

    PubMed

    Ito, Akira; Chuluunbaatar, Gantigmaa; Yanagida, Tetsuya; Davaasuren, Anu; Sumiya, Battulga; Asakawa, Mitsuhiko; Ki, Toshiaki; Nakaya, Kazuhiro; Davaajav, Abmed; Dorjsuren, Temuulen; Nakao, Minoru; Sako, Yasuhito

    2013-11-01

    The small intestines of 420 wild canids (111 corsac foxes, 191 red foxes and 118 wolves) from Mongolia, were examined for adult worms of the genus Echinococcus. The Mongolian genotype of Echinococcus multilocularis was found in fifteen red foxes and four wolves, whereas two genotypes (G6/7 and G10) of Echinococcus canadensis were found in two and three wolves, respectively. No adult Echinococcus worms were found in the corsac foxes examined. The genotypes of E. multilocularis and E. canadensis are discussed in terms of host specificity and distribution in Mongolia. The importance of wolves in the completion of the life cycle of Echinococcus spp. is also discussed.

  19. Dietary copper supplementation improves pelt characteristics of female silver fox (Vulpes fulva) during the winter fur-growing season.

    PubMed

    Zhong, Wei; Liu, Hanlu; Luo, Guoliang; Chang, Zhongjuan; Liu, Fenghua; Zhao, Jingbo; Li, Danli; Yue, Zhigang; Zhang, Haihua; Li, Guangyu

    2014-07-01

    Copper has an essential role in normal fur pigmentation and fur quality. This study evaluated the effects of cupric citrate (CuCit) supplementation on growth, nutrients metabolism and pelt characteristics of the female silver fox (Vulpes fulva). Fifty age-matched female silver foxes with similar body weights were randomly divided into five dietary groups for 58 days during the winter fur-growing season. The basal diet contained 4.92 mg/kg copper. Groups I-V were supplemented with 6, 30, 60, 90 or 150 mg Cu from CuCit per 1 kg dry matter basal diet. Serum alkaline phosphatase activity was significantly higher (P<0.05) in those fed 90 mg/kg Cu than those fed 150 mg/kg Cu. Pelt total thickness was significantly higher (P<0.05) in those fed 30 mg/kg Cu than foxes fed 6 mg/kg Cu supplemented diet, but were similar to the other groups. Length of guard hair was significantly lower (P<0.05) in those fed 90 mg/kg Cu than fed 6 mg/kg Cu and 30 mg/kg Cu, but were similar to the other groups. Length of underhair was significantly higher (P<0.05) in those fed 6 mg/kg Cu than those fed 90 mg/kg Cu, but was similar to the other groups. Considering decreasing environmental contamination and improving pelt performance, supplementing 30 mg/kg Cu from CuCit (actual copper 35 mg/kg dry matter) is appropriate for female silver fox.

  20. Rapid urbanization of red foxes in Estonia: distribution, behaviour, attacks on domestic animals, and health-risks related to zoonotic diseases.

    PubMed

    Plumer, Liivi; Davison, John; Saarma, Urmas

    2014-01-01

    Urban areas are becoming increasingly important for wildlife as diminishing natural habitats no longer represent a suitable environment for many species. Red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) are nowadays common in many cities worldwide, and in recent years they have colonized urban areas in Estonia. We used a public web-based questionnaire approach to evaluate the distribution and behaviour of Estonian urban foxes, to detect related problems and to assess health risks to humans and domestic animals. In total, 1205 responses were collected throughout the country. Foxes have colonized the majority of Estonian towns (33 out of 47) in a relatively short period of time, and have already established breeding dens in several towns. Despite their recent arrival, the behaviour of Estonian urban foxes is similar to that reported in longer-established urban fox populations: they are mostly active during night-time, often visit city centres and some also have dens in such locations. Certain characteristics of urban foxes serve as a basis for conflict with humans: foxes have entered houses and attacked domestic animals, killing cats and poultry. About 8% of reported foxes exhibited symptoms of sarcoptic mange, a disease that also infects domestic animals, especially dogs. The proportion of mange-infected foxes was higher in large urban areas. In addition to mange, a substantial fraction of red foxes in Estonia are known to be infected with the life-threatening tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis, the causative agent of alveolar echinococcosis. Therefore, urban foxes may represent a source of serious infectious disease for pets and humans.

  1. Rapid Urbanization of Red Foxes in Estonia: Distribution, Behaviour, Attacks on Domestic Animals, and Health-Risks Related to Zoonotic Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Plumer, Liivi; Davison, John; Saarma, Urmas

    2014-01-01

    Urban areas are becoming increasingly important for wildlife as diminishing natural habitats no longer represent a suitable environment for many species. Red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) are nowadays common in many cities worldwide, and in recent years they have colonized urban areas in Estonia. We used a public web-based questionnaire approach to evaluate the distribution and behaviour of Estonian urban foxes, to detect related problems and to assess health risks to humans and domestic animals. In total, 1205 responses were collected throughout the country. Foxes have colonized the majority of Estonian towns (33 out of 47) in a relatively short period of time, and have already established breeding dens in several towns. Despite their recent arrival, the behaviour of Estonian urban foxes is similar to that reported in longer-established urban fox populations: they are mostly active during night-time, often visit city centres and some also have dens in such locations. Certain characteristics of urban foxes serve as a basis for conflict with humans: foxes have entered houses and attacked domestic animals, killing cats and poultry. About 8% of reported foxes exhibited symptoms of sarcoptic mange, a disease that also infects domestic animals, especially dogs. The proportion of mange-infected foxes was higher in large urban areas. In addition to mange, a substantial fraction of red foxes in Estonia are known to be infected with the life-threatening tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis, the causative agent of alveolar echinococcosis. Therefore, urban foxes may represent a source of serious infectious disease for pets and humans. PMID:25531399

  2. Dietary contaminant exposure affects plasma testosterone, but not thyroid hormones, vitamin A, and vitamin E, in male juvenile arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus).

    PubMed

    Hallanger, Ingeborg G; Jørgensen, Even H; Fuglei, Eva; Ahlstrøm, Øystein; Muir, Derek C G; Jenssen, Bjørn Munro

    2012-01-01

    Levels of persistent organic pollutants (POP), such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), are high in many Arctic top predators, including the Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus). The aim of this study was to examine possible endocrine-disruptive effects of dietary POP exposure in male juvenile Arctic foxes in a controlled exposure experiment. The study was conducted using domesticated farmed blue foxes (Vulpes lagopus) as a model species. Two groups of newly weaned male foxes received a diet supplemented with either minke whale (Baleneoptera acutorostrata) blubber that was naturally contaminated with POP (exposed group, n = 5 or 21), or pork (Sus scrofa) fat (control group, n = 5 or 21). When the foxes were 6 mo old and had received the 2 diets for approximately 4 mo (147 d), effects of the dietary exposure to POP on plasma concentrations of testosterone (T), thyroid hormones (TH), thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), retinol (vitamin A), and tocopherol (viramin E) were examined. At sampling, the total body concentrations of 104 PCB congeners were 0.1 ± 0.03 μg/g lipid weight (l.w.; n = 5 [mean ± standard deviation]) and 1.5 ± 0.17 μg/g l.w. (n = 5) in the control and exposed groups, respectively. Plasma testosterone concentrations in the exposed male foxes were significantly lower than in the control males, being approximately 25% of that in the exposed foxes. There were no between-treatment differences for TH, TSH, retinol, or tocopherol. The results suggest that the high POP levels experienced by costal populations of Arctic foxes, such as in Svalbard and Iceland, may result in delayed masculine maturation during adolescence. Sex hormone disruption during puberty may thus have lifetime consequences on all aspects of reproductive function in adult male foxes.

  3. Morphometric Parameters of Pyramidal Cells in CA1-CA4 Fields in the Hippocampus of Arctic Fox (Vulpes lagopus).

    PubMed

    Łuszczewska-Sierakowska, Iwona; Wawrzyniak-Gacek, Agata; Guz, Tomasz; Tatara, Marcin R; Charuta, Anna

    2015-01-01

    The aim of the study was a quantitative examination of neurons of hippocampal subfields (CA1-CA4) in mature male Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus; syn. Alopex lagopus). The preparations were dyed using cresyl violet. Histological preparations were used to morphometricaly analyze the neurons of hippocampus. This analysis included the following parameters: average size of cells in μm, periphery of cells in μm, average cell area in μm2, percentage of cells in area and size of the largest and smallest cells in μm in CA1-CA4 fields. Morphometric observations show that the cells involved in hippocampal formation in polar fox in all layers CA1 -CA4 differ in size, shape, cell area and nucleus area. The size of the cell area in CA3 is the largest and fluctuates around 249.4 μm2, whereas in CA2 the cell area is 184.1 μm2. The cells of the CA2 field are densely arranged, pyramidal and contain a small amount of cytoplasm; their size fluctuates. Cells of CA2 and CA4 had the largest diameter of about 23.6 μm, whereas cells of the CA3 field had the smallest diameter of about 8.3 μm.

  4. Environmental conditions predict helminth prevalence in red foxes in Western Australia☆

    PubMed Central

    Dybing, Narelle A.; Fleming, Patricia A.; Adams, Peter J.

    2013-01-01

    Red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) are the most common and widely distributed wild carnivore worldwide. These predators harbour a wide range of parasites, many of which may have important conservation, agricultural and zoonotic repercussions. This project investigated the occurrence of helminth parasites from the intestines of 147 red foxes across 14 sampling localities of southwest Western Australia. Helminth parasites were detected in 58% of fox intestines: Dipylidium caninum (27.7% of foxes), Uncinaria stenocephala (18.2%), Toxocara canis (14.9%), Spirometra erinaceieuropaei (5.4%), Toxascaris leonina (4.7%), Taenia serialis (1.4%), Taenia hydatigena (0.7%), unidentified Taenia spp. (4.1%), Brachylaima cribbi (0.7%), Plagiorchis maculosus (0.7%) and an Acanthocephalan; family Centrorhynchidae (2.1%). Importantly, two cestodes of agricultural significance, Echinococcus granulosus and Taenia ovis, were not detected in red foxes in this study, despite the presence of suitable intermediate hosts in the diets of these animals. Parasite richness varied from 1–3 species per host, with average parasite number varying from 1–39 worms (across all helminth species). Regression analyses indicated that the presence of four helminth parasites was related to various environmental factors. The presence of S. erinaceieuropaei (p < 0.001), T. leonina (p < 0.01) and U. stenocephala (p < 0.01) was positively associated with average relative humidity which may affect the longevity of infective stages in the environment. The presence of S. erinaceieuropaei and U. stenocephala (p < 0.001) was positively associated with 5-y-average minimum temperature which could reflect poor survival of infective stages through cold winter conditions. The presence of T. canis and U. stenocephala (p < 0.001) was positively associated with the percentage cover of native vegetation at each sampling location, which is likely to reflect transmission from native prey species acting as paratenic hosts

  5. Environmental conditions predict helminth prevalence in red foxes in Western Australia.

    PubMed

    Dybing, Narelle A; Fleming, Patricia A; Adams, Peter J

    2013-12-01

    Red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) are the most common and widely distributed wild carnivore worldwide. These predators harbour a wide range of parasites, many of which may have important conservation, agricultural and zoonotic repercussions. This project investigated the occurrence of helminth parasites from the intestines of 147 red foxes across 14 sampling localities of southwest Western Australia. Helminth parasites were detected in 58% of fox intestines: Dipylidium caninum (27.7% of foxes), Uncinaria stenocephala (18.2%), Toxocara canis (14.9%), Spirometra erinaceieuropaei (5.4%), Toxascaris leonina (4.7%), Taenia serialis (1.4%), Taenia hydatigena (0.7%), unidentified Taenia spp. (4.1%), Brachylaima cribbi (0.7%), Plagiorchis maculosus (0.7%) and an Acanthocephalan; family Centrorhynchidae (2.1%). Importantly, two cestodes of agricultural significance, Echinococcus granulosus and Taenia ovis, were not detected in red foxes in this study, despite the presence of suitable intermediate hosts in the diets of these animals. Parasite richness varied from 1-3 species per host, with average parasite number varying from 1-39 worms (across all helminth species). Regression analyses indicated that the presence of four helminth parasites was related to various environmental factors. The presence of S. erinaceieuropaei (p < 0.001), T. leonina (p < 0.01) and U. stenocephala (p < 0.01) was positively associated with average relative humidity which may affect the longevity of infective stages in the environment. The presence of S. erinaceieuropaei and U. stenocephala (p < 0.001) was positively associated with 5-y-average minimum temperature which could reflect poor survival of infective stages through cold winter conditions. The presence of T. canis and U. stenocephala (p < 0.001) was positively associated with the percentage cover of native vegetation at each sampling location, which is likely to reflect transmission from native prey species acting as paratenic hosts

  6. Complex housing environment for farmed blue foxes (Vulpes lagopus): use of various resources.

    PubMed

    Koistinen, T; Korhonen, H T

    2013-08-01

    The present study was designed to measure the use of various, simultaneously available resources in a complex housing environment in juvenile blue foxes. Twelve blue fox sibling (male-female) pairs were housed in two-section experimental cages from the age of 8 weeks until the age of 7 months (from June to December). Each experimental cage was furnished with two platforms, a nest box, a sand box and a wooden block. This housing set-up provided the foxes with social contact, and an opportunity for oral manipulation, scratching and nesting, as well as the choice of staying on a solid floor material or on an elevated location. The foxes' behaviour was recorded at three time points during autumn (September, November and December). The foxes used all available resources. The most utilised resource was the nest box, possibly because it could be utilised in several ways (as a shelter, an elevated location, an object for scratching and for oral manipulation). The foxes also stayed more in the cage section containing the nest box than in the cage section containing a sand box. The foxes rested much on the cage floor, but they also used the interior of the nest box and elevated locations for resting. Social contact often occurred during resting. Thus, the nest box and elevated location, in conjunction with social contact seem to be valuable while resting. While active, the foxes utilised the cage floor and roof of the nest box instead of the platforms. Scratching, digging and an interaction with the wooden block were seldom observed. Activity occurred mainly on the 'empty' cage area. In conclusion, all studied resources provided blue foxes with a distinct value, as they all were used in the complex housing environment. The nest box is used most and for most variable behaviours.

  7. Oestrogen and progesterone concentrations in peripheral blood in pregnant red foxes (Vulpes vulpes).

    PubMed

    Bonnin, M; Mondain-Monval, M; Dutourné, B

    1978-09-01

    Oestrogen levels were low during most of gestation, but there was a significant increase (P less than 0.05) in oestradiol concentrations at implantation. Early pregnancy was characterized by high levels of progesterone which decreased significantly (P less than 0.001) thereafter, but there was no decline in progesterone or rise in oestrogen levels at parturition. There was no difference in the length of progesterone secretion between pregnant and non-pregnant females.

  8. Cercopithifilaria sp. II in Vulpes vulpes: new host affiliation for an enigmatic canine filarioid.

    PubMed

    Maia, Carla; Casero, María; Annoscia, Giada; Latrofa, Maria Stefania; Colella, Vito; Pereira, André; Azevedo, Fábia; Otranto, Domenico

    2017-01-01

    Cercopithifilaria bainae and Cercopithifilaria grassii (Spirurida, Onchocercidae) are filarioids inhabiting the skin of dogs worldwide. The microfilariae of a third species namely, Cercopithifilaria sp. II sensu Otranto et al. 2013, have been morphologically and molecularly characterized but scientific knowledge of this parasite is minimal. The first case of infection of a red fox (Vulpes vulpes) with the filarioid Cercopithifilaria sp. II is herein described in Castro Marim, Portugal. Microfilariae from skin sediment of the fox's ear were morphological characterized, and the identification was confirmed molecularly in samples from skin sediment, skin samples, and from Rhipicephalus sanguineus group ticks collected from the animal (99% homology with Cercopithifilaria sp. II). Studies should evaluate if red foxes might play a role in the maintenance and distribution of Cercopithifilaria sp. II infection in dog populations.

  9. A case of Trichophyton mentagrophytes infection in a fennec fox (Vulpes zerda).

    PubMed

    Pressanti, Charline; Delverdier, Maxence; Iriart, Xavier; Morcel, Frédérique; Cadiergues, Marie-Christine

    2012-10-01

    A 2-year-old male fennec fox presented with a 4 month history of nonpruritic, crusty skin lesions on the forehead, the pinnae and the tail tip. Initial investigations, including routine haematology, biochemistry profile, multiple skin scrapings, trichoscopic examination, Wood's lamp examination and fungal culture, failed to reveal any abnormalities. Histopathological examination of a first set of skin biopsies showed an interface dermatitis pattern, with lymphocyte infiltration in the basal layer, a significant lymphocytic exocytosis and occasional apoptotic basal epidermal keratinocytes; periodic acid Schiff stain did not reveal any fungal elements. On further biopsies, there was a pustular neutrophilic dermatitis, with numerous crusts containing high numbers of arthrospores and fungal hyphae. Trichophyton mentagrophytes infection was confirmed on fungal culture and PCR. The fennec fox received oral itraconazole (5 mg/kg once daily for 6 weeks) combined with a miconazole and chlorhexidine shampoo applied on affected areas once weekly, followed with an enilconazole dip. The fox improved dramatically, and a fungal culture performed at 6 weeks was negative. Unfortunately, a few days later the fennec fox developed anorexia, icterus and died. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of Trichophyton infection in a fennec fox and, although a postmortem examination was not performed, this is possibly the first report of fatal acute liver failure associated with itraconazole in a canid.

  10. San Joaquin kit fox Vulpes macrotis mutica program, Camp Roberts, California

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1991-08-01

    Camp Roberts is a California Army National Guard Training Site located in central California. The San Joaquin kit fox, an endangered subspecies of kit fox, has been known to occur at Camp Roberts since 1960. The population of foxes began to increase in the early 1970's when use of rodenticides decreased. In 1987 the California Army National Guard contracted EG G Energy Measurements to conduct a 3-year study to assess the effects of Camp Roberts activities on the kit fox population. The major objective of the Camp Roberts Environmental Studies Program is to prepare a comprehensive Biological Assessment of the effects of all NGB-authorized activities (includes military training, anticipated construction projects, repair and maintenance activities, and all NGB-authorized non-military activities such as hunting and fishing programs, grazing leases, etc.) on San Joaquin kit fox. The program also provides NGB with the scientific expertise necessary to insure compliance with the Endangered Species Act. The specific objective of this report is to summarize progress and results of the Environmental Studies Program made during Fiscal Years 1989 and 1990 (FY89/90). 32 refs., 9 figs., 14 tabs.

  11. Interspecific and Geographic Variation in the Diets of Sympatric Carnivores: Dingoes/Wild Dogs and Red Foxes in South-Eastern Australia

    PubMed Central

    Pascoe, Charlie; Benshemesh, Joe; Robley, Alan; Lawrence, Jenny; Ritchie, Euan G.; Nimmo, Dale G.; Lumsden, Lindy F.

    2015-01-01

    Dingoes/wild dogs (Canis dingo/familiaris) and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) are widespread carnivores in southern Australia and are controlled to reduce predation on domestic livestock and native fauna. We used the occurrence of food items in 5875 dingo/wild dog scats and 11,569 fox scats to evaluate interspecific and geographic differences in the diets of these species within nine regions of Victoria, south-eastern Australia. The nine regions encompass a wide variety of ecosystems. Diet overlap between dingoes/wild dogs and foxes varied among regions, from low to near complete overlap. The diet of foxes was broader than dingoes/wild dogs in all but three regions, with the former usually containing more insects, reptiles and plant material. By contrast, dingoes/wild dogs more regularly consumed larger mammals, supporting the hypothesis that niche partitioning occurs on the basis of mammalian prey size. The key mammalian food items for dingoes/wild dogs across all regions were black wallaby (Wallabia bicolor), brushtail possum species (Trichosurus spp.), common wombat (Vombatus ursinus), sambar deer (Rusa unicolor), cattle (Bos taurus) and European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus). The key mammalian food items for foxes across all regions were European rabbit, sheep (Ovis aries) and house mouse (Mus musculus). Foxes consumed 6.1 times the number of individuals of threatened Critical Weight Range native mammal species than did dingoes/wild dogs. The occurrence of intraguild predation was asymmetrical; dingoes/wild dogs consumed greater biomass of the smaller fox. The substantial geographic variation in diet indicates that dingoes/wild dogs and foxes alter their diet in accordance with changing food availability. We provide checklists of taxa recorded in the diets of dingoes/wild dogs and foxes as a resource for managers and researchers wishing to understand the potential impacts of policy and management decisions on dingoes/wild dogs, foxes and the food resources they

  12. Interspecific and geographic variation in the diets of sympatric carnivores: dingoes/wild dogs and red foxes in south-eastern Australia.

    PubMed

    Davis, Naomi E; Forsyth, David M; Triggs, Barbara; Pascoe, Charlie; Benshemesh, Joe; Robley, Alan; Lawrence, Jenny; Ritchie, Euan G; Nimmo, Dale G; Lumsden, Lindy F

    2015-01-01

    Dingoes/wild dogs (Canis dingo/familiaris) and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) are widespread carnivores in southern Australia and are controlled to reduce predation on domestic livestock and native fauna. We used the occurrence of food items in 5875 dingo/wild dog scats and 11,569 fox scats to evaluate interspecific and geographic differences in the diets of these species within nine regions of Victoria, south-eastern Australia. The nine regions encompass a wide variety of ecosystems. Diet overlap between dingoes/wild dogs and foxes varied among regions, from low to near complete overlap. The diet of foxes was broader than dingoes/wild dogs in all but three regions, with the former usually containing more insects, reptiles and plant material. By contrast, dingoes/wild dogs more regularly consumed larger mammals, supporting the hypothesis that niche partitioning occurs on the basis of mammalian prey size. The key mammalian food items for dingoes/wild dogs across all regions were black wallaby (Wallabia bicolor), brushtail possum species (Trichosurus spp.), common wombat (Vombatus ursinus), sambar deer (Rusa unicolor), cattle (Bos taurus) and European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus). The key mammalian food items for foxes across all regions were European rabbit, sheep (Ovis aries) and house mouse (Mus musculus). Foxes consumed 6.1 times the number of individuals of threatened Critical Weight Range native mammal species than did dingoes/wild dogs. The occurrence of intraguild predation was asymmetrical; dingoes/wild dogs consumed greater biomass of the smaller fox. The substantial geographic variation in diet indicates that dingoes/wild dogs and foxes alter their diet in accordance with changing food availability. We provide checklists of taxa recorded in the diets of dingoes/wild dogs and foxes as a resource for managers and researchers wishing to understand the potential impacts of policy and management decisions on dingoes/wild dogs, foxes and the food resources they

  13. Assessing Genetic Structure in Common but Ecologically Distinct Carnivores: The Stone Marten and Red Fox

    PubMed Central

    Basto, Mafalda P.; Santos-Reis, Margarida; Simões, Luciana; Grilo, Clara; Cardoso, Luís; Cortes, Helder; Bruford, Michael W.; Fernandes, Carlos

    2016-01-01

    The identification of populations and spatial genetic patterns is important for ecological and conservation research, and spatially explicit individual-based methods have been recognised as powerful tools in this context. Mammalian carnivores are intrinsically vulnerable to habitat fragmentation but not much is known about the genetic consequences of fragmentation in common species. Stone martens (Martes foina) and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) share a widespread Palearctic distribution and are considered habitat generalists, but in the Iberian Peninsula stone martens tend to occur in higher quality habitats. We compared their genetic structure in Portugal to see if they are consistent with their differences in ecological plasticity, and also to illustrate an approach to explicitly delineate the spatial boundaries of consistently identified genetic units. We analysed microsatellite data using spatial Bayesian clustering methods (implemented in the software BAPS, GENELAND and TESS), a progressive partitioning approach and a multivariate technique (Spatial Principal Components Analysis-sPCA). Three consensus Bayesian clusters were identified for the stone marten. No consensus was achieved for the red fox, but one cluster was the most probable clustering solution. Progressive partitioning and sPCA suggested additional clusters in the stone marten but they were not consistent among methods and were geographically incoherent. The contrasting results between the two species are consistent with the literature reporting stricter ecological requirements of the stone marten in the Iberian Peninsula. The observed genetic structure in the stone marten may have been influenced by landscape features, particularly rivers, and fragmentation. We suggest that an approach based on a consensus clustering solution of multiple different algorithms may provide an objective and effective means to delineate potential boundaries of inferred subpopulations. sPCA and progressive partitioning

  14. Assessing Genetic Structure in Common but Ecologically Distinct Carnivores: The Stone Marten and Red Fox.

    PubMed

    Basto, Mafalda P; Santos-Reis, Margarida; Simões, Luciana; Grilo, Clara; Cardoso, Luís; Cortes, Helder; Bruford, Michael W; Fernandes, Carlos

    2016-01-01

    The identification of populations and spatial genetic patterns is important for ecological and conservation research, and spatially explicit individual-based methods have been recognised as powerful tools in this context. Mammalian carnivores are intrinsically vulnerable to habitat fragmentation but not much is known about the genetic consequences of fragmentation in common species. Stone martens (Martes foina) and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) share a widespread Palearctic distribution and are considered habitat generalists, but in the Iberian Peninsula stone martens tend to occur in higher quality habitats. We compared their genetic structure in Portugal to see if they are consistent with their differences in ecological plasticity, and also to illustrate an approach to explicitly delineate the spatial boundaries of consistently identified genetic units. We analysed microsatellite data using spatial Bayesian clustering methods (implemented in the software BAPS, GENELAND and TESS), a progressive partitioning approach and a multivariate technique (Spatial Principal Components Analysis-sPCA). Three consensus Bayesian clusters were identified for the stone marten. No consensus was achieved for the red fox, but one cluster was the most probable clustering solution. Progressive partitioning and sPCA suggested additional clusters in the stone marten but they were not consistent among methods and were geographically incoherent. The contrasting results between the two species are consistent with the literature reporting stricter ecological requirements of the stone marten in the Iberian Peninsula. The observed genetic structure in the stone marten may have been influenced by landscape features, particularly rivers, and fragmentation. We suggest that an approach based on a consensus clustering solution of multiple different algorithms may provide an objective and effective means to delineate potential boundaries of inferred subpopulations. sPCA and progressive partitioning

  15. Effects of military-authorized activities on the San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes velox macrotis) at Camp Roberts Army National Guard Training Site, California

    SciTech Connect

    Berry, W.H.; Standley, W.G.; O`Farrell, T.P.; Kato, T.T.

    1992-10-01

    The effects of military-authorized activities on San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes velox macrotis) were investigated at Camp Roberts Army National Guard Training Site from 1988 to 1991. Military-authorized activities included military training exercises, facilities maintenance, new construction, controlled burning, livestock grazing, and public-access hunting. Positive effects of the military included habitat preservation, preactivity surveys, and natural resources management practices designed to conserve kit foxes and their habitat. Perceived negative effects such as entrapment in dens, shootings during military exercises, and accidental poisoning were not observed. Foxes were observed in areas being used simultaneously by military units. Authorized activities were known to have caused the deaths of three of 52 radiocollared foxes recovered dead: one became entangled in concertina wire, one was believed shot by a hunter, and one was struck by a vehicle. Entanglement in communication wire may have contributed to the death of another radiocollared fox that was killed by a predator. Approximately 10% of kit fox dens encountered showed evidence of vehicle traffic, but denning sites did not appear to be a limiting factor for kit foxes.

  16. Interaction between cortisol and cortisol-binding protein in silver foxes (Vulpes fulvus).

    PubMed

    Oskina, I N; Tinnikov, A A

    1992-04-01

    1. Selection of silver foxes for domestic behaviour resulted in the parallel lowering of both cortisol and cortisol-binding protein (CBP) levels in the blood plasma. 2. During seasonal cycles (summer-winter) and after stress an increase in cortisol levels is followed by a decrease in CBP activity. 3. It is concluded that there are two types of interaction between cortisol and CBP in silver foxes: parallel changes in the process of domestication and opposite changes under the influence of environmental factors.

  17. Re-colonization by common eiders Somateria mollissima in the Aleutian Archipelago following removal of introduced arctic foxes Vulpes lagopus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Petersen, Margaret R.; Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Sexson, Matthew G.

    2015-01-01

    Islands provide refuges for populations of many species where they find safety from predators, but the introduction of predators frequently results in elimination or dramatic reductions in island-dwelling organisms. When predators are removed, re-colonization for some species occurs naturally, and inter-island phylogeographic relationships and current movement patterns can illuminate processes of colonization. We studied a case of re-colonization of common eiders Somateria mollissima following removal of introduced arctic foxes Vulpes lagopus in the Aleutian Archipelago, Alaska. We expected common eiders to resume nesting on islands cleared of foxes and to re-colonize from nearby islets, islands, and island groups. We thus expected common eiders to show limited genetic structure indicative of extensive mixing among island populations. Satellite telemetry was used to record current movement patterns of female common eiders from six islands across three island groups. We collected genetic data from these and other nesting common eiders at 14 microsatellite loci and the mitochondrial DNA control region to examine population genetic structure, historical fluctuations in population demography, and gene flow. Our results suggest recent interchange among islands. Analysis of microsatellite data supports satellite telemetry data of increased dispersal of common eiders to nearby areas and little between island groups. Although evidence from mtDNA is suggestive of female dispersal among island groups, gene flow is insufficient to account for recolonization and rapid population growth. Instead, near-by remnant populations of common eiders contributed substantially to population expansion, without which re-colonization would have likely occurred at a much lower rate. Genetic and morphometric data of common eiders within one island group two and three decades after re-colonization suggests reduced movement of eiders among islands and little movement between island groups after

  18. Survey on Helminths in the Small Intestine of Wild Foxes in Qinghai, China

    PubMed Central

    LI, Wei; GUO, Zhihong; DUO, Hong; FU, Yong; PENG, Mao; SHEN, Xiuying; TSUKADA, Hideharu; IRIE, Takao; NASU, Tetsuo; HORII, Yoichiro; NONAKA, Nariaki

    2013-01-01

    ABSTRACT The intestinal helminth fauna of Tibetan sand foxes (Vulpes ferrilata) and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) inhabiting in Qinghai, China, was evaluated by conducting necropsy of hunted foxes and fecal egg examination of field-collected feces. In northeast and south Qinghai, 36 foxes were necropsied, and the species of foxes and the parasites detected were identified by the DNA barcoding. In 27 red foxes and 9 Tibetan sand foxes examined, Mesocestoides litteratus (total prevalence: 64%), Toxascaris leonina (50%), Taenia pisiformis (8%) and Taenia crassiceps (8%) were found in both species of foxes. Echinococcus shiquicus (8%) and Taenia multiceps (6%) were found only in Tibetan sand foxes. Echinococcus multilocularis (3%) and Alaria alata (8%) were found only in red foxes. In the fecal egg examination of the rectal feces, 100% of taeniid cestodes, 73% of Toxascaris and 27% of Mesocestoides worm-positive samples showed egg-positive, indicating that coprological survey for parasite eggs could only provide partial information of intestinal parasite fauna. For field-collected feces, molecular identification of feces origins and fecal egg examination were performed. In 15 Tibetan sand fox and 30 red fox feces, we found E. multilocularis eggs in one feces of Tibetan sand fox. The present study indicated that the upper intestinal helminth fauna of the two fox species in Qinghai does not differ significantly and both species would play an important role in the maintenance of taeniid cestodes. PMID:23749034

  19. Survey on helminths in the small intestine of wild foxes in Qinghai, China.

    PubMed

    Li, Wei; Guo, Zhihong; Duo, Hong; Fu, Yong; Peng, Mao; Shen, Xiuying; Tsukada, Hideharu; Irie, Takao; Nasu, Tetsuo; Horii, Yoichiro; Nonaka, Nariaki

    2013-10-01

    The intestinal helminth fauna of Tibetan sand foxes (Vulpes ferrilata) and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) inhabiting in Qinghai, China, was evaluated by conducting necropsy of hunted foxes and fecal egg examination of field-collected feces. In northeast and south Qinghai, 36 foxes were necropsied, and the species of foxes and the parasites detected were identified by the DNA barcoding. In 27 red foxes and 9 Tibetan sand foxes examined, Mesocestoides litteratus (total prevalence: 64%), Toxascaris leonina (50%), Taenia pisiformis (8%) and Taenia crassiceps (8%) were found in both species of foxes. Echinococcus shiquicus (8%) and Taenia multiceps (6%) were found only in Tibetan sand foxes. Echinococcus multilocularis (3%) and Alaria alata (8%) were found only in red foxes. In the fecal egg examination of the rectal feces, 100% of taeniid cestodes, 73% of Toxascaris and 27% of Mesocestoides worm-positive samples showed egg-positive, indicating that coprological survey for parasite eggs could only provide partial information of intestinal parasite fauna. For field-collected feces, molecular identification of feces origins and fecal egg examination were performed. In 15 Tibetan sand fox and 30 red fox feces, we found E. multilocularis eggs in one feces of Tibetan sand fox. The present study indicated that the upper intestinal helminth fauna of the two fox species in Qinghai does not differ significantly and both species would play an important role in the maintenance of taeniid cestodes.

  20. Efficacy and bait acceptance of vaccinia vectored rabies glycoprotein vaccine in captive foxes (Vulpes vulpes), raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) and dogs (Canis familiaris).

    PubMed

    Cliquet, F; Barrat, J; Guiot, A L; Caël, N; Boutrand, S; Maki, J; Schumacher, C L

    2008-08-26

    The red fox, dog, and raccoon dog are known to play a major role in the global epidemiology of rabies. These three canid species were used to compare the appetency and efficacy of two commercial bait formats, each containing a single dose of vaccinia-rabies glycoprotein (V-RG) vaccine. Square and rectangular RABORAL V-RG baits were fed to individual caged animal, and results were evaluated using three parameters: bait consumption, induction of rabies virus neutralizing antibodies and protection after a virulent rabies challenge. The rectangular and square RABORAL V-RG baits were found to deliver the oral rabies vaccine in a similar manner to all three species resulting in acceptable seroconversion and effective protection levels after the rabies challenge. Appetency of each bait type was measured by bait consumption and found to be similar for both RABORAL V-RG bait formats in the fox and dog. The square RABORAL V-RG bait, however, was consumed more effectively than the rectangular RABORAL V-RG bait by the raccoon dog.

  1. Dirofilaria immitis: an emerging parasite in dogs, red foxes and golden jackals in Hungary.

    PubMed

    Tolnai, Z; Széll, Z; Sproch, Á; Szeredi, L; Sréter, T

    2014-07-14

    Hungary was not considered to be a heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) endemic country until 2007, when the first autochthonous canine infection was described. Herein we report additional autochthonous heartworm infections in two dogs (Canis familiaris), twenty red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) (n=534; prevalence: 3.7%; 95% CI=2.4-5.7%) and two golden jackals (Canis aureus) (n=27; prevalence: 7.4%; 95% CI=2.1-23.4%) coming from eight counties. The identification of the parasite was based on morphology, morphometrics and amplification of 12S rDNA followed by sequencing in all cases. Our results indicate that Hungary became a D. immitis endemic country in the past decade. The prevalence and intensity of heartworm infection in wild canids is similar to or lower than that observed in the Mediterranean countries of Europe (3.7-7.4% vs. 0.4-12.7% and 1.5 vs. 2.9-4.4 worms/animal). These findings are in line with the results of the recently developed climate based forecast model to predict the establishment of D. immitis in Hungary.

  2. Development of novel microsatellite markers for conservation genetic studies of Vulpes vulpes (Canidae) by using next-generation sequencing method.

    PubMed

    Yu, J-N; Chung, C-U; Oh, K H; Lee, B-K; Lim, C E

    2015-04-27

    The red fox, Vulpes vulpes (Canidae), is the most widely distributed terrestrial carnivore worldwide, but this species is classified as endangered in Korea. In this study, we developed 25 polymorphic microsatellite markers that included 3-13 (mean = 6.32) alleles per locus using 22 red fox individuals. The most polymorphic locus was FR(59)TG (13 alleles) and the least polymorphic loci were FR(70)TG and FR(182)AG (3 alleles each). No significant deviation from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (P < 0.05) was observed for the 25 markers. Observed (HO) and expected (HE) heterozygosity varied from 0.182 to 1.000 and from 0.175 to 0.929, respectively. These newly developed microsatellite markers will be useful for investigating the genetic diversity and population genetic structure of V. vulpes and will aid in developing conservation strategies for this species.

  3. First report of Cryptosporidium canis in foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) and identification of several novel subtype families for Cryptosporidium mink genotype in minks (Mustela vison) in China.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Siwen; Tao, Wei; Liu, Chengwu; Jiang, Yanxue; Wan, Qiang; Li, Qiao; Yang, Hang; Lin, Yongchao; Li, Wei

    2016-07-01

    Despite the rapid and extensive advances in molecular epidemiology of Cryptosporidium in humans and a variety of animals, the prevalence and genetic traits of the parasite in wildlife bred in captivity and the role of the neglected hosts in zoonotic transmission of human cryptosporidiosis are rarely understood. This study investigated the prevalence, species/genotype, and subtype of Cryptosporidium in farmed fur animals in China and assessed the possibility of zoonotic transmission. Three of 191 (1.6%) foxes (Vulpes vulpes), 17 of 162 (10.5%) raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides), and 48 of 162 (29.6%) minks (Mustela vison) were positive for Cryptosporidium by nested PCRs targeting the small subunit rRNA gene. Sequence analysis indicated the presence of only Cryptosporidium canis in foxes and raccoon dogs. There is no significant difference in prevalence between young and adult foxes (or raccoon dogs). Three Cryptosporidium species or genotype including C. canis, Cryptosporidium meleagridis, and mink genotype were determined in minks aged five to six months. Subtyping based on nucleotide and amino acid sequence polymorphisms of the 60kDa glycoprotein facilitated identification of three novel subtype families named as Xb to Xd for Cryptosporidium mink genotype. The presence of zoonotic C. canis, C. meleagridis, and Cryptosporidium mink genotype in captive-bred fur animals is of public health concerns. The findings expanded the host ranges of C. canis and C. meleagridis and confirmed genetic diversity at the subtype level in Cryptosporidium mink genotype. This is the first study reporting Cryptosporidium infections in foxes and raccoon dogs in China.

  4. Capture-recapture estimation of San Joaquin kit fox population size on Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1, Kern County, California. [Vulpes macrotis mutica

    SciTech Connect

    Harris, C.E.; O'Farrell, T.P.; McCue, P.M.; Kato, T.T.

    1987-01-01

    San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes macrotis mutica) population size was estimated semiannually on the US Department of Energy's Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1, Kern County, California, between December 1980 and August 1986 using capture-recapture data. Estimates were derived using a calendar graph (minimum population size) and appropriate models that allowed for unequal probability of capture. A total of 469 foxes were captured 930 times. There was a significant decline between the peak population estimates (164, minimum population size; 262, closed population model estimate) obtained in winter 1981 and the estimates for winter 1985 (41, minimum population size; 56, closed population model estimate). Population trends for the portion of the study area affected by petroleum development activities did not differ from those observed in undeveloped habitats. Closed population model tests provided evidence of behavioral response and heterogeneity of capture probability in the kit fox. The proportion of animals known to be alive but untrapped each session ranged between 14% and 77% which also indicated variable trap response. Closed population models provided reliable estimates of population size and its variance when the number of individual foxes captured was at least 40 to 50. Use of the Jolly-Seber open population model with this data set was rejected by the goodness-of-fit test because of the small number of marked foxes that were captured each trapping period and the small number of marked foxes from each release that were eventually recaptured.

  5. Distribution and status of the endangered San Joaquin kit fox, Vulpes macrotis mutica, on Fort Hunter Liggett and Camp Roberts, California

    SciTech Connect

    O'Farrell, T.P.; Berry, W.H.; Warrick, G.D.

    1987-10-01

    The distribution and status of the endangered San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes macrotis mutica) was determined for Fort Hunter Liggett and Camp Roberts, California, using canid scent station transects, spotlight surveys, and live-trapping and radiotelemetry. At Fort Hunter Liggett kit foxes were distributed only in a narrow corridor along the San Antonio River from the Mission to the B-9 Tank Range. Three other areas of potentially suitable habitat were observed but no evidence of kit foxes was obtained in them. The species was widely distributed on Camp Roberts and they appeared to be common to abundant over large areas, including the Main Garrison. Characteristics of dens used by radiocollared foxes were seldom consistent with previously published descriptions because many dens were enlarged burrows of California ground squirrels (Spermophilus beecheyi). California ground squirrels were the most frequently occurring prey remains (48.2%) in scats collected at Camp Roberts; remains of insects were observed in 25.9% of the scats. Frequencies of occurrence of lagomorphs (5.9%) and kangaroo rats (Dipodomys sp.) (l.2%), preferred kit fox prey elsewhere, were unexpectedly low. The proportions of prey items in scats varied between locations. Vehicles killed 22% of the foxes found dead, 11% were killed by predators, 1 fox became trapped in a verticle pipe and died, and a cause could not be determined for 56% of the deaths. Evidence showing that foxes bred successfully was gathered for both posts. Recommendations were made to restrict aerial applications of rodenticides to those areas outside the known distributions of the kit fox and a 1.6-km buffer, and to implement a program to monitor effects on nontarget species. 25 refs., 21 figs., 15 tabs.

  6. San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes velox macrotis) program, Camp Roberts, California

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-10-01

    The major objective of the Camp Roberts Environmental Studies Program was to prepare a comprehensive Biological Assessment of the effects of all NGB-authorized activities on San Joaquin kit fox (military training, anticipated construction projects, repair and maintenance activities, and all NGB-authorized non-military activities such as a hunting and fishing program, grazing leases, etc.). The program also provided NGB with the scientific expertise necessary to ensure compliance with the Endangered Species Act. The objective of this report is to summarize the progress and results of the Environmental Studies Program during Fiscal Years 1991 and 1992 (FY91/92).

  7. Breeding for better eye health in Finnish blue fox (Vulpes lagopus).

    PubMed

    Kempe, R; Strandén, I

    2016-02-01

    The frequency of eye infections in the Finnish blue fox population has increased during the past decade. Eye infection may incur economic losses to producers due to reduced selection intensity, but ethical aspects need to be considered as well because eye infection can be quite painful and reduce animal well-being. The purpose of this study was to determine the potential for genetic selection against susceptibility to eye infection. The data were collected from 2076 blue foxes at the MTT fur animal research station. Genetic parameters were estimated using single- and multiple-trait animal models. The heritability estimate for eye infection was analysed as a binary trait (EYE) and was moderate (0.24 ± 0.07). EYE had a moderate antagonistic genetic correlation (-0.49 ± 0.20) with grading density (thick underfur). The genetic correlation of EYE with grading size or body condition score was estimated without precision, but all size traits had a low antagonistic phenotypic correlation with EYE. Our results suggest that there is genetic variance in susceptibility to EYE, indicating that eye health can be improved through selection. The current recommendation is that the sick animals should be culled immediately. If more efficient selection is needed, the selection index and multiple-trait animal models can be applied in breeding for better eye health.

  8. San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes velox macrotis) program, Camp Roberts, California

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-10-01

    Military training activities, new construction projects, and routine repair and maintenance activities conducted at Camp Roberts could adversely affect the endangered San Joaquin kit fox population. The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (as amended) states that all Federal agencies are to ensure that any actions authorized, funded, or carried out by the agency are not likely to have any detrimental effects on endangered species or their habitat. The major objective of the Camp Roberts Environmental Studies Program was to prepare a comprehensive Biological Assessment of the effects of all NGB-authorized activities on San Joaquin kit fox (military training, anticipated construction projects, repair and maintenance activities, and all NGB-authorized non-military activities such as a hunting and fishing program, grazing leases, etc.). The program also provided NGB with the scientific expertise necessary to ensure compliance with the Endangered Species Act. The objective of this report is to summarize the progress and results of the Environmental Studies Program during Fiscal Years 1991 and 1992 (FY91/92).

  9. Sources and rates of mortality of the San Joaquin kit fox, Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1, Kern County, California, 1980-1986. [Vulpes macrotis mutica

    SciTech Connect

    Berry, W.H.; Scrivner, J.H.; O'Farrell, T.P.; Harris, C.E.; Kato, T.T.; McCue, P.M.

    1987-03-01

    Sources and rates of mortality of the San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes macrotis mutica) were studied from 1980 to 1986. Of 270 foxes radiocollared, 225 were recovered dead. Of the 225 recovered dead 53.8% (121) were killed by predators, 10.7% (24) were killed by vehicles, 4.4% (10) died from causes other than predation, and 31.1% (70) died from unknown causes. Contingency-table analysis was used to assess the relationship between cause of death and sex, age class (juvenile and adult), habitat type (undeveloped and developed), and year of death (1980-1986). More adults in undeveloped habitat were killed by vehicles than were juveniles; more female juveniles in developed habitat were killed by vehicles than female adults; more juveniles were killed by vehicles in developed habitat than in undeveloped habitat; and more adults in developed habitat were killed by predators in later years of the study than in early years. Over 90% of the foxes collared as juveniles were recovered in their first or second year. Fourteen mortality rates based on age class and year of death were estimated using maximum-likelihood estimation. Mortality rates were higher for juvenile foxes (x-bar = 0.74) than for adult foxes (x-bar = 0.52). For foxes collared as juveniles, there was no significant difference in survival between the two habitat types or between the sexes. Mortality of adults increased between 1980 and 1986. Because coyote predation was a major cause of kit fox mortality the coyote control program implemented in 1985 should be continued and its effectiveness should be evaluated by continued monitoring of kit fox, coyote, and prey populations.

  10. Use of biochemical markers to evaluate the quality of fresh and cryopreserved semen from the arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus).

    PubMed

    Stasiak, K; Glogowski, J; Demianowicz, W; Kowalski, R; Nowak-Tkaczyk, A; Janicki, B

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to use biochemical markers to evaluate the quality of fresh and cryopreserved semen from the arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus). Twenty-three manually collected ejaculates were analysed for the main indicators of semen quality (sperm concentration and ejaculate volume). Sperm motility and percentage of morphologically normal and abnormal spermatozoa were determined according to the stage of cryopreservation (fresh--measurement A; equilibrated--measurement B; frozen/thawed--measurement C). Furthermore, the seminal plasma and supernatants were analysed after equilibration and freeze/thawing for the activity of the enzymes alkaline phosphatase (ALP), acid phosphatase (AcP), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and aspartate aminotransferase (AspAT), and for the activity of acrosin inhibitors (AP). The mean concentration of sperm was 625.1 million/cm3, and ejaculate volume averaged 1.6 cm3. Seminal plasma was characterized by the highest activity of alkaline phosphatase (3.43 x 10(3) U/l) and lowest activity of acrosin inhibitors (4.55 x 10(3) U/l). After equilibration, the supernatants showed the highest activity of acid phosphatase (94.9 U/l) and after freeze-thawing, they showed a high activity of lactate dehydrogenase (535.8 U/l) and aspartate aminotransferase (577.1 U/l), which indicates that these proteins had leaked from spermatozoa into the extracellular medium during the biotechnique of semen cryopreservation. In addition, several significant relationships were found between some indicators of semen quality and plasma and/or supernatant enzyme activity.

  11. Ground Penetrating Radar and thermal imager applied to San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes velox macrotis) at Camp Roberts Army National Guard Training Site, California

    SciTech Connect

    Reese, E.A.; Kato, T.T.; Berry, W.H.; O'Farrell, T.P.

    1992-10-01

    Ground Penetrating Radar and thermal infrared imaging were used to evaluate the effects of military activities conducted at Camp Roberts Army National Guard Training Site. The Ground Penetrating Radar was used to identify underground burrows of San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes velox macrotis) dens in an attempt to evaluate the impact of tracked vehicles on the integrity of kit fox dens. The thermal imaging was used to identify kit foxes within the live-fire impact area. The ground penetrating radar equipment was initially unsuccessfull in detecting burrows in the hard, compacted soils. Changes in antenna systems and sampling methods resulted in small improvements, but the data were inadequate to test for effects of military vehicles on dens. Further refinements would have required the intentional destruction of dens, or the redesign of the ground penetrating radar hardware and software. Thermal imaging was useful in observing kit foxes at close range but was not suitable for detecting foxes in the impact area because the images were not clear enough for conclusive species identification.

  12. Ground Penetrating Radar and thermal imager applied to San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes velox macrotis) at Camp Roberts Army National Guard Training Site, California

    SciTech Connect

    Reese, E.A.; Kato, T.T.; Berry, W.H.; O`Farrell, T.P.

    1992-10-01

    Ground Penetrating Radar and thermal infrared imaging were used to evaluate the effects of military activities conducted at Camp Roberts Army National Guard Training Site. The Ground Penetrating Radar was used to identify underground burrows of San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes velox macrotis) dens in an attempt to evaluate the impact of tracked vehicles on the integrity of kit fox dens. The thermal imaging was used to identify kit foxes within the live-fire impact area. The ground penetrating radar equipment was initially unsuccessfull in detecting burrows in the hard, compacted soils. Changes in antenna systems and sampling methods resulted in small improvements, but the data were inadequate to test for effects of military vehicles on dens. Further refinements would have required the intentional destruction of dens, or the redesign of the ground penetrating radar hardware and software. Thermal imaging was useful in observing kit foxes at close range but was not suitable for detecting foxes in the impact area because the images were not clear enough for conclusive species identification.

  13. [The brain catecholamines during domestication of the silver fox Vulpes fulvus].

    PubMed

    Nikulina, E M

    1990-01-01

    Studies have been made on the content of catecholamines (noradrenaline and dopamine) as well as metabolites of dopamine (3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic and homovanillic acids) in the brain structures of silver foxes which differ in their handling reactions. The level of noradrenaline was found to be significantly higher in the anterior hypothalamus of domesticated animals; no differences in noradrenaline content were found in the frontal cortex, hippocamp, posterior hypothalamus and midbrain in animals from aggressive and domesticated groups. Dopamine content was higher in the tuberculum olfactorium of domesticated animals, being lower in the striatum and n. accumbens. Metabolite level remained unaffected which is presumably due to changes in dopamine synthesis in the investigated structures. It was concluded that domestication of animals favours the specimens with an altered state of catecholaminergic system of the brain.

  14. Rabies and canine distemper virus epidemics in the red fox population of northern Italy (2006-2010).

    PubMed

    Nouvellet, Pierre; Donnelly, Christl A; De Nardi, Marco; Rhodes, Chris J; De Benedictis, Paola; Citterio, Carlo; Obber, Federica; Lorenzetto, Monica; Pozza, Manuela Dalla; Cauchemez, Simon; Cattoli, Giovanni

    2013-01-01

    Since 2006 the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) population in north-eastern Italy has experienced an epidemic of canine distemper virus (CDV). Additionally, in 2008, after a thirteen-year absence from Italy, fox rabies was re-introduced in the Udine province at the national border with Slovenia. Disease intervention strategies are being developed and implemented to control rabies in this area and minimise risk to human health. Here we present empirical data and the epidemiological picture relating to these epidemics in the period 2006-2010. Of important significance for epidemiological studies of wild animals, basic mathematical models are developed to exploit information collected from the surveillance program on dead and/or living animals in order to assess the incidence of infection. These models are also used to estimate the rate of transmission of both diseases and the rate of vaccination, while correcting for a bias in early collection of CDV samples. We found that the rate of rabies transmission was roughly twice that of CDV, with an estimated effective contact between infected and susceptible fox leading to a new infection occurring once every 3 days for rabies, and once a week for CDV. We also inferred that during the early stage of the CDV epidemic, a bias in the monitoring protocol resulted in a positive sample being almost 10 times more likely to be collected than a negative sample. We estimated the rate of intake of oral vaccine at 0.006 per day, allowing us to estimate that roughly 68% of the foxes would be immunised. This was confirmed by field observations. Finally we discuss the implications for the eco-epidemiological dynamics of both epidemics in relation to control measures.

  15. Rabies and Canine Distemper Virus Epidemics in the Red Fox Population of Northern Italy (2006–2010)

    PubMed Central

    De Benedictis, Paola; Citterio, Carlo; Obber, Federica; Lorenzetto, Monica; Pozza, Manuela Dalla; Cauchemez, Simon; Cattoli, Giovanni

    2013-01-01

    Since 2006 the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) population in north-eastern Italy has experienced an epidemic of canine distemper virus (CDV). Additionally, in 2008, after a thirteen-year absence from Italy, fox rabies was re-introduced in the Udine province at the national border with Slovenia. Disease intervention strategies are being developed and implemented to control rabies in this area and minimise risk to human health. Here we present empirical data and the epidemiological picture relating to these epidemics in the period 2006–2010. Of important significance for epidemiological studies of wild animals, basic mathematical models are developed to exploit information collected from the surveillance program on dead and/or living animals in order to assess the incidence of infection. These models are also used to estimate the rate of transmission of both diseases and the rate of vaccination, while correcting for a bias in early collection of CDV samples. We found that the rate of rabies transmission was roughly twice that of CDV, with an estimated effective contact between infected and susceptible fox leading to a new infection occurring once every 3 days for rabies, and once a week for CDV. We also inferred that during the early stage of the CDV epidemic, a bias in the monitoring protocol resulted in a positive sample being almost 10 times more likely to be collected than a negative sample. We estimated the rate of intake of oral vaccine at 0.006 per day, allowing us to estimate that roughly 68% of the foxes would be immunised. This was confirmed by field observations. Finally we discuss the implications for the eco-epidemiological dynamics of both epidemics in relation to control measures. PMID:23630599

  16. Environmental variation at the onset of independent foraging affects full-grown body mass in the red fox

    PubMed Central

    Soulsbury, Carl D; Iossa, Graziella; Baker, Philip J; Harris, Stephen

    2008-01-01

    The period following the withdrawal of parental care has been highlighted as a key developmental period for juveniles. One reason for this is that juveniles cannot forage as competently as adults, potentially placing them at greater risk from environmentally-induced changes in food availability. However, no study has examined this topic. Using a long-term dataset on red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), we examined (i) dietary changes that occurred in the one-month period following the attainment of nutritional independence, (ii) diet composition in relation to climatic variation, and (iii) the effect of climatic variation on subsequent full-grown mass. Diet at nutritional independence contained increased quantities of easy-to-catch food items (earthworms and insects) when compared with pre-independence. Interannual variation in the volume of rainfall at nutritional independence was positively correlated to the proportion of earthworms in cub diet. Pre-independence cub mass and rainfall immediately following nutritional independence explained a significant proportion of variance in full-grown mass, with environmental variation affecting full-grown mass of the entire cohorts. Thus, weather-mediated availability of easy-to-catch food items at a key developmental stage has lifelong implications for the development of juvenile foxes by affecting full-grown mass, which in turn appears to be an important component of individual reproductive potential. PMID:18628118

  17. Environmental variation at the onset of independent foraging affects full-grown body mass in the red fox.

    PubMed

    Soulsbury, Carl D; Iossa, Graziella; Baker, Philip J; Harris, Stephen

    2008-10-22

    The period following the withdrawal of parental care has been highlighted as a key developmental period for juveniles. One reason for this is that juveniles cannot forage as competently as adults, potentially placing them at greater risk from environmentally-induced changes in food availability. However, no study has examined this topic. Using a long-term dataset on red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), we examined (i) dietary changes that occurred in the one-month period following the attainment of nutritional independence, (ii) diet composition in relation to climatic variation, and (iii) the effect of climatic variation on subsequent full-grown mass. Diet at nutritional independence contained increased quantities of easy-to-catch food items (earthworms and insects) when compared with pre-independence. Interannual variation in the volume of rainfall at nutritional independence was positively correlated to the proportion of earthworms in cub diet. Pre-independence cub mass and rainfall immediately following nutritional independence explained a significant proportion of variance in full-grown mass, with environmental variation affecting full-grown mass of the entire cohorts. Thus, weather-mediated availability of easy-to-catch food items at a key developmental stage has lifelong implications for the development of juvenile foxes by affecting full-grown mass, which in turn appears to be an important component of individual reproductive potential.

  18. Habitat, soils, and den use of San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes velox macrotis) at Camp Roberts Army National Guard Training Site, California

    SciTech Connect

    Reese, E.A.; Standley, W.G.; Berry, W.H.

    1992-09-01

    Den use patterns, den characteristics, and effects of military training on dens were studied for San Joaquin kit foxes (Vulpes velox macrotis) at Camp Roberts Army National Guard Training Site, California.Ninety-four radiocollared kit foxes used 1059 dens and 334 buildings as shelter from December 1988, through September 1991. There were 1001 (95%) earthen dens, 57 (5%) culverts, and one den in a hollow log. Denentrance dimensions were measured for single entrance dens; the average height was 20 cm, and the average width was 21 cm. Most dens had two to five den entrances, and only 36% of dens found showed sign of fox activity. Dens were found at elevations between 161 and 351 m. The average slope of dens found on hillsides was 19 degrees, and most dens faced the western quadrant. Dens were found over much of the post exceptthe steep southwest portion. More kit fox dens were located in grassland and low to medium density oak woodlands than expected, and fewer dens were located in developed areas and medium to high density oak woodlands than expected. Denning range size was calculated for 16 foxes that were radiocollared at least one year and that were found using only earthen and culvert dens. The average denning range size was 171.0 {plus_minus} 24.0 ha. There was no significant difference in male and female average denning range sizes. When buildings used as shelter were included in denning range sizes, there was no significant difference in average denning range size between developed and undeveloped areas. Foxes used 26 of 36 available soil series, and dens were not distributed proportionally among the 36 soil series. Kit fox dens were typically found in well drained soils. Few den entrances were destroyed by military training exercises.

  19. Levels and temporal trends of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) from Svalbard in relation to dietary habits and food availability.

    PubMed

    Andersen, Martin S; Fuglei, Eva; König, Max; Lipasti, Inka; Pedersen, Åshild Ø; Polder, Anuschka; Yoccoz, Nigel G; Routti, Heli

    2015-04-01

    Temporal trends of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) from Svalbard, Norway, were investigated in relation to feeding habits and seasonal food availability. Arctic foxes from Svalbard forage in both marine and terrestrial ecosystems and the availability of their food items are impacted by climatic variability. Concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorinated pesticides (OCPs) and brominated flame retardants (polybrominated diphenyl ethers [PBDEs] and hexabromocyclododecane [HBCDD]) were analyzed in the liver of 141 arctic foxes collected between 1997 and 2013. Stable carbon isotope values (δ13C) were used as a proxy for feeding on marine versus terrestrial prey. The annual number of recovered reindeer carcasses and sea ice cover were used as proxies for climate influenced food availability (reindeers, seals). Linear models revealed that concentrations of PCBs, chlordanes, p,p'-DDE, mirex and PBDEs decreased 4-11% per year, while no trends were observed for hexachlorobenzene (HCB) or β-hexachlorocyclohexane (β-HCH). Positive relationships between POP concentrations and δ13C indicate that concentrations of all compounds increase with increasing marine dietary input. Increasing reindeer mortality was related to lower HCB concentrations in the foxes based on the linear models. This suggests that concentrations of HCB in arctic foxes may be influenced by high mortality levels of Svalbard reindeer. Further, β-HCH concentrations showed a positive association with sea ice cover. These results in addition to the strong effect of δ13C on all POP concentrations suggest that climate-related changes in arctic fox diet are likely to influence contaminant concentrations in arctic foxes from Svalbard. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Habitat, soils, and den use of San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes velox macrotis) at Camp Roberts Army National Guard Training Site, California

    SciTech Connect

    Reese, E.A.; Standley, W.G.; Berry, W.H.

    1992-09-01

    Den use patterns, den characteristics, and effects of military training on dens were studied for San Joaquin kit foxes (Vulpes velox macrotis) at Camp Roberts Army National Guard Training Site, California.Ninety-four radiocollared kit foxes used 1059 dens and 334 buildings as shelter from December 1988, through September 1991. There were 1001 (95%) earthen dens, 57 (5%) culverts, and one den in a hollow log. Denentrance dimensions were measured for single entrance dens; the average height was 20 cm, and the average width was 21 cm. Most dens had two to five den entrances, and only 36% of dens found showed sign of fox activity. Dens were found at elevations between 161 and 351 m. The average slope of dens found on hillsides was 19 degrees, and most dens faced the western quadrant. Dens were found over much of the post exceptthe steep southwest portion. More kit fox dens were located in grassland and low to medium density oak woodlands than expected, and fewer dens were located in developed areas and medium to high density oak woodlands than expected. Denning range size was calculated for 16 foxes that were radiocollared at least one year and that were found using only earthen and culvert dens. The average denning range size was 171.0 [plus minus] 24.0 ha. There was no significant difference in male and female average denning range sizes. When buildings used as shelter were included in denning range sizes, there was no significant difference in average denning range size between developed and undeveloped areas. Foxes used 26 of 36 available soil series, and dens were not distributed proportionally among the 36 soil series. Kit fox dens were typically found in well drained soils. Few den entrances were destroyed by military training exercises.

  1. [Adrenal function in different phases of the estrous cycle in the domesticated silver fox, Vulpes fulvus].

    PubMed

    Bazhan, N M; Lutsenko, N D

    1987-01-01

    Experiments were made on silver foxes from a population which had been selected for 10 to 15 generations for the domestic behaviour and on animals from a control, unselected population. In females from both populations, studies were made of the level of 11-OHCS in the blood serum, in vitro production of 11-OHCS, the size of fascicular zone in the adrenal cortex, the volume of cellular nuclei and nucleoli, as well as the reaction of the adrenals in vitro to 2 doses of ACTH (1 and 5 units/g of the adrenals) during anestrus, proestrus and estrus. In control females, all the characters investigated significantly increased from anestrus to proestrus. In domesticated females, no changes in the production of 11-OHCS in vitro or changes in morphological features of the fascicular zone were observed in the course of estrous cycle. During proestrus, the adrenals of the domesticated animals were not able to increase the production of 11-OHCS in vitro after application of ACTH. The decrease in the reactivity of the adrenals to the effect of ACTH is presumably the main cause why in unselected females the adrenal are not activated during proestrus. Therefore, in the course of selection for the domestication type of behaviour, species specific dynamics of activation of the adrenals during estrous cycle is lost.

  2. Evaluation of four serological techniques to determine the seroprevalence of Neospora caninum in foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and coyotes (Canis latrans) on Prince Edward Island, Canada.

    PubMed

    Wapenaar, W; Barkema, H W; Schares, G; Rouvinen-Watt, K; Zeijlemaker, L; Poorter, B; O'Handley, R M; Kwok, O C H; Dubey, J P

    2007-04-10

    The objectives of this study were (1) to evaluate the performance and agreement of serological assays (ELISA, IFAT, Neospora caninum agglutination test and immunoblot) using reference sera and field sera from foxes and coyotes and (2) to estimate the N. caninum seroprevalence in foxes and coyotes on Prince Edward Island, Canada. With fox and coyote reference sera the test performance of the ELISA, IFAT and IB was excellent (100% sensitivity and specificity). NAT showed a low sensitivity (50%). Serum was collected from 201 coyotes and 271 foxes. The seroprevalence observed in the different assays ranged from 0.5 to 14.0% in coyotes and 1.1 to 34.8% in foxes. The seroprevalence, when taking more than one test positive as cut-off value was 3.3 and 1.1% for coyotes and foxes, respectively. From the N. caninum-positive group, all coyotes were older than 3 years. Agreement among assays (measured as prevalence-adjusted bias-adjusted kappa) using the field sera ranged from 0.17 to 0.97. Best agreement was observed between ELISA and IFAT, poor agreement was observed between NAT and the other assays. Positive agreement was moderate to poor among all assays utilized in this study. Although the seroprevalence observed was low, N. caninum antibodies are present in foxes and coyotes on Prince Edward Island (PEI) and their role in the N. caninum epidemiology needs further study.

  3. Effects of habitat composition on the use of resources by the red fox in a semi arid environment of North Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dell'Arte, Graziella L.; Leonardi, Giovanni

    2005-09-01

    The red fox Vulpes vulpes is considered an opportunistic predator able to avoid prey shortages by exploiting a wide range of available food resources. However, as predicted by the Resources Dispersion Hypothesis (RDH), the distribution of other key resources such as suitable areas for dens can affect fox populations. Furthermore, in insularity conditions, resources are spatially limited and their availability is greatly influenced by territory sizes and the feeding habits of predators. In this paper we report the spatial use and foraging habits of foxes in three habitats (grassland, cultivation and suburban) of a sub-arid island off north Africa in relation to habitat composition and food availability. We found that diet composition in a gross sense did not differ significantly among habitats, with insects comprising > 48% and fruits 25% of the total prey items. Grasslands offered temporary clumped food resources (e.g. birds) that induced foxes to increase their territory sizes and to enlarge their diet range during prey shortages. Inversely, in cultivated and suburban areas, the main prey (insects) were more evenly distributed, especially in olive groves which constitute the most extensive form of cultivation on the island. In large areas covered by olive trees, the high availability of Coleoptera spp. significantly reduced core areas used by foxes and also distances among dens. Palm groves were patchy on the island but contained high densities of Orthoptera spp. and date fruits which represent alternative food sources. Thus, these patches are attractive foraging places, but a modification of the perimeter of fox territories was necessary for their exploitation. Our study confirmed that in this arid environment, habitat composition per se affected a generalist predator less than the dispersion of its main prey. In addition, the patchy distribution of resources can assume a role in the spacing and feeding behaviours of foxes only in relation to clumped alternative

  4. Missense polymorphisms in the MC1R gene of the dog, red fox, arctic fox and Chinese raccoon dog.

    PubMed

    Nowacka-Woszuk, J; Salamon, S; Gorna, A; Switonski, M

    2013-04-01

    Coat colour variation is determined by many genes, one of which is the melanocortin receptor type 1 (MC1R) gene. In this study, we examined the whole coding sequence of this gene in four species belonging to the Canidae family (dog, red fox, arctic fox and Chinese raccoon dog). Although the comparative analysis of the obtained nucleotide sequences revealed a high conservation, which varied between 97.9 and 99.1%, we altogether identified 22 SNPs (10 in dogs, six in farmed red foxes, two in wild red foxes, three in arctic foxes and one in Chinese raccoon dog). Among them, seven appeared to be novel: one silent in the dog, three missense and one silent in the red fox, one in the 3'-flanking region in the arctic fox and one silent in the Chinese raccoon dog. In dogs and red foxes, the SNPs segregated as 10 and four haplotypes, respectively. Taking into consideration the published reports and results of this study, the highest number of missense polymorphisms was until now found in the dog (9) and red fox (7).

  5. Tracing the fox family tree: the North American red fox has a diverse ancestry forged during successive ice ages

    Treesearch

    Gail Wells; Keith Aubry

    2011-01-01

    The red fox is one of the most widespread and adaptable mammals on Earth. In the American West, however, there are populations of native red foxes that occur only in alpine and subalpine habitats, which may be at risk from human-caused and natural pressures. One potential threat is global climate change, which is likely to reduce both the amount and connectivity of...

  6. Bartonella rochalimae in Raccoons, Coyotes, and Red Foxes

    PubMed Central

    Henn, Jennifer B.; Boulouis, Henri-Jean; Kasten, Rickie W.; Murray, William J.; Bar-Gal, Gila K.; King, Roni; Courreau, Jean-François; Baneth, Gad

    2009-01-01

    To determine additional reservoirs for Bartonella rochalimae, we examined samples from several wildlife species. We isolated B. rochalimae from 1 red fox near Paris, France, and from 11 raccoons and 2 coyotes from California, USA. Co-infection with B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii was documented in 1 of the coyotes. PMID:19961681

  7. Red Fox as Sentinel for Blastomyces dermatitidis, Ontario, Canada.

    PubMed

    Nemeth, Nicole M; Campbell, G Douglas; Oesterle, Paul T; Shirose, Lenny; McEwen, Beverly; Jardine, Claire M

    2016-07-01

    Blastomyces dermatitidis, a fungus that can cause fatal infection in humans and other mammals, is not readily recoverable from soil, its environmental reservoir. Because of the red fox's widespread distribution, susceptibility to B. dermatitidis, close association with soil, and well-defined home ranges, this animal has potential utility as a sentinel for this fungus.

  8. Sequence analysis of the Ras-MAPK pathway genes SOS1, EGFR & GRB2 in silver foxes (Vulpes vulpes): candidate genes for hereditary hyperplastic gingivitis.

    PubMed

    Clark, Jo-Anna B J; Tully, Sara J; Dawn Marshall, H

    2014-12-01

    Hereditary hyperplastic gingivitis (HHG) is an autosomal recessive disease that presents with progressive gingival proliferation in farmed silver foxes. Hereditary gingival fibromatosis (HGF) is an analogous condition in humans that is genetically heterogeneous with several known autosomal dominant loci. For one locus the causative mutation is in the Son of sevenless homologue 1 (SOS1) gene. For the remaining loci, the molecular mechanisms are unknown but Ras pathway involvement is suspected. Here we compare sequences for the SOS1 gene, and two adjacent genes in the Ras pathway, growth receptor bound protein 2 (GRB2) and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), between HHG-affected and unaffected foxes. We conclude that the known HGF causative mutation does not cause HHG in foxes, nor do the coding regions or intron-exon boundaries of these three genes contain any candidate mutations for fox gum disease. Patterns of molecular evolution among foxes and other mammals reflect high conservation and strong functional constraints for SOS1 and GRB2 but reveal a lineage-specific pattern of variability in EGFR consistent with mutational rate differences, relaxed functional constraints, and possibly positive selection.

  9. [Detection of the eggs of Echinococcus multilocularis Leuckart, 1863, in the feces of the fox (Vulpes vulpes Linnaeus, 1758) by the polymerase chain reaction].

    PubMed

    Bretagne, S; Guillou, J P; Morand, M; Houin, R

    1992-12-01

    The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was applied to the identification of eggs of Echinococcus multilocularis in faeces from foxes. The test was positive in three of six faeces samples from foxes which were harbouring adult worms, and in one of four samples from foxes in which no adult E. multilocularis was found in the intestines. These initial results show that it is possible to use PCR to identify E. multilocularis eggs in faeces. PCR can be used to complement examination of intestinal contents, showing that the distribution of eggs in faeces is uneven. The sensitivity of the test was estimated to be 50 eggs in 5 g of faeces. Further work is needed to confirm these initial results before the test can be used more widely.

  10. Serologic survey for disease in endangered San Joaquin kit fox, Vulpes macrotis mutica, inhabiting the Elk Hills Naval Petroleum Reserve, Kern County, California

    SciTech Connect

    McCue, P.M.; O'Farrell, T.P.

    1986-07-01

    Serum from endangered San Joaquin kit foxes, Vulpes macrotis mutica, and sympatric wildlife inhabiting the Elk Hills Petroleum Reserve, Kern County, and Elkhorn Plain, San Luis Obispo County, California, was collected in 1981 to 1982 and 1984, and tested for antibodies against 10 infectious disease pathogens. Proportions of kit fox sera containing antibodies against diseases were: canine parvovirus, 100% in 1981 to 1982 and 67% in 1984; infectious canine hepatitis, 6% in 1981 to 1982 and 21% in 1984; canine distemper, 0 in 1981 to 1982 and 14% in 1984; tularemia, 8% in 1981 to 1982 and 31% in 1984; Brucella abortus, 8% in 1981 to 1982 and 3% in 1984; Brucella canis, 14% in 1981 to 1982 and 0 in 1984; toxoplasmosis, 6% in 1981 to 1982; coccidioidomycosis, 3% in 1981 to 1982; and plague and leptospirosis, 0 in 1981 to 1982. High population density, overlapping home ranges, ability to disperse great distances, and infestation by ectoparasites were cited as possible factors in the transmission and maintenance of these diseases in kit fox populations.

  11. Characteristics of dens used by radiocollared San Joaquin kit fox, Vulpes macrotis mutica, Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1, Kern County, California

    SciTech Connect

    Berry, W.H.; O'Farrell, T.P.; Kato, T.T.; McCue, P.M.

    1987-08-01

    A total of 946 dens used by radiocollared San Joaquin kit foxes, Vulpes macrotis mutica, were observed on Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1 and surrounding lands in Kern County, California. Of these, 887 were typical subterranean dens located in 65 sections, and 59 were atypical dens in man-made structures located in 24 sections and in two pipe storage yards. Although the number of entrances to dens ranged between 1 and 17, most (90%) had six or fewer entrances and the average, which did not differ between developed and undeveloped habitats, was 3.4. Entrances were significantly higher than wide, and 53% had ramp-shaped dirt berms. Dens had an average slope angle of 16.1/sup 0/ and more were found on slopes than in flats. Fewer dens faced the northwest quadrant and more faced the southern quadrant than expected. Evidence of kit foxes (tracks, scats, or prey remains) was observed at 80% of the dens, but 11% were not associated with kit fox sign (matted vegetation or trails) even though they were occupied. Human disturbances, most frequently roads, were observed in the immediate vicinity of 78% of the dens. Most (93%) atypical dens were in metal pipes, three were in buried wooden culverts, and one was under a concrete slab. 27 refs., 7 figs., 10 tabs.

  12. Diet of the San Joaquin kit fox, Vulpes macrotis mutica, on Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1, Kern County, California, 1980-1984

    SciTech Connect

    Scrivner, J.H.; O'Farrell, T.P.; Kato, T.T.; Johnson, M.K.

    1987-06-01

    A total of 1430 scats of the San Joaquin kit fox, Vulpes macrotis mutica, were collected between 1980 and 1984 on Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1, Kern County, California, and analyzed to determine frequency of occurrence of prey items. Lagomorphs (black-tailed jackrabbits and desert cotton-tails) were the primary prey species (frequency of occurrence = 73%); while kangaroo rats (Dipodomys spp.) were the next most common (13%). The proportions of lagomorphs and kangaroo rats in the diet did not differ between sexes of foxes, periods of the year, or topography. Intensity of petroleum developments had no observable influence on food habits. There were annual differences in diet: proportions of lagomorphs declined, and proportions of kangaroo rats increased between 1980-1984. Changes in the frequency of occurrence of lagomorphs were significantly correlated with changes in their relative abundance in undeveloped-flat habitat. The frequency of occurrence of kangaroo rats was not significantly correlated with their relative abundance. San Joaquin kit fox on NPR-1 fed primarily on lagomorphs, and had the ability to sustain themselves on kangaroo rats and other secondary prey when their primary prey declined.

  13. Fluoride in the bones of foxes (Vulpes vulpes Linneaus, 1758) and raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides Gray, 1834) from North-Western Poland.

    PubMed

    Palczewska-Komsa, Mirona; Kalisińska, Elzbieta; Kosik-Bogacka, Danuta I; Lanocha, Natalia; Budis, Halina; Baranowska-Bosiacka, Irena; Gutowska, Izabela; Chlubek, Dariusz

    2014-07-01

    Assessment of exposure to fluoride (F(-)) is increasingly focused on mineralized tissues, mainly bones. Their periodic growth and continuous reconstruction make them a good material for studying long-term F(-) accumulation. In this study, F(-)concentrations were determined in the bones of foxes and raccoon dogs from north-western Poland and relationships between bone F(-) and the age categories of the animals were attempted to be identified. Bone samples were collected from femurs of 32 foxes (15 males and 17 females) and 18 raccoon dogs (10 males and 8 females) from polluted, medium-polluted, and unpolluted by F(-) areas. Bone F(-) was determined by potentiometric method, and results were expressed per dry weight (dw); they ranged from 176 to 3,668 mg/kg dw in foxes and from 84 to 1,190 mg/kg dw in raccoon dogs. Foxes from north-western Poland accumulated much more F(-) in their bones than raccoon dogs. Our study shows that the assessment of hazards created by industrial emitters can be conducted conveniently by the measurements of fluorine content in hard tissues of wild animals. Due to availability of such type of material for studies, it seems that the analysis of fluoride content in bones can be a good tool in the development of ecotoxicology.

  14. Rough-Legged Buzzards, Arctic Foxes and Red Foxes in a Tundra Ecosystem without Rodents

    PubMed Central

    Pokrovsky, Ivan; Ehrich, Dorothée; Ims, Rolf A.; Kondratyev, Alexander V.; Kruckenberg, Helmut; Kulikova, Olga; Mihnevich, Julia; Pokrovskaya, Liya; Shienok, Alexander

    2015-01-01

    Small rodents with multi-annual population cycles strongly influence the dynamics of food webs, and in particular predator-prey interactions, across most of the tundra biome. Rodents are however absent from some arctic islands, and studies on performance of arctic predators under such circumstances may be very instructive since rodent cycles have been predicted to collapse in a warming Arctic. Here we document for the first time how three normally rodent-dependent predator species—rough-legged buzzard, arctic fox and red fox – perform in a low-arctic ecosystem with no rodents. During six years (in 2006-2008 and 2011-2013) we studied diet and breeding performance of these predators in the rodent-free Kolguev Island in Arctic Russia. The rough-legged buzzards, previously known to be a small rodent specialist, have only during the last two decades become established on Kolguev Island. The buzzards successfully breed on the island at stable low density, but with high productivity based on goslings and willow ptarmigan as their main prey – altogether representing a novel ecological situation for this species. Breeding density of arctic fox varied from year to year, but with stable productivity based on mainly geese as prey. The density dynamic of the arctic fox appeared to be correlated with the date of spring arrival of the geese. Red foxes breed regularly on the island but in very low numbers that appear to have been unchanged over a long period – a situation that resemble what has been recently documented from Arctic America. Our study suggests that the three predators found breeding on Kolguev Island possess capacities for shifting to changing circumstances in low-arctic ecosystem as long as other small - medium sized terrestrial herbivores are present in good numbers. PMID:25692786

  15. Rough-legged buzzards, Arctic foxes and red foxes in a tundra ecosystem without rodents.

    PubMed

    Pokrovsky, Ivan; Ehrich, Dorothée; Ims, Rolf A; Kondratyev, Alexander V; Kruckenberg, Helmut; Kulikova, Olga; Mihnevich, Julia; Pokrovskaya, Liya; Shienok, Alexander

    2015-01-01

    Small rodents with multi-annual population cycles strongly influence the dynamics of food webs, and in particular predator-prey interactions, across most of the tundra biome. Rodents are however absent from some arctic islands, and studies on performance of arctic predators under such circumstances may be very instructive since rodent cycles have been predicted to collapse in a warming Arctic. Here we document for the first time how three normally rodent-dependent predator species-rough-legged buzzard, arctic fox and red fox - perform in a low-arctic ecosystem with no rodents. During six years (in 2006-2008 and 2011-2013) we studied diet and breeding performance of these predators in the rodent-free Kolguev Island in Arctic Russia. The rough-legged buzzards, previously known to be a small rodent specialist, have only during the last two decades become established on Kolguev Island. The buzzards successfully breed on the island at stable low density, but with high productivity based on goslings and willow ptarmigan as their main prey - altogether representing a novel ecological situation for this species. Breeding density of arctic fox varied from year to year, but with stable productivity based on mainly geese as prey. The density dynamic of the arctic fox appeared to be correlated with the date of spring arrival of the geese. Red foxes breed regularly on the island but in very low numbers that appear to have been unchanged over a long period - a situation that resemble what has been recently documented from Arctic America. Our study suggests that the three predators found breeding on Kolguev Island possess capacities for shifting to changing circumstances in low-arctic ecosystem as long as other small - medium sized terrestrial herbivores are present in good numbers.

  16. First European interlaboratory comparison of tetracycline and age determination with red fox teeth following oral rabies vaccination programs.

    PubMed

    Robardet, Emmanuelle; Demerson, Jean-Michel; Andrieu, Sabrina; Cliquet, Florence

    2012-10-01

    The first European interlaboratory comparison of tetracycline and age determination with red fox (Vulpes vulpes) tooth samples was organized by the European Union Reference Laboratory for rabies. Performance and procedures implemented by member states were compared. These techniques are widely used to monitor bait uptake in European oral rabies vaccination campaigns. A panel of five red fox half-mandibles comprising one weak positive juvenile sample, two positive adult samples, one negative juvenile sample, and one negative adult sample were sent, along with a technical questionnaire, to 12 laboratories participating on a voluntary basis. The results of only three laboratories (25%) were 100% correct. False-negative results were more frequently seen in weak positive juvenile samples (58%) but were infrequent in positive adult samples (4%), probably due to differences in the ease of reading the two groups of teeth. Four laboratories (44%) had correct results for age determination on all samples. Ages were incorrectly identified in both adult and juvenile samples, with 11 and 17% of discordant results, respectively. Analysis of the technical questionnaires in parallel with test results suggested that all laboratories cutting mandible sections between the canine and first premolar obtained false results. All the laboratories using longitudinal rather than transverse sections and those not using a mounting medium also produced false results. Section thickness appeared to affect the results; no mistakes were found in laboratories using sections <150 μm thick. Factors having a potential impact on the success of laboratories were discussed, and recommendations proposed. Such interlaboratory trials underline the importance of using standardized procedures for biomarker detection in oral rabies vaccination campaigns. Several changes can be made to improve analysis quality and increase the comparability of bait uptake frequencies among member states.

  17. Corynebacterium diphtheriae in a free-roaming red fox: case report and historical review on diphtheria in animals.

    PubMed

    Sing, Andreas; Konrad, Regina; Meinel, Dominik M; Mauder, Norman; Schwabe, Ingo; Sting, Reinhard

    2016-08-01

    Corynebacterium diphtheriae, the classical causative agent of diphtheria, is considered to be nearly restricted to humans. Here we report the first finding of a non-toxigenic C. diphtheriae biovar belfanti strain in a free-roaming wild animal. The strain obtained from the subcutis and mammary gland of a dead red fox (Vulpes vulpes) was characterized by biochemical and molecular methods including MALDI-TOF and Multi Locus Sequence Typing. Since C. diphtheriae infections of animals, usually with close contact to humans, are reported only very rarely, an intense review comprising also scientific literature from the beginning of the 20th century was performed. Besides the present case, only 11 previously reported C. diphtheriae animal infections could be verified using current scientific criteria. Our report is the first on the isolation of C. diphtheriae from a wildlife animal without any previous human contact. In contrast, the very few unambiguous publications on C. diphtheriae in animals referred to livestock or pet animals with close human contact. C. diphtheriae carriage in animals has to be considered as an exceptionally rare event.

  18. [Effect of lighting schedules on the ontogeny of gonad and adrenal endocrine function in female silver-black foxes Vulpes vulpes with two genetically determined types of behavior].

    PubMed

    Logvinenko, N S; Krass, P M; Trut, L N; Ivanova, L N; Beliaev, D K

    1980-01-01

    Additional illumination of animals nonselected for domesticative behaviour, results in the earlier increase of estradiol level in the blood and in higher production of this hormone by the gonads during pubertal period. Artificial illumination regimes do not significantly affect estradiol-producing activity of the ovaries in animals selected for domesticated behaviour. At the same time, additional illumination of the females with this type of behaviour increased progesteron-producing function of the adrenals during sexual maturation. Thus, selection of silver foxes for the domesticated type of behaviour affects the sensitivity of hormonal function of the ovaries and adrenals to photoperiodic factor of the environment.

  19. [Effect of a major gene in inheritance of the cortisol level in the peripheral blood of a domesticable population of foxes (Vulpes vulpes)].

    PubMed

    Vasil'eva, L L; Chepkasov, I L; Os'kina, I N

    1991-11-01

    Domestication of animals is known to be associated with hereditary changes in the pituitary-adrenal system which regulates most important stages of ontogenesis. Cortisol is one of the basic indices of activity of this system. A segregation analysis of inheritance of cortisol content in blood of domestic silver fox population was undertaken. The results of the analysis point to an effect of a major gene controlling this quantitative trait, and indicate that breeding for domestic behaviour is accompanied by selection of individuals homozygous with respect to recessive genes controlling the cortisol level.

  20. Potential of public lands in California's central valley as habitat for the endangered San Joaquin kit fox. [Vulpes macrotis mutica

    SciTech Connect

    O'Farrell, T.P.; McCue, P.; Sauls, M.L.; Kato, T.

    1982-01-01

    As part of an assessment of the impacts of their activities on the endangered San Joaquin kit fox and its essential habitat, the Department of Energy and Bureau of Land Management investigated the potential of public lands in the San Joaquin Valley as suitable habitat for the San Joaquin kit fox. (ACR)

  1. A conceptual model for the impact of climate change on fox rabies in Alaska, 1980-2010.

    PubMed

    Kim, B I; Blanton, J D; Gilbert, A; Castrodale, L; Hueffer, K; Slate, D; Rupprecht, C E

    2014-02-01

    The direct and interactive effects of climate change on host species and infectious disease dynamics are likely to initially manifest\\ at latitudinal extremes. As such, Alaska represents a region in the United States for introspection on climate change and disease. Rabies is enzootic among arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) throughout the northern polar region. In Alaska, arctic and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) are reservoirs for rabies, with most domestic animal and wildlife cases reported from northern and western coastal Alaska. Based on passive surveillance, a pronounced seasonal trend in rabid foxes occurs in Alaska, with a peak in winter and spring. This study describes climatic factors that may be associated with reported cyclic rabies occurrence. Based upon probabilistic modelling, a stronger seasonal effect in reported fox rabies cases appears at higher latitudes in Alaska, and rabies in arctic foxes appear disproportionately affected by climatic factors in comparison with red foxes. As temperatures continue a warming trend, a decrease in reported rabid arctic foxes may be expected. The overall epidemiology of rabies in Alaska is likely to shift to increased viral transmission among red foxes as the primary reservoir in the region. Information on fox and lemming demographics, in addition to enhanced rabies surveillance among foxes at finer geographic scales, will be critical to develop more comprehensive models for rabies virus transmission in the region.

  2. A conceptual model for the impact of climate change on fox rabies in Alaska, 1980–2010

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Bryan I.; Blanton, Jesse D.; Gilbert, Amy; Castrodale, Louisa; Hueffer, Karsten; Slate, Dennis; Rupprecht, Charles E.

    2013-01-01

    The direct and interactive effects of climate change on host species and infectious disease dynamics are likely to initially manifest at latitudinal extremes. As such, Alaska represents a region in the United States for introspection on climate change and disease. Rabies is enzootic among arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) throughout the northern polar region. In Alaska, arctic and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) are reservoirs for rabies, with most domestic animal and wildlife cases reported from northern and western coastal Alaska. Based on passive surveillance, a pronounced seasonal trend in rabid foxes occurs in Alaska, with a peak in winter and spring. This study describes climatic factors that may be associated with reported cyclic rabies occurrence. Based upon probabilistic modeling, a stronger seasonal effect in reported fox rabies cases appears at higher latitudes in Alaska, and rabies in arctic foxes appear disproportionately affected by climatic factors in comparison to red foxes. As temperatures continue a warming trend a decrease in reported rabid arctic foxes may be expected. The overall epidemiology of rabies in Alaska is likely to shift to increased viral transmission among red foxes as the primary reservoir in the region. Information on fox and lemming demographics, in addition to enhanced rabies surveillance among foxes at finer geographic scales, will be critical to develop more comprehensive models for rabies virus transmission in the region. PMID:23452510

  3. [Electromyographic study of uterine activity in the castrated red fox (Vulpes vulpes L.) treated with oestradiol and progesterone (author's transl)].

    PubMed

    Dutourné, B

    1979-01-01

    Effect of oestradiol and progesterone on the electromyographic activity (EMG) of the uterus is studied in 6 groups of 2 previously castrated vixens (A, B, C, D, E, F). The animals of gropu A are treated daily with intramuscular injections of oestradiol benzoate alone or oestradiol and progesterone together. These hormones are also given to the group F, oestradiol by a subcutaneous tablet and progesterone intramuscularly. The other females only receive a silastic implant of oestrogen (groups B, C, D, E). Electrical activity is daily recorded during the various treatments, in unanaesthetized animals, by means of platinum electrodes permanently implanted in the uterus. Plasma oestradiol concentrations in peripheral blood are determined in groups A and B. The results show that : 1. OEstradiol induces rhythmic EMG activity composed of bursts of action potentials (Fig. 2). It appears after a delay of 1 to 3 days following the beginning of treatment, except in the animals of group E, treated with a 25 mg oestradiol implant (6 days). Then, EMG activity gradually increases, and the frequency of bursts is at a maximum within 24 to 48 hours. Except in group E, it exceeds 30 per 10 minutes and the amplitude of potentials sometimes reachs 1 mV.

  4. Conservation of the endangered San Joaquin kit fox, Vulpes macrotis mutica, on the Naval Petroleum Reserves, California

    SciTech Connect

    O'Farrell, T.P.

    1982-01-01

    Studies were performed to assess the possible impacts of increased production activities on the San Joaquin kit fox population inhabiting the US Department of Energy's Naval Petroleum Reserves in western Kern County, California, and to develop guidelines to lessen negative effects. Densities of breeding adults were between 1 and 2 pairs per 260 hectares. Relative abundance of fox, indicated by density of dens, was negatively correlated with increasing intensity of development, indicated by density of oil wells. About 75% of the puppies died within 7 months of their births; only 4 to 5% reached sexual maturity at 22 months of age. Most puppies remained within the denning ranges of their parents. Kit fox that dispersed more than 5 km died before they could establish new home ranges. Predation by coyotes, Canis latrans, was the greatest source of mortality; human activities, such as vehicle accidents, caused only 10% of the known deaths. Destruction of dens, and excessive removal of vegetation resulting in reduced prey populations, posed the greatest threats to kit fox. Conservation procedures included: preconstruction surveys to eliminate destruction of major dens; reducing off-road-vehicle travel; minimizing habitat destruction associated with construction projects; restoration of habitat through enhanced natural revegetation; and surveys to determine prey base, density, reproduction, sources of mortality and dispersal patterns of resident kit fox.

  5. [Component analysis of craniologic characters of silver foxes (Vulpes fulvus Desm.) and their changes arising under domestication].

    PubMed

    Trut, L N; Dzershinskiĭ, F Ia; Nikol'skiĭ, V S

    1991-08-01

    The data on cranial measurements performed in silver foxes indicate that there are differences in sizes measured between the farm foxes--bred population and the population selected for domestication. A method of principal components was used to analyse the cranial measurements and their changes under domestication. The first component covers about 50% of cranial diversity, which is interpreted as variation in the total skull size. This component clearly separates the two sexes, but not different populations. The second component presumably reflects the growth rate allometry between the skull length and width. The third and fourth components are measurements of skull width; the fifth one reflects the sizes of brain skull. None of these components clearly separate the foxes from farm--bred and domesticated populations. However, some differences in distribution are observed.

  6. Prey abundance and food habits of San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes velox macrotis) at Camp Roberts Army National Guard Training site, California

    SciTech Connect

    Logan, C.G.; Berry, W.H.; Standley, W.G.; Kato, T.T.

    1992-09-01

    Prey abundance and food habits of the San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes velox macrotis) were investigated at Camp Roberts Army National Guard Training site, California, from November 1988 through September 1991. The sampling methods initially used to assess abundance of prey species resulted in indices too low to be of value. Because of this, the relationship between relative abundance and frequency of occurrence of prey species could not be examined. Six hundred forty-nine fecal samples (scats) were analyzed to determine the frequency of occurrence of prey items. California ground squirrels (Spermophilus beecheyi) and lagomorphs primarily desert cottontails (Sylvilagus audubonii) and black-tailed jackrabbits (Lepus californicus) were the most frequently occurring mammalian prey items found in scats (35.0% and 12.2%, respectively). The frequency of occurrence of ground squirrel (but not lagomorph) remains in scats collected from juveniles was significantly higher than in scats collected from adults. The frequency of occurrence of ground squirrel and lagomorph remains in scats collected from males was not significant different than in scats collected from females. There were significant variations in the frequency of ground squirrel remains among the years 1989--1991 and during the June--November periods between 1989 and 1990 and between 1990 and 1991. The frequency of lagomorph remains collected during the June--November period differed significantly among the years 1989--1991 and between 1990 and 1991.

  7. Prey abundance and food habits of San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes velox macrotis) at Camp Roberts Army National Guard Training site, California

    SciTech Connect

    Logan, C.G.; Berry, W.H.; Standley, W.G.; Kato, T.T.

    1992-09-01

    Prey abundance and food habits of the San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes velox macrotis) were investigated at Camp Roberts Army National Guard Training site, California, from November 1988 through September 1991. The sampling methods initially used to assess abundance of prey species resulted in indices too low to be of value. Because of this, the relationship between relative abundance and frequency of occurrence of prey species could not be examined. Six hundred forty-nine fecal samples (scats) were analyzed to determine the frequency of occurrence of prey items. California ground squirrels (Spermophilus beecheyi) and lagomorphs primarily desert cottontails (Sylvilagus audubonii) and black-tailed jackrabbits (Lepus californicus) were the most frequently occurring mammalian prey items found in scats (35.0% and 12.2%, respectively). The frequency of occurrence of ground squirrel (but not lagomorph) remains in scats collected from juveniles was significantly higher than in scats collected from adults. The frequency of occurrence of ground squirrel and lagomorph remains in scats collected from males was not significant different than in scats collected from females. There were significant variations in the frequency of ground squirrel remains among the years 1989--1991 and during the June--November periods between 1989 and 1990 and between 1990 and 1991. The frequency of lagomorph remains collected during the June--November period differed significantly among the years 1989--1991 and between 1990 and 1991.

  8. Habitat selection and home range in the Blanford's fox, Vulpes cana: compatibility with the resource dispersion hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Geffen, Eli; Hefner, Reuven; Macdonald, David W; Ucko, Michal

    1992-08-01

    This paper presents analyses of habitat-use and home range size in the Blanford's fox. We predicted, from the resource dispersion hypothesis (RDH), that home ranges would encompass similar areas of combined fruitful habitats, but widely different areas of useless habitats, and thus that home ranges would be larger where such fruitful patches are fragmented and widely dispersed. Home range estimates of 0.5-2.0 km(2) were calculated for 16 adult Blanford's foxes, using three different methods. There were no significant differences in home range size between sexes or study sites. One habitat, dry creekbed, was the most frequently visited in all home ranges. Dry creekbed provided abundant prey for the foxes and only sparse cover for their predators. Both the available area of creekbed in each range, and the area of creekbed patches that was used by the foxes, were independent of home range size. However, the variance in home range size was explained by the mean distance between the main denning area and the most frequently used patches of creekbed. These results are in accord with some predictions of the resource dispersion hypothesis.

  9. How does a carnivore guild utilise a substantial but unpredictable anthropogenic food source? Scavenging on hunter-shot ungulate carcasses by wild dogs/dingoes, red foxes and feral cats in south-eastern Australia revealed by camera traps.

    PubMed

    Forsyth, David M; Woodford, Luke; Moloney, Paul D; Hampton, Jordan O; Woolnough, Andrew P; Tucker, Mark

    2014-01-01

    There is much interest in understanding how anthropogenic food resources subsidise carnivore populations. Carcasses of hunter-shot ungulates are a potentially substantial food source for mammalian carnivores. The sambar deer (Rusa unicolor) is a large (≥ 150 kg) exotic ungulate that can be hunted throughout the year in south-eastern Australia, and hunters are not required to remove or bury carcasses. We investigated how wild dogs/dingoes and their hybrids (Canis lupus familiaris/dingo), red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and feral cats (Felis catus) utilised sambar deer carcasses during the peak hunting seasons (i.e. winter and spring). We placed carcasses at 1-km intervals along each of six transects that extended 4-km into forest from farm boundaries. Visits to carcasses were monitored using camera traps, and the rate of change in edible biomass estimated at ∼ 14-day intervals. Wild dogs and foxes fed on 70% and 60% of 30 carcasses, respectively, but feral cats seldom (10%) fed on carcasses. Spatial and temporal patterns of visits to carcasses were consistent with the hypothesis that foxes avoid wild dogs. Wild dog activity peaked at carcasses 2 and 3 km from farms, a likely legacy of wild dog control, whereas fox activity peaked at carcasses 0 and 4 km from farms. Wild dog activity peaked at dawn and dusk, whereas nearly all fox activity occurred after dusk and before dawn. Neither wild dogs nor foxes remained at carcasses for long periods and the amount of feeding activity by either species was a less important predictor of the loss of edible biomass than season. Reasons for the low impacts of wild dogs and foxes on sambar deer carcass biomass include the spatially and temporally unpredictable distribution of carcasses in the landscape, the rapid rate of edible biomass decomposition in warm periods, low wild dog densities and the availability of alternative food resources.

  10. How Does a Carnivore Guild Utilise a Substantial but Unpredictable Anthropogenic Food Source? Scavenging on Hunter-Shot Ungulate Carcasses by Wild Dogs/Dingoes, Red Foxes and Feral Cats in South-Eastern Australia Revealed by Camera Traps

    PubMed Central

    Forsyth, David M.; Woodford, Luke; Moloney, Paul D.; Hampton, Jordan O.; Woolnough, Andrew P.; Tucker, Mark

    2014-01-01

    There is much interest in understanding how anthropogenic food resources subsidise carnivore populations. Carcasses of hunter-shot ungulates are a potentially substantial food source for mammalian carnivores. The sambar deer (Rusa unicolor) is a large (≥150 kg) exotic ungulate that can be hunted throughout the year in south-eastern Australia, and hunters are not required to remove or bury carcasses. We investigated how wild dogs/dingoes and their hybrids (Canis lupus familiaris/dingo), red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and feral cats (Felis catus) utilised sambar deer carcasses during the peak hunting seasons (i.e. winter and spring). We placed carcasses at 1-km intervals along each of six transects that extended 4-km into forest from farm boundaries. Visits to carcasses were monitored using camera traps, and the rate of change in edible biomass estimated at ∼14-day intervals. Wild dogs and foxes fed on 70% and 60% of 30 carcasses, respectively, but feral cats seldom (10%) fed on carcasses. Spatial and temporal patterns of visits to carcasses were consistent with the hypothesis that foxes avoid wild dogs. Wild dog activity peaked at carcasses 2 and 3 km from farms, a likely legacy of wild dog control, whereas fox activity peaked at carcasses 0 and 4 km from farms. Wild dog activity peaked at dawn and dusk, whereas nearly all fox activity occurred after dusk and before dawn. Neither wild dogs nor foxes remained at carcasses for long periods and the amount of feeding activity by either species was a less important predictor of the loss of edible biomass than season. Reasons for the low impacts of wild dogs and foxes on sambar deer carcass biomass include the spatially and temporally unpredictable distribution of carcasses in the landscape, the rapid rate of edible biomass decomposition in warm periods, low wild dog densities and the availability of alternative food resources. PMID:24918425

  11. Mortality of arctic fox pups in northern Alaska

    SciTech Connect

    Garrott, R.A.; Eberhardt, L.E.

    1982-01-01

    Reports of mortality among arctic foxes, Alopex lagopus, generally consist of isolated incidents of predation by bald eagles, Haliaeetus leucocephalus, snowy owls, Nyctea scandiaca, red foxes, Vulpes vulpes, and dogs, Canis familiaris. This is a report of observations made on mortality of arctic fox pups observed at dens in the Prudhoe Bay and Colville River Delta areas of northern Alaska during summers of 1975 to 1978 and 1976 to 1979, respectively. Pup mortality was noted amng 15 (19%) of 79 families whose dens we visited. Evidence of at least 20 dead pups was found with remains ranging from intact carcasses to a few bone fragments and tufts of hair. Undoubtedly, researchers failed to detect some dead pups, as predators sometimes carry small pups away from the den before consuming them and adult foxes were observed to dispose of bodies of dead pups within den burrows.

  12. Complete Mitochondrial Genome of the Red Fox (Vuples vuples) and Phylogenetic Analysis with Other Canid Species.

    PubMed

    Zhong, Hua-Ming; Zhang, Hong-Hai; Sha, Wei-Lai; Zhang, Cheng-De; Chen, Yu-Cai

    2010-04-01

    The whole mitochondrial genome sequence of red fox (Vuples vuples) was determined. It had a total length of 16 723 bp. As in most mammal mitochondrial genome, it contained 13 protein coding genes, two ribosome RNA genes, 22 transfer RNA genes and one control region. The base composition was 31.3% A, 26.1% C, 14.8% G and 27.8% T, respectively. The codon usage of red fox, arctic fox, gray wolf, domestic dog and coyote followed the same pattern except for an unusual ATT start codon, which initiates the NADH dehydrogenase subunit 3 gene in the red fox. A long tandem repeat rich in AC was found between conserved sequence block 1 and 2 in the control region. In order to confirm the phylogenetic relationships of red fox to other canids, phylogenetic trees were reconstructed by neighbor-joining and maximum parsimony methods using 12 concatenated heavy-strand protein-coding genes. The result indicated that arctic fox was the sister group of red fox and they both belong to the red fox-like clade in family Canidae, while gray wolf, domestic dog and coyote belong to wolf-like clade. The result was in accordance with existing phylogenetic results.

  13. Calcium concrements in the pineal gland of the Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) and their relationship to pinealocytes, glial cells and type I and III collagen fibers.

    PubMed

    Bulc, M; Lewczuk, B; Prusik, M; Gugołek, A; Przybylska-Gornowicz, B

    2010-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to analyze the presence and morphology of the pineal concretions in the Arctic fox and their relationship to pinealocytes, glial cells and collagen fibers. Pineals collected from 7-8 month-old and 3-4 year-old foxes (6 in each age-group) were investigated. Sections of the glands were stained with HE, Mallory's method and alizarin red S as well as subjected to a combined procedure involving immunofluorescent staining with antibodies against antigen S, glial fibril acid protein (GFAP), type I and III collagen and histochemical staining with alizarin red S. The pineal concretions were found in 2 of 6 investigated Arctic foxes aged 3 years and they were not observed in animals aged 7-8 months. The acervuli were present in the parenchyma and the connective tissue septa. They were more numerous in the distal part than in the proximal part of the gland. The acervuli stained with alizarin red S revealed an intensive red fluorescence, what enabled the use of this compound in a combined histochemical-immunofluorescent procedure. A majority of cells in the fox pineal showed positive staining with antibodies against antigen S, a marker of pinealocytes. GFAP-positive cells were especially numerous in the proximal part of the gland. Both antigen S- and GFAP-positive cells were frequently observed close to the concrements. Collagen fibers of type I and III were found in the capsule, connective tissue septa and vessels. Immunoreactive fibers did not form any capsules or basket-like structures surrounding the concrements.

  14. San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes velox macrotis) program, Camp Roberts, California. Progress report, fiscal years 1991--1992

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-10-01

    The major objective of the Camp Roberts Environmental Studies Program was to prepare a comprehensive Biological Assessment of the effects of all NGB-authorized activities on San Joaquin kit fox (military training, anticipated construction projects, repair and maintenance activities, and all NGB-authorized non-military activities such as a hunting and fishing program, grazing leases, etc.). The program also provided NGB with the scientific expertise necessary to ensure compliance with the Endangered Species Act. The objective of this report is to summarize the progress and results of the Environmental Studies Program during Fiscal Years 1991 and 1992 (FY91/92).

  15. [Features of the structure of the adrenal cortex in domesticated Vulpes fulvus silver foxes during postnatal ontogeny].

    PubMed

    Lutsenko, N D; Trut, L N; Ivanova, L N

    1980-01-01

    Studies have been made on the structure of the adrenal cortex in relatively wild and domesticated male and female silver foxes at the age of 1-7 days, 1, 2 and 8 months. It was demonstrated that during domestication, deep morphological changes in the adrenal cortex take place which indicate the decrease of functional activity in the fascicular zone and the increase of the activity in the reticular zone. Differences found in the first days of postnatal life become more evident in further ontogenesis.

  16. San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes velox macrotis) program, Camp Roberts, California. Progress report, fiscal years 1991--1992

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-10-01

    Military training activities, new construction projects, and routine repair and maintenance activities conducted at Camp Roberts could adversely affect the endangered San Joaquin kit fox population. The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (as amended) states that all Federal agencies are to ensure that any actions authorized, funded, or carried out by the agency are not likely to have any detrimental effects on endangered species or their habitat. The major objective of the Camp Roberts Environmental Studies Program was to prepare a comprehensive Biological Assessment of the effects of all NGB-authorized activities on San Joaquin kit fox (military training, anticipated construction projects, repair and maintenance activities, and all NGB-authorized non-military activities such as a hunting and fishing program, grazing leases, etc.). The program also provided NGB with the scientific expertise necessary to ensure compliance with the Endangered Species Act. The objective of this report is to summarize the progress and results of the Environmental Studies Program during Fiscal Years 1991 and 1992 (FY91/92).

  17. WITHDRAWN: Clinical Signs, Neuroanatomical Distribution and Histopathological Characterisation of Meningoencephalitis in Wild Red Foxes (Vulpes vulpes) Associated with a Novel fox Circovirus.

    PubMed

    Stoll, A L; Mitchell, J A; Priestnall, S L

    2016-07-05

    This article has been withdrawn at the request of the author(s) and/or editor. The Publisher apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause. The full Elsevier Policy on Article Withdrawal can be found at http://www.elsevier.com/locate/withdrawalpolicy.

  18. Leishmania tropica infection in golden jackals and red foxes, Israel.

    PubMed

    Talmi-Frank, Dalit; Kedem-Vaanunu, Noa; King, Roni; Bar-Gal, Gila Kahila; Edery, Nir; Jaffe, Charles L; Baneth, Gad

    2010-12-01

    During a survey of wild canids, internal transcribed spacer 1 real-time PCR and high-resolution melt analysis identified Leishmania tropica in samples from jackals and foxes. Infection was most prevalent in ear and spleen samples. Jackals and foxes may play a role in the spread of zoonotic L. tropica.

  19. Group A Rotavirus Associated with Encephalitis in Red Fox.

    PubMed

    Busi, Chiara; Martella, Vito; Papetti, Alice; Sabelli, Cristiano; Lelli, Davide; Alborali, G Loris; Gibelli, Lucia; Gelmetti, Daniela; Lavazza, Antonio; Cordioli, Paolo; Boniotti, M Beatrice

    2017-09-01

    In 2011, a group A rotavirus was isolated from the brain of a fox with encephalitis and neurologic signs, detected by rabies surveillance in Italy. Intracerebral inoculation of fox brain homogenates into mice was fatal. Genome sequencing revealed a heterologous rotavirus of avian origin, which could provide a model for investigating rotavirus neurovirulence.

  20. Habitat and roe deer fawn vulnerability to red fox predation.

    PubMed

    Panzacchi, M; Linnell, J D C; Odden, M; Odden, J; Andersen, R

    2009-11-01

    1. Notwithstanding the growing amount of literature emphasizing the link between habitat, life-history traits and behaviour, few empirical studies investigated the combined effect of these parameters on individual predation risk. We investigated direct and indirect consequences of habitat composition at multiple spatial scales on predation risk by red foxes on 151 radio-monitored roe deer fawns. We hypothesized that the higher resource availability in fragmented agricultural areas increased predation risk because of: (i) shorter prey movements, which may increase predictability; (ii) larger litter size and faster growth rates, which may increase detectability in species adopting a hiding neonatal anti-predator strategy. The sharing of risky habitat among littermates was expected to promote whole-litter losses as a result of predation. 2. The landscape-scale availability of agricultural areas negatively affected pre-weaning movements, but did not influence growth rates or litter size. Predation risk was best described by the interplay between movements and fine-scale habitat fragmentation: a higher mobility increased the encounter rate and predation risk in highly fragmented home ranges, while it reduced predation risk in forest-dominated areas with clumped resources because of decreased predictability. This is one of the first demonstrations that movement patterns can be an efficient anti-predator strategy when adjusted to local conditions. 3. In accordance with previous studies documenting the existence of family effects (i.e. non-independence among siblings) in survival, littermates survived or died together more often than expected by chance. In addition, our study specifically demonstrated the occurrence of behaviourally mediated family effects in predation risk: after a fox killed one fawn the probability of a sibling being killed within a few days rose from 20% to 47%, likely because of the win-stay strategy (i.e. return to a previously rewarding site

  1. A phylogenetic analysis of basal metabolism, total evaporative water loss, and life-history among foxes from desert and mesic regions.

    PubMed

    Williams, J B; Muñoz-Garcia, A; Ostrowski, S; Tieleman, B I

    2004-01-01

    We measured basal metabolic rate (BMR) and total evaporative water loss (TEWL) of species of foxes that exist on the Arabian Peninsula, Blanford's fox (Vulpes cana) and two subspecies of Red fox (Vulpes vulpes). Combining these data with that on other canids from the literature, we searched for specialization of physiological traits among desert foxes using both conventional least squares regression and regressions based on phylogenetic independent contrasts. Further, we explored the consequences of reduced body size of foxes on life history parameters such as litter size and neonate mass. For Blanford's foxes, Red foxes from the central desert of Arabia, and Red foxes from the more mesic Asir mountains, body mass averaged 1,285 +/- 52 g, 1,967 +/- 289 g, and 3,060 +/- 482 g, respectively, whereas mean BMR, during summer, was 304.5 +/- 32.3 kJ/day, 418.0 +/- 32.4 kJ/day, and 724.1 +/- 120.2 kJ/day (+/- SD). An analysis of covariance with body mass as a covariate showed no statistical differences in BMR among foxes. Analysis of covariance indicated that Red fox from the Asir mountains had a higher TEWL than Red foxes from central Arabia or than Blanford's foxes also from the mountains. Comparisons of all species of desert and mesic foxes showed no significant differences in BMR, nor did desert foxes have a significantly lower BMR than other carnivores. TEWL of desert foxes was lower than other more mesic carnivores; deviations in TEWL ranged from -17.7% for the Fennec fox (Fennecus zerda) to -57.4% for the Kit fox (Vulpes velox). Although desert foxes have a BMR comparable to other more mesic species, it appears that desert foxes do have a smaller body mass, lowering overall energy requirements. We attribute this reduction in body size to the "resource limitation hypothesis" whereby natural selection favors smaller individuals in a resource-limited environment, especially during periods of severe food shortage. However, until common garden experiments are performed

  2. Autochthonous Hepatozoon infection in hunting dogs and foxes from the Czech Republic.

    PubMed

    Mitková, Barbora; Hrazdilová, Kristýna; Steinbauer, Vladimír; D'Amico, Gianluca; Mihalca, Andrei Daniel; Modrý, David

    2016-11-01

    Blood samples from 21 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and 8 hunting dogs from the same locality in the Czech Republic were examined for presence of Hepatozoon canis/Hepatozoon sp. The dogs were selected based on their close contact with foxes during fox bolting and because they had not traveled into known endemic areas. Using diagnostic PCR amplifying partial 18S rDNA fragment, Hepatozoon DNA was detected in 20 red foxes (95 %) and 4 dogs (50 %). From 8 positive foxes and 2 positive dogs, we obtained nearly complete 18S rDNA sequences. Phylogenetic analyses of these sequences revealed very low variability. Buffy coat smears from positive dogs were prepared and examined. No Hepatozoon gamonts were found. This study provides the first report of autochthonous infection of H. canis/Hepatozoon in dogs and foxes from the Czech Republic. Our study indirectly demonstrates cross infection between red foxes and dogs and confirms autochthonous infection of Hepatozoon canis in dogs living in a geographic area well outside the range of Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato, which is so far the only known vector of H. canis in Europe.

  3. A meiotic linkage map of the silver fox, aligned and compared to the canine genome.

    PubMed

    Kukekova, Anna V; Trut, Lyudmila N; Oskina, Irina N; Johnson, Jennifer L; Temnykh, Svetlana V; Kharlamova, Anastasiya V; Shepeleva, Darya V; Gulievich, Rimma G; Shikhevich, Svetlana G; Graphodatsky, Alexander S; Aguirre, Gustavo D; Acland, Gregory M

    2007-03-01

    A meiotic linkage map is essential for mapping traits of interest and is often the first step toward understanding a cryptic genome. Specific strains of silver fox (a variant of the red fox, Vulpes vulpes), which segregate behavioral and morphological phenotypes, create a need for such a map. One such strain, selected for docility, exhibits friendly dog-like responses to humans, in contrast to another strain selected for aggression. Development of a fox map is facilitated by the known cytogenetic homologies between the dog and fox, and by the availability of high resolution canine genome maps and sequence data. Furthermore, the high genomic sequence identity between dog and fox allows adaptation of canine microsatellites for genotyping and meiotic mapping in foxes. Using 320 such markers, we have constructed the first meiotic linkage map of the fox genome. The resulting sex-averaged map covers 16 fox autosomes and the X chromosome with an average inter-marker distance of 7.5 cM. The total map length corresponds to 1480.2 cM. From comparison of sex-averaged meiotic linkage maps of the fox and dog genomes, suppression of recombination in pericentromeric regions of the metacentric fox chromosomes was apparent, relative to the corresponding segments of acrocentric dog chromosomes. Alignment of the fox meiotic map against the 7.6x canine genome sequence revealed high conservation of marker order between homologous regions of the two species. The fox meiotic map provides a critical tool for genetic studies in foxes and identification of genetic loci and genes implicated in fox domestication.

  4. Infections with cardiopulmonary and intestinal helminths and sarcoptic mange in red foxes from two different localities in Denmark.

    PubMed

    Al-Sabi, Mohammad N S; Halasa, Tariq; Kapel, Christian M O

    2014-03-01

    Monitoring parasitic infections in the red fox is essential for obtaining baseline knowledge on the spread of diseases of veterinary and medical importance. In this study, screening for cardiopulmonary and intestinal helminths and sarcoptic mange (Sarcoptes scabiei) was done on 118 foxes originating from two distinct localities in Denmark, (Copenhagen) greater area and southern Jutland. Fifteen parasite species were recorded in 116 foxes (98.3%), nine parasitic species are of zoonotic potential. Parasite diversity was greater in foxes of Copenhagen in terms of overall parasite species richness and species richness of all helminth groups individually: trematodes; cestodes; and nematodes. Six parasite species were recovered from foxes of Copenhagen, but not from foxes of Southern Jutland: Echinochasmus perfoliatus; Echinostoma sp.; Pseudamphistomum truncatum; Dipylidium caninum; Angiostrongylus vasorum; and Sarcoptes scabiei, but Toxascaris leonina was only recorded in foxes of southern Jutland. A high prevalence and abundance of A. vasorum in foxes of Copenhagen was observed. The prevalence of four nematode species; Eucoleus (Capillaria) aerophilus, Uncinaria stenocephala, Toxocara canis, and Crenosoma vulpis, in foxes of both localities were comparable and ranging from 22.9% to 89%. The prevalence of Mesocestoides sp. was significantly higher in foxes of Copenhagen. Taenia spp. were detected using morphological and molecular analysis, which revealed the dominance of T. polyacantha in foxes of both localities. Infections with sarcoptic mange were evident only among foxes of Copenhagen (44.9%), which significantly affected the average weight of the infected animals. Further remarks on the zoonotic and veterinary implications of the parasites recovered are given.

  5. Den use by arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus) in a subarctic region of western Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anthony, R. Michael

    1996-01-01

    Distribution, abundance, and use of arctic fox dens located in coastal tundra communities of the Yukon–Kuskokwim delta were determined in studies from 1985 to 1990. Dens were denser and less complex than those described in studies conducted above the Arctic Circle. Eighty-three dens of varying complexity were found in the 52-km2 study area. Nineteen dens were used by arctic foxes for whelping or rearing pups. Three females relocated litters to multiple dens; a maximum of four dens were used concurrently by pups from one litter. Although red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) were common in the region, their use of dens in the study area was minimal. Differences in vegetation at den sites and nearby unoccupied sites were minimal. Furthermore, den sites could not be distinguished from non-den sites during aerial surveys.

  6. First report of Trichinella pseudospiralis in a red fox in mainland Britain.

    PubMed

    Learmount, Jane; Boughtflower, Valerie; Allanson, Peter C; Hartley, Kayleigh M; Gutierrez, Alba Barrecheguren; Stephens, Nathalie A; Marucci, Gianluca; Smith, Graham C

    2015-03-15

    Active surveillance of red foxes for Trichinella has been undertaken in mainland Britain since 1999. Post-mortems are carried out, followed by a magnetic stirrer method for sample digestion based on European Commission (EC) Regulation 216/2014 (which amends 2075/2005). Initially samples are tested in batches of 20 foxes and in December 2013, for the first time under the surveillance programme, a batch tested positive for Trichinella at the Animal and Plant Health Agency, York. Further individual tests identified one infected fox, from the Bristol area. The larvae were identified as Trichinella pseudospiralis. This is the first report of T. pseudospiralis in Great Britain and suggests the possibility of a cycle of infection existing in wildlife.

  7. Association of MC3R gene polymorphisms with body weight in the red fox and comparative gene organization in four canids.

    PubMed

    Skorczyk, A; Flisikowski, K; Szydlowski, M; Cieslak, J; Fries, R; Switonski, M

    2011-02-01

    There are five genes encoding melanocortin receptors. Among canids, the genes have mainly been studied in the dog (MC1R, MC2R and MC4R). The MC4R gene has also been analysed in the red fox. In this report, we present a study of chromosome localization, comparative sequence analysis and polymorphism of the MC3R gene in the dog, red fox, arctic fox and Chinese raccoon dog. The gene was localized by FISH to the following chromosome: 24q24-25 in the dog, 14p16 in the red fox, 18q13 in the arctic fox and NPP4p15 in the Chinese raccoon dog. A high identity level of the MC3R gene sequences was observed among the species, ranging from 96.0% (red fox--Chinese raccoon dog) to 99.5% (red fox--arctic fox). Altogether, eight polymorphic sites were found in the red fox, six in the Chinese raccoon dog and two in the dog, while the arctic fox appeared to be monomorphic. In addition, association of several polymorphisms with body weight was analysed in red foxes (the number of genotyped animals ranged from 319 to 379). Two polymorphisms in the red fox, i.e. a silent substitution c.957A>C and c.*185C>T in the 3'-flanking sequence, showed a significant association (P < 0.01) with body weight.

  8. First report of Eucoleus boehmi in red foxes (Vulpis vulpis) in Denmark, based on coprological examination.

    PubMed

    Al-Sabi, Mohammad Nafi Solaiman; Kapel, Christian Moliin Outzen

    2013-12-01

    Red foxes can be infected with diverse range of parasite species that can be transmitted to humans and pet animals, and the differential diagnosis is essential for veterinary and zoonotic risk assessment. In the present study, faecal flotation and microscopy of parasite eggs was done on 31 foxes originating from two distant localities in Denmark, the city of Copenhagen in the north east part of the island Zealand and from the southern part of the peninsular Jutland. In total, eggs of Eucoleus boehmi were recovered from a surprisingly high number of foxes (n = 22 samples; 71%). The findings represent the first observations of E. boehmi in Denmark, which is likely an overlooked infection of the upper respiratory tract of red foxes, which can be also found in other canids. Several morphological features of the eggs of E. boehmi can be used to distinguish it from other the closely related trichuroid eggs. Detecting cardiopulmonary parasites by faecal examination can be indicative of the presence of cardiopulmonary parasites based on the more sensitive post mortem analysis.

  9. Real time PCR to detect the environmental faecal contamination by Echinococcus multilocularis from red fox stools.

    PubMed

    Knapp, Jenny; Millon, Laurence; Mouzon, Lorane; Umhang, Gérald; Raoul, Francis; Ali, Zeinaba Said; Combes, Benoît; Comte, Sébastien; Gbaguidi-Haore, Houssein; Grenouillet, Frédéric; Giraudoux, Patrick

    2014-03-17

    The oncosphere stage of Echinococcus multilocularis in red fox stools can lead, after ingestion, to the development of alveolar echinococcosis in the intermediate hosts, commonly small mammals and occasionally humans. Monitoring animal infection and environmental contamination is a key issue in public health surveillance. We developed a quantitative real-time PCR technique (qPCR) to detect and quantify E. multilocularis DNA released in fox faeces. A qPCR technique using a hydrolysis probe targeting part of the mitochondrial gene rrnL was assessed on (i) a reference collection of stools from 57 necropsied foxes simultaneously investigated using the segmental sedimentation and counting technique (SSCT) (29 positive for E. multilocularis worms and 28 negative animals for the parasite); (ii) a collection of 114 fox stools sampled in the field: two sets of 50 samples from contrasted endemic regions in France and 14 from an E. multilocularis-free area (Greenland). Of the negative SSCT controls, 26/28 were qPCR-negative and two were weakly positive. Of the positive SSCT foxes, 25/29 samples were found to be positive by qPCR. Of the field samples, qPCR was positive in 21/50 (42%) and 5/48 (10.4%) stools (2 samples inhibited), originating respectively from high and low endemic areas. In faeces, averages of 0.1 pg/μl of DNA in the Jura area and 0.7 pg/μl in the Saône-et-Loire area were detected. All qPCR-positive samples were confirmed by sequencing. The qPCR technique developed here allowed us to quantify environmental E. multilocularis contamination by fox faeces by studying the infectious agent directly. No previous study had performed this test in a one-step reaction.

  10. Phylogeography of the North American red fox: vicariance in Pleistocene forest refugia.

    PubMed

    Aubry, Keith B; Statham, Mark J; Sacks, Benjamin N; Perrine, John D; Wisely, Samantha M

    2009-06-01

    Fossil, archaeological, and morphometric data suggest that indigenous red foxes in North America were derived from vicariance in two disjunct refugia during the last glaciation: one in Beringia and one in the contiguous USA. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a phylogeographical analysis of the North American red fox within its presettlement range. We sequenced portions of the mitochondrial cytochrome b (354 bp) gene and D-loop (342 bp) from 220 historical red fox specimens. Phylogenetic analysis of the cytochrome b gene produced two clades that diverged c. 400,000 years before present (bp): a Holarctic and a Nearctic clade. D-loop analyses of the Nearctic clade indicated three distinct subclades (> or = 99% Bayesian posterior probability); two that were more recently derived (rho estimate c. 20,000 bp) and were restricted to the southwestern mountains and the eastern portion of North America, and one that was older (rho estimate c. 45,000 bp) and more widespread in North America. Populations that migrated north from the southern refugium following deglaciation were derived from the colonization of North America during or prior to the Illinoian glaciation (300,000-130,000 bp), whereas populations that migrated south from the northern refugium represent a more recent colonization event during the Wisconsin glaciation (100,000-10,000 bp). Our findings indicate that Nearctic clade red foxes are phylogenetically distinct from their Holarctic counterparts, and reflect long-term isolation in two disjunct forest refugia during the Pleistocene. The montane lineage, which includes endangered populations, may be ecologically and evolutionarily distinct.

  11. Red Fox as Sentinel for Blastomyces dermatitidis, Ontario, Canada

    PubMed Central

    Campbell, G. Douglas; Oesterle, Paul T.; Shirose, Lenny; McEwen, Beverly; Jardine, Claire M.

    2016-01-01

    Blastomyces dermatitidis, a fungus that can cause fatal infection in humans and other mammals, is not readily recoverable from soil, its environmental reservoir. Because of the red fox’s widespread distribution, susceptibility to B. dermatitidis, close association with soil, and well-defined home ranges, this animal has potential utility as a sentinel for this fungus. PMID:27314650

  12. Babesia microti-like infections are prevalent in North American foxes.

    PubMed

    Birkenheuer, Adam J; Horney, Barbara; Bailey, Matthew; Scott, McBurney; Sherbert, Brittany; Catto, Victoria; Marr, Henry S; Camacho, Angel-Tomas; Ballman, Anne E

    2010-09-20

    Babesia microti-like organisms have recently been identified as a cause of hemolytic anemia and azotemia in European dogs. A genetically and morphologically similar B. microti-like parasite has been identified in two foxes from North America. In order to assess the prevalence of this parasite in North American wild canids we screened blood samples from coyotes (Canis latrans) and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) from eastern Canada and red foxes and gray foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) from North Carolina, USA for the presence B. microti-like DNA by polymerase chain reaction. Thirty-nine percent (50/127) of the red fox samples, 26% (8/31) of the gray fox samples and none (0/12) from the coyote samples tested positive for the presence of B. microti-like DNA. Partial 18S ribosomal ribonucleic acid and beta-tubulin genes from the North American B. microti-like parasites of foxes were sequenced and samples from six domestic dogs from Spain that were infected with a B. microti-like parasite were analyzed for comparison. Partial 18S ribosomal ribonucleic acid and beta-tubulin gene sequences from the North American B. microti-like parasites of foxes were nearly identical to those previously reported from foxes as well as those from domestic dogs from Spain characterized in this study. Interestingly, partial beta-tubulin gene sequences characterized from the B. microti-like parasites of domestic dogs from Spain in this study were different from those previously reported from a Spanish domestic dog sample which is believed to be a pseudogene. The ability of the North American B. microti-like parasite to infect and induce disease in domestic dogs remains unknown. Further studies investigating the pathogenic potential of the North American B. microti-like parasite in domestic dogs are indicated.

  13. Polyploidization in the trophoblast and uterine glandular epithelium of the endotheliochorial placenta of silver fox (Vulpes fulvus Desm.), as revealed by the DNA content.

    PubMed

    Zybina, T G; Zybina, E V; Kiknadze, I I; Zhelezova, A I

    2001-05-01

    Dynamics of genome multiplication during establishment of interrelations between trophoblast and glandular epithelium of the endometrium has been studied in the course of formation of placenta in the silver fox. During formation of the placenta, penetration of the trophoblast into the zone of the endometrial glandular epithelium and of endometrial blood vessels into the zone of expanding trophoblast occurs. The trophoblast, which gradually replaces epithelium and a part of the stroma of the endometrium, closely adjoins endometrial vessels but does not disrupt them, thereby the endotheliochorial placenta is formed. Cytophotometric measurements of the DNA content in trophoblast nuclei have shown that most of them are polyploid: predominantly 4-64c, occasionally 128c and 256c. Polyploidy of the trophoblast may be a consequence of various types of polyploidizing mitoses. Cytophotometric measurements of the DNA content in mitotic figures have revealed the presence of mitoses of diploid cells, i.e. with the DNA amount of 4c (2n), and polyploid cells, i.e. 8c (4n), and 16c (8n), therefore trophoblast cells in the silver fox placenta are able to enter mitosis up to the octaploid level. Higher degrees of polyploidy in the trophoblast cells seem to be achieved by endoreduplication. Polyploidization of the uterine glandular epithelial cells during placentation in the silver fox occurs until the level of 8c. Thus, the tissue-specific response of the uterus to the implanting embryo consists of active proliferation and polyploidization of the glandular epithelium, which may compensate formation of prominent population of decidual cells (i.e., connective tissue cells). In the endotheliochorial placenta of the silver fox the regularity is confirmed that cells of both maternal and fetal origin are, as a rule, polyploid in sites of their contact in placenta, which may be of protective significance in the contact of allogenic organisms.

  14. Polymorphism and chromosomal location of the MC4R (melanocortin-4 receptor) gene in the dog and red fox.

    PubMed

    Skorczyk, Anna; Stachowiak, Monika; Szczerbal, Izabela; Klukowska-Roetzler, Jolanta; Schelling, Claude; Dolf, Gaudenz; Switonski, Marek

    2007-05-01

    The melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) is expressed in the hypothalamus and regulates energy intake and body weight. In silico screening of the canine chromosome 1 sequence and a comparison with the porcine MC4R sequence by BLAST were performed. The nucleotide sequence of the whole coding region and 3'- and 5'-flanking regions of the dog (1214 bp) and red fox (1177 bp) MC4R gene was established and high conservation of the nucleotide sequences was revealed (99%). Five sets of PCR primers were designed and a search for polymorphism was performed by the SSCP technique in a group of 31 dogs representing nineteen breeds and 35 farm red foxes. Sequencing of DNA fragments, representing the identified SSCP patterns, revealed three single nucleotide polymorphisms (including a missense one) in dogs and four silent SNPs in red foxes. An average SNP frequency was approx. 1/400 bp in the dog and 1/300 bp in the red fox. We mapped the MC4R gene by FISH to the canine chromosome 1 (CFA1q1.1) and to the red fox chromosome 5 (VVU5p1.2).

  15. Influence of dietary copper concentrations on growth performance, serum lipid profiles, antioxidant defenses, and fur quality in growing-furring male blue foxes (Vulpes lagopus).

    PubMed

    Liu, Z; Wu, X; Zhang, T; Cui, H; Guo, J; Guo, Q; Gao, X; Yang, F

    2016-03-01

    A 75-d experiment was conducted to evaluate the influence of dietary Cu concentrations on growth performance, serum lipid profiles, antioxidant defenses, and fur quality in growing-furring male blue foxes. Seventy-five male blue foxes (5.78 ± 0.09 kg BW) were selected and randomly allocated to 1 of the following 5 dietary treatments: 1) control (basal diet without supplemental Cu; 7.78 mg Cu/kg), 2) 12.22 mg/kg supplemental Cu (Cu20), 3) 32.22 mg/kg supplemental Cu, 4) 72.22 mg/kg supplemental Cu (Cu80), and 5) 152.22 mg/kg supplemental Cu (Cu160). A dry feed that consisted of animal meals, soybean meal, extruded corn, and soybean oil was used as the basal diet and Cu was supplemented as reagent grade CuSO∙5HO. The results showed that Cu supplementation increased the ADG ( < 0.05) and fat digestibility ( < 0.01) and tended to improve G:F ( = 0.09). The ADFI, however, was not affected by dietary Cu ( > 0.10). Additionally, Cu supplementation linearly increased the concentration of fecal Cu, liver Cu, serum total protein, and albumin ( < 0.01). Foxes in the Cu160 group had higher serum Cu concentration than those in the control and Cu20 groups ( < 0.05). The concentration of serum cholesterol decreased with dietary Cu supplementation ( < 0.05). Serum high-density lipoprotein, on the contrary, tended to increase with Cu supplementation ( = 0.09). Copper supplementation increased the activity of glutathione peroxidase ( < 0.05) and tended to increase the activity of serum ceruloplasmin ( = 0.07). For fur quality, skin length in the Cu80 group was greater than that in the control and Cu20 groups. In addition, hair color tended to deepen with the increasing of dietary Cu concentrations ( = 0.08). In conclusion, this study demonstrates that Cu supplementation can promote growth and increase fat digestibility and fur length. Additionally, dietary Cu supplementation can enhance antioxidant capacity and reduce serum cholesterol in growing-furring blue foxes.

  16. Mercury Content in Organs and Tissues of Indigenous (Vulpes vulpes L.) and Invasive (Nyctereutes procyonoides Gray.) Species of Canids from Areas Near Cherepovets (North-Western Industrial Region, Russia).

    PubMed

    Komov, V T; Ivanova, E S; Gremyachikh, V A; Poddubnaya, N Y

    2016-10-01

    Trophic and spatial components of ecological niches of two canids native Vulpes vulpes and introduced Nyctereutes procyonoides are overlapping partially in the studied region. Maximum concentrations of mercury in predatory mammals of Canidae family from surroundings of Cherepovets have been determined in liver and kidneys (over 0.50 mg/kg wet weight), with minimal concentrations in brain (<0.2 mg/kg wet weight). The amount of mercury in the same organs of the red fox and raccoon dog is not significantly different. These levels of mercury content are noticeably higher than those in the predators of Canidae family that inhabit territories of Europe lacking the local sources of mercury. At the same time, absolute values of metal quantity are commensurable with the levels registered in predators from the mercury polluted regions of Spain and Poland.

  17. Reproduction and nutritional stress are risk factors for Hendra virus infection in little red flying foxes (Pteropus scapulatus)

    PubMed Central

    Plowright, Raina K; Field, Hume E; Smith, Craig; Divljan, Anja; Palmer, Carol; Tabor, Gary; Daszak, Peter; Foley, Janet E

    2008-01-01

    Hendra virus (HeV) is a lethal paramyxovirus which emerged in humans in 1994. Poor understanding of HeV dynamics in Pteropus spp. (flying fox or fruit bat) reservoir hosts has limited our ability to determine factors driving its emergence. We initiated a longitudinal field study of HeV in little red flying foxes (LRFF; Pteropus scapulatus) and examined individual and population risk factors for infection, to determine probable modes of intraspecific transmission. We also investigated whether seasonal changes in host behaviour, physiology and demography affect host–pathogen dynamics. Data showed that pregnant and lactating females had significantly higher risk of infection, which may explain previously observed temporal associations between HeV outbreaks and flying fox birthing periods. Age-specific seroprevalence curves generated from field data imply that HeV is transmitted horizontally via faeces, urine or saliva. Rapidly declining seroprevalence between two field seasons suggests that immunity wanes faster in LRFF than in other flying fox species, and highlights the potentially critical role of this species in interspecific viral persistence. The highest seroprevalence was observed when animals showed evidence of nutritional stress, suggesting that environmental processes that alter flying fox food sources, such as habitat loss and climate change, may increase HeV infection and transmission. These insights into the ecology of HeV in flying fox populations suggest causal links between anthropogenic environmental change and HeV emergence. PMID:18198149

  18. A continental scale trophic cascade from wolves through coyotes to foxes.

    PubMed

    Newsome, Thomas M; Ripple, William J

    2015-01-01

    Top-down processes, via the direct and indirect effects of interspecific competitive killing (no consumption of the kill) or intraguild predation (consumption of the kill), can potentially influence the spatial distribution of terrestrial predators, but few studies have demonstrated the phenomenon at a continental scale. For example, in North America, grey wolves Canis lupus are known to kill coyotes Canis latrans, and coyotes, in turn, may kill foxes Vulpes spp., but the spatial effects of these competitive interactions at large scales are unknown. Here, we analyse fur return data across eight jurisdictions in North America to test whether the presence or absence of wolves has caused a continent-wide shift in coyote and red fox Vulpes vulpes density. Our results support the existence of a continental scale cascade whereby coyotes outnumber red foxes in areas where wolves have been extirpated by humans, whereas red foxes outnumber coyotes in areas where wolves are present. However, for a distance of up to 200 km on the edge of wolf distribution, there is a transition zone where the effects of top-down control are weakened, possibly due to the rapid dispersal and reinvasion capabilities of coyotes into areas where wolves are sporadically distributed or at low densities. Our results have implications for understanding how the restoration of wolf populations across North America could potentially affect co-occurring predators and prey. We conclude that large carnivores may need to occupy large continuous areas to facilitate among-carnivore cascades and that studies of small areas may not be indicative of the effects of top-down mesopredator control. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2014 British Ecological Society.

  19. Transmission trials, ITS2-PCR and RAPD-PCR show identity of Toxocara canis isolates from red fox and dog.

    PubMed

    Epe, C; Meuwissen, M; Stoye, M; Schnieder, T

    1999-07-01

    Toxocara canis isolates from dog and from red fox were compared in transmission trials and with molecular analysis using RAPD-PCR technique and comparison of the ITS2 sequence. After oral infection of bitches with 20,000 embryonated T. canis eggs of vulpine and canine origin, the vertical transmission to pup's was examined. All animals of both groups developed typical clinical symptoms of toxocarosis. The haematological, serological, parasitological and post mortem results showed no differences between both isolates except for the infectivity of T. canis stages in mice where the fox isolate showed a significant higher infectivity than the dog isolate. The RAPD-PCR showed a similarity coefficient of 0.95, similar to the range of intraspecific variation in Toxocara cati and Toxascaris leonina specimens as outgroups. The ITS2 comparison showed a 100% identity between both isolates with no intraspecific variations. Therefore, the study shows that the fox and the dog isolate of T. canis were identical in infectivity, transmission and molecular structure; a host adaptation could not be found and the fox has to be seen as a reservoir for T. canis infections in dogs. Considering the increasing number of foxes in urban areas the importance of helminth control in dogs is stressed.

  20. High prevalence of Eucoleus boehmi (syn. Capillaria boehmi) in foxes from western Austria.

    PubMed

    Hodžić, Adnan; Bruckschwaiger, Pia; Duscher, Georg Gerhard; Glawischnig, Walter; Fuehrer, Hans-Peter

    2016-08-01

    Eucoleus boehmi (syn. Capillaria boehmi) is a canine trichuroid nematode affecting the upper respiratory airways (i.e., nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses) of dogs, foxes, and wolves. In the past few years, reports in dogs and wild canids have increased from across Europe, but data on its occurrence and distribution in Austria is scanty. A total of 47 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) from the two westernmost provinces (Tyrol and Vorarlberg) of Austria were therefore examined for the presence of E. boehmi at necropsy. Eggs and adult nematodes were identified morphologically and molecularly (cox1) as E. boehmi. These nematodes were found in 26 (78.8 %) and 13 (92.9 %) foxes from Tyrol and Vorarlberg, respectively, with an overall prevalence of 83.0 % (39/47). The prevalence rate of infection recorded in this study is among the highest in Europe. These results suggest that foxes may represent an important source of infection for dogs and other canids, but further studies are needed to elucidate the transmission dynamics.

  1. High infection rate of zoonotic Eucoleus aerophilus infection in foxes from Serbia

    PubMed Central

    Lalošević, Vesna; Lalošević, Dušan; Čapo, Ivan; Simin, Verica; Galfi, Annamaria; Traversa, Donato

    2013-01-01

    The respiratory capillariid nematode Eucoleus aerophilus (Creplin, 1839) infects wild and domestic carnivores and, occasionally, humans. Thus far, a dozen of human infections have been published in the literature but it cannot be ruled out that lung capillariosis is underdiagnosed in human medicine. Also, the apparent spreading of E. aerophilus in different geographic areas spurs new studies on the epidemiology of this nematode. After the recognition of the first human case of E. aerophilus infection in Serbia, there is a significant merit in enhancing knowledge on the distribution of the nematode. In the present work the infection rate of pulmonary capillariosis was investigated in 70 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) from the northern part of Serbia by autopsy. The estimated infection rate with Eucoleus aerophilus was 84%. In contrast, by copromicroscopic examination only 38% of foxes were positive. In addition, 10 foxes were investigated for the closely related species in nasal cavity, Eucoleus boehmi, and nine were positive. Our study demonstrates one of the highest infection rates of pulmonary capillariosis in foxes over the world. PMID:23340229

  2. FoxO mediates the timing of pupation through regulating ecdysteroid biosynthesis in the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum.

    PubMed

    Lin, Xianyu; Yu, Na; Smagghe, Guy

    2017-05-16

    The steroid hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E), the major developmental hormone in insects, controls all the developmental transitions including ecdysis and metamorphosis. In our study with last larval stages of the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum, dsRNA-mediated gene silencing of Forkhead box protein O (FoxO) resulted in reduced food intake and larval mass and this agreed with a reduction in the expression of insulin signaling-related genes (insulin-like peptides 2, 3, 4, and chico). Interestingly, we also observed a significant delay in the moment of the pupation and these FoxO-silenced larvae then turned brown at the middle pupal stage followed by death. The observed delay of pupation concurred with a significant delay in 20E titer in dsFoxO-injected larvae and this in turn agreed with a significant delay in expression of prothoracicotropic hormone (ptth) that is a gene stimulating ecdysteroid biosynthesis, and of spook (spo) that is one of the early Halloween genes involved in ecdysteroid biosynthesis. In addition, there was also a delayed expression of the ecdysteroid response gene hormone receptor 3 (HR3). In an attempt to rescue the effects by dsFoxO, injection of 20E into T. castaneum larvae stimulated the expression of HR3 and induced one extra larval-larval molt, confirming the responsiveness for ecdysteroid signaling in dsFoxO-injected larvae. The observations of this project suggest that FoxO is a player in the timing of pupation via the regulating of ecdysteroid biosynthesis, together with the regulation of both insulin signaling and nutrition. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Vector-borne pathogens in dogs and red foxes from the federal state of Brandenburg, Germany.

    PubMed

    Liesner, Jana M; Krücken, Jürgen; Schaper, Roland; Pachnicke, Stefan; Kohn, Barbara; Müller, Elisabeth; Schulze, Christoph; von Samson-Himmelstjerna, Georg

    2016-07-15

    N. mikurensis for the second time. In spleen samples of red foxes with 47.5% a high prevalence of piroplasms was found. Sequencing of 11 samples identified 10 as Theileria annae. Despite the high prevalence of this pathogen in its reservoir host, it was absent in dog samples. In one dog (0.1%), Babesia canis was detected but there was no further information about the dog's origin. Evaluation of the questionnaire identified a high proportion of dogs (74.2%, n=233) which was not protected by ectoparasiticides. Moreover, 21.2% (n=236) of the dogs originated from inland or abroad shelters, and therefore might potentially come from areas endemic for dirofilariosis or babesiosis. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. A morphologically distinct granule cell type in the dentate gyrus of the red fox correlates with adult hippocampal neurogenesis.

    PubMed

    Amrein, Irmgard; Slomianka, Lutz

    2010-04-30

    Wild red foxes, proverbially cunning carnivores, are investigated for adult hippocampal neurogenesis and morphological characteristics of the dentate gyrus. Adult red foxes harbor almost 15-times more young, doublecortin-positive neurons in their dentate gyrus than domesticated dogs. The number of doublecortin-positive cells corresponds to 4.4% of the total granule cell number, whereas dividing cells amount to only 0.06%. Compared to laboratory mice, proliferating (Ki67-positive) and dying cells are rare, but the percentage of new neurons is quite similar. The numbers of proliferating cells, young cells of neuronal lineage and dying cells correlate. Resident granule cells can be divided into two types with strikingly different morphologies, staining patterns and distinct septotemporal distributions. Small sized granule cells with a nuclear diameter of 7.3 microm account for approximately 83% of all granule cells. The remaining granule cells are significantly larger with a nuclear diameter of 9.4 microm diameter and stain heavily for NeuN. Septally and mid-septotemporally, densely packed small cells dominate. Here, only few large granule cells are scattered throughout the layer. Temporally, granule cells become more loosely packed and most of the cells are of the large type. High rates of neurogenesis are observed in foxes with high numbers of large granule cells, whereas the number of small granule cells does not correlate with any of the neurogenesis-related cell counts. Staining for parvalbumin, glutamate receptor 2/3, GAP-43 and dynorphin shows an anatomical context that is a composite of features common also to other mammalian species. In summary, we report a morphologically distinct granule cell type which correlates with adult hippocampal neurogenesis in the fox. Furthermore, the maturation phase of the young neurons may be prolonged as in other long living species such as primates. Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Trend analysis of Trichinella in a red fox population from a low endemic area using a validated artificial digestion and sequential sieving technique.

    PubMed

    Franssen, Frits; Deksne, Gunita; Esíte, Zanda; Havelaar, Arie; Swart, Arno; van der Giessen, Joke

    2014-11-28

    Freezing of fox carcasses to minimize professional hazard of infection with Echinococcus multilocularis is recommended in endemic areas, but this could influence the detection of Trichinella larvae in the same host species. A method based on artificial digestion of frozen fox muscle, combined with larva isolation by a sequential sieving method (SSM), was validated using naturally infected foxes from Latvia. The validated SSM was used to detect dead Trichinella muscle larvae (ML) in frozen muscle samples of 369 red foxes from the Netherlands, of which one fox was positive (0.067 larvae per gram). This result was compared with historical Trichinella findings in Dutch red foxes. Molecular analysis using 5S PCR showed that both T. britovi and T. nativa were present in the Latvian foxes, without mixed infections. Of 96 non-frozen T. britovi ML, 94% was successfully sequenced, whereas this was the case for only 8.3% of 72 frozen T. britovi ML. The single Trichinella sp. larva that was recovered from the positive Dutch fox did not yield PCR product, probably due to severe freeze-damage. In conclusion, the SSM presented in this study is a fast and effective method to detect dead Trichinella larvae in frozen meat. We showed that the Trichinella prevalence in Dutch red fox was 0.27% (95% CI 0.065-1.5%), in contrast to 3.9% in the same study area fifteen years ago. Moreover, this study demonstrated that the efficacy of 5S PCR for identification of Trichinella britovi single larvae from frozen meat is not more than 8.3%.

  6. Trends in anecdotal fox sightings in Tasmania accounted for by psychological factors.

    PubMed

    Marks, Clive A; Clark, Malcolm; Obendorf, David; Hall, Graham P; Soares, Inês; Pereira, Filipe

    2017-04-06

    There has been little evaluation of anecdotal sightings as a means to confirm new incursions of invasive species. This paper explores the potential for equivocal information communicated by the media to account for patterns of anecdotal reports. In 2001, it was widely reported that red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) had been deliberately released in the island state of Tasmania (Australia), although this claim was later revealed to be baseless. Regardless, by 2013 a total of 3153 anecdotal fox sightings had been reported by members of the public, which implied their distribution was wide. For each month in 2001-2003, we defined a monthly media index (MMI) of fox-related media coverage, an index of their relative seasonal abundance (abundance), and a factor denoting claims of fox evidence (claimed evidence) regardless of its evidentiary quality. We fitted a generalized linear model with Poisson error for monthly totals of anecdotal sightings with factors of year and claimed evidence and covariates of MMI, abundance, and hours of darkness. The collective effect of psychological factors (MMI, claimed evidence, and year) relative to biophysical factors (photoperiod and abundance) was highly significant (χ(2) = 122.1, df = 6, p < 0.0001), whereas anticipated changes in abundance had no significant influence on reported sightings (p = 0.15). An annual index of fox media from 2001 to 2010 was strongly associated with the yearly tally of anecdotal sightings (p = 0.018). The odds ratio of sightings ranked as reliable by the fox eradication program in any year decreased exponentially at a rate of 0.00643 as the total number of sightings increased (p < 0.0001) and was indicative of an observer-expectancy bias. Our results suggest anecdotal sightings are highly susceptible to cognitive biases and when used to qualify and quantify species presence can contribute to flawed risk assessments. © 2017 Society for Conservation Biology.

  7. Mathematical modelling of Echinococcus multilocularis abundance in foxes in Zurich, Switzerland.

    PubMed

    Otero-Abad, Belen; Rüegg, Simon R; Hegglin, Daniel; Deplazes, Peter; Torgerson, Paul R

    2017-01-11

    In Europe, the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) is the main definitive host of Echinococcus multilocularis, the aetiological agent of a severe disease in humans called alveolar echinococcosis. The distribution of this zoonotic parasite among the fox population is remarkably aggregated with few heavily infected animals harbouring much of the parasite burdens and being responsible for most of the environmental parasitic egg contamination. Important research questions explored were: (i) spatial differences in parasite infection pressure related to the level of urbanization; (ii) temporal differences in parasite infection pressure in relation to time of the year; (iii) is herd immunity or an age-dependent infection pressure responsible for the observed parasite abundance; (iv) assuming E. multilocularis infection is a clumped process, how many parasites results from a regular infection insult. By developing and comparing different transmission models we characterised the spatio-temporal variation of the infection pressure, in terms of numbers of parasites that foxes acquired after exposure per unit time, in foxes in Zurich (Switzerland). These included the variations in infection pressure with age of fox and season and the possible regulating effect of herd immunity on parasite abundance. The model fitting best to the observed data supported the existence of spatial and seasonal differences in infection pressure and the absence of parasite-induced host immunity. The periodic infection pressure had different amplitudes across urbanization zones with higher peaks during autumn and winter. In addition, the model indicated the existence of variations in infection pressure among age groups in foxes from the periurban zone. These heterogeneities in infection exposure have strong implications for the implementation of targeted control interventions to lower the intensity of environmental contamination with parasite eggs and, ultimately, the infection risk to humans.

  8. Age- and sex-dependent distribution of persistent organochlorine pollutants in urban foxes.

    PubMed

    Dip, Ramiro; Hegglin, Daniel; Deplazes, Peter; Dafflon, Oscar; Koch, Herbert; Naegeli, Hanspeter

    2003-10-01

    The colonization of urban and suburban habitats by red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) provides a novel sentinel species to monitor the spread of anthropogenic pollutants in densely populated human settlements. Here, red foxes were collected in the municipal territory of Zürich, Switzerland, and their perirenal adipose tissue was examined for persistent organochlorine residues. This pilot study revealed an unexpected pattern of contamination by polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), with significantly higher levels of the predominant congeners PCB-138, PCB-153, and PCB-180 in juvenile foxes relative to adult animals. Further data analysis demonstrated that the observed difference was attributable to an age-dependent reduction of PCB concentrations in females, whereas male foxes retained approximately the same PCB burden throughout their life span. A similar sex-related bias between population members has been observed, primarily in marine mammals. Interestingly, the reduction of organochlorine contents with progressive age is reminiscent of human studies, where an extensive maternal transfer of xenobiotics to the offspring has been shown to result in increased exposure levels of infants relative to adults. To our knowledge, this is the first example of an urban wildlife species that faithfully reflects the dynamic distribution of toxic contaminants in the corresponding human population. Suburban and urban foxes occupy habitats in close proximity to humans, depend on anthropogenic food supplies, are relatively long-lived and readily available for sampling, can be easily aged and sexed, have a limited home range, and, therefore, meet several important requirements to serve as a surrogate species for the assessment of toxic health hazards.

  9. Age- and sex-dependent distribution of persistent organochlorine pollutants in urban foxes.

    PubMed Central

    Dip, Ramiro; Hegglin, Daniel; Deplazes, Peter; Dafflon, Oscar; Koch, Herbert; Naegeli, Hanspeter

    2003-01-01

    The colonization of urban and suburban habitats by red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) provides a novel sentinel species to monitor the spread of anthropogenic pollutants in densely populated human settlements. Here, red foxes were collected in the municipal territory of Zürich, Switzerland, and their perirenal adipose tissue was examined for persistent organochlorine residues. This pilot study revealed an unexpected pattern of contamination by polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), with significantly higher levels of the predominant congeners PCB-138, PCB-153, and PCB-180 in juvenile foxes relative to adult animals. Further data analysis demonstrated that the observed difference was attributable to an age-dependent reduction of PCB concentrations in females, whereas male foxes retained approximately the same PCB burden throughout their life span. A similar sex-related bias between population members has been observed, primarily in marine mammals. Interestingly, the reduction of organochlorine contents with progressive age is reminiscent of human studies, where an extensive maternal transfer of xenobiotics to the offspring has been shown to result in increased exposure levels of infants relative to adults. To our knowledge, this is the first example of an urban wildlife species that faithfully reflects the dynamic distribution of toxic contaminants in the corresponding human population. Suburban and urban foxes occupy habitats in close proximity to humans, depend on anthropogenic food supplies, are relatively long-lived and readily available for sampling, can be easily aged and sexed, have a limited home range, and, therefore, meet several important requirements to serve as a surrogate species for the assessment of toxic health hazards. PMID:14527839

  10. Toxoplasma gondii in foxes and rodents from the German Federal States of Brandenburg and Saxony-Anhalt: seroprevalence and genotypes.

    PubMed

    Herrmann, D C; Maksimov, P; Maksimov, A; Sutor, A; Schwarz, S; Jaschke, W; Schliephake, A; Denzin, N; Conraths, F J; Schares, G

    2012-04-30

    Data on the genotypes of Toxoplasma gondii circulating in wildlife are scarce. In the present study, foxes and rodents from two Federal States in Central or Eastern Germany were examined for T. gondii infections. Body fluids were collected at necropsy or fluids were obtained from frozen tissues of naturally exposed red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), voles (Microtus arvalis), shrews (Neomys anomalus) and a striped field mouse (Apodemus agrarius) and tested for T. gondii by serology. DNA isolated from tissues of seropositive foxes and all the rodents was examined by PCR. In the German Federal States of Brandenburg and Saxony-Anhalt 152/204 (74.5%) and 149/176 (84.7%) of foxes, respectively, but none of the rodents (0/72) had antibodies to T. gondii. Only 28/152 (18.4%) and 20/149 (13.4%) of seropositive foxes from Brandenburg and Saxony-Anhalt, respectively, but none of the rodents tested PCR-positive for T. gondii. The complete T. gondii genotype could be determined for twelve samples using nine PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) markers (newSAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, PK1, L358 and Apico). In addition to T. gondii clonal type II (Apico II) and type II (Apico I), type III and T. gondii genotypes showing non-canonical allele patterns were observed in foxes. This suggests that, while T. gondii type II prevails in foxes, other genotypes circulate in wildlife. The population structure of T. gondii in Germany may be more diverse than previously thought. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Genome organization and DNA methylation patterns of B chromosomes in the red fox and Chinese raccoon dogs.

    PubMed

    Bugno-Poniewierska, Monika; Solek, Przemysław; Wronski, Mariusz; Potocki, Leszek; Jezewska-Witkowska, Grażyna; Wnuk, Maciej

    2014-12-01

    The molecular structure of B chromosomes (Bs) is relatively well studied. Previous research demonstrates that Bs of various species usually contain two types of repetitive DNA sequences, satellite DNA and ribosomal DNA, but Bs also contain genes encoding histone proteins and many others. However, many questions remain regarding the origin and function of these chromosomes. Here, we focused on the comparative cytogenetic characteristics of the red fox and Chinese raccoon dog B chromosomes with particular attention to the distribution of repetitive DNA sequences and their methylation status. We confirmed that the small Bs of the red fox show a typical fluorescent telomeric distal signal, whereas medium-sized Bs of the Chinese raccoon dog were characterized by clusters of telomeric sequences along their length. We also found different DNA methylation patterns for the B chromosomes of both species. Therefore, we concluded that DNA methylation may maintain the transcriptional inactivation of DNA sequences localized to B chromosomes and may prevent genetic unbalancing and several negative phenotypic effects.

  12. Three-dimensional positioning of B chromosomes in fibroblast nuclei of the red fox and the chinese raccoon dog.

    PubMed

    Kociucka, B; Sosnowski, J; Kubiak, A; Nowak, A; Pawlak, P; Szczerbal, I

    2013-01-01

    Great progress has been achieved over the last years in studies on chromosome arrangement in mammalian cell nuclei. Growing evidence indicates that the genome's spatial organization is of functional relevance. So far, no attention has been paid to the nuclear organization of B chromosomes (Bs). In this study we have examined nuclear positioning of Bs in 2 species from the Canidae family--the red fox and the Chinese raccoon dog. Using 2D and 3D fluorescence in situ hybridization and 2 gene-specific probes (C-KIT and PDGFRA), we analyzed the location of Bs in fibroblast nuclei. We found that small Bs of the red fox occupied mostly the interior of the nucleus, while medium-sized Bs of the Chinese raccoon dog were observed in the peripheral area of the nucleus as well as in intermediate and interior locations. The more uniform distribution of B chromosomes in the Chinese raccoon dog may be the result of differences in their size, since 3 morphological types of Bs are distinguished in this species. Our results indicate that 3D positioning of B chromosomes in fibroblast nuclei of the 2 canid species is in agreement with the chromosome size-dependent theory.

  13. TOXOPLASMOSIS IN SAND FOX (VULPUS RUEPPELLII)

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Fatal toxoplasmosis was diagnosed in a sand fox (Vulpes rueppelli) from United Arab Emirates. Toxoplasma gondii-like tachyzoites were found associated with necrosis in intestine, spleen, liver, pancreas, lungs, mesenteric lymph nodes, and the heart. Ttachyzoites reacted positively with T. gondii-spe...

  14. Potential of BLM lands in western Fresno and eastern San Benito and Monterey Counties, California, as critical habitats for the endangered San Joaquin kit fox, Vulpes macrotis mutica, and blunt-nosed leopard lizard, Crotaphytus silus

    SciTech Connect

    O'Farrell, T.P.; McCue, P.; Kato, T.

    1981-11-01

    The major objectives were to determine the presence and relative density of the San Joaquin kit fox and blunt-nosed leopard lizard on BLM lands in western Fresno and eastern San Benito and Monterey counties, California, and to determine the potential of these lands as critical habitat for these endangered species. A total of 6220 acres in the Ciervo Hills and 4000 acres near Coalinga were surveyed for both San Joaquin kit fox and blunt-nosed leopard lizards; 810 acres in the Griswold Hills were surveyed for kit fox only; and 2000 acres in the Tumey Hills were surveyed for blunt-nosed leopard lizards only. Eight line transects per mile were used to gather information on: (1) kit fox dens, scats, tracks, and remains of their prey; (2) presence of blunt-nosed leopard lizards; (3) vegetation associations; (4) density of rodent burrows on lands surveyed for leopard lizards; (5) topography; (6) evidence of human activities; (7) presence of other wildlife species; and (8) any additional scientific data related to endangered species. Night spotlight surveys were conducted in the Ciervo Hills, Griswold Hills, and on lands adjacent to Coalinga and San Ardo to document presence of kit fox, their potential prey, and other vertebrates. Of BLM land surveyed in 1981, the Coalinga Land Unit had the highest potential as critical habitat for the San Joaquin kit fox, the Ciervo Hills Land Unit was ranked second,and parcels in the Griswold Hills received the lowest score given since inventories were initiated in 1979. Public lands in the Salinas Valley were too steep to serve as habitat for kit fox. Over 70% of the parcels had only fair to no potential as critical habitat for the blunt-nosed leopard lizard. BLM lands near Coalinga and those in the central plateau of the Tumey Hills visually appeared to have some potential as habitat for the species.

  15. Frequency distribution of Echinococcus multilocularis and other helminths of foxes in Kyrgyzstan.

    PubMed

    Ziadinov, I; Deplazes, P; Mathis, A; Mutunova, B; Abdykerimov, K; Nurgaziev, R; Torgerson, P R

    2010-08-04

    Echinococcosis is a major emerging zoonosis in central Asia. A study of the helminth fauna of foxes from Naryn Oblast in central Kyrgyzstan was undertaken to investigate the abundance of Echinococcus multilocularis in a district where a high prevalence of this parasite had previously been detected in dogs. A total of 151 foxes (Vulpes vulpes) were investigated in a necropsy study. Of these 96 (64%) were infected with E. multilocularis with a mean abundance of 8669 parasites per fox. This indicates that red foxes are a major definitive host of E. multilocularis in this country. This also demonstrates that the abundance and prevalence of E. multilocularis in the natural definitive host are likely to be high in geographical regions where there is a concomitant high prevalence in alternative definitive hosts such as dogs. In addition Mesocestoides spp., Dipylidium caninum, Taenia spp., Toxocara canis, Toxascaris leonina, Capillaria and Acanthocephala spp. were found in 99 (66%), 50 (33%), 48 (32%), 46 (30%), 9 (6%), 34 (23%) and 2 (1%) of foxes, respectively. The prevalence but not the abundance of E. multilocularis decreased with age. The abundance of D. caninum also decreased with age. The frequency distribution of E. multilocularis and Mesocestoides spp. followed a zero-inflated negative binomial distribution, whilst all other helminths had a negative binomial distribution. This demonstrates that the frequency distribution of positive counts and not just the frequency of zeros in the data set can determine if a zero-inflated or non-zero-inflated model is more appropriate. This is because the prevalences of E. multolocularis and Mesocestoides spp. were the highest (and hence had fewest zero counts) yet the parasite distribution nevertheless gave a better fit to the zero-inflated models.

  16. Frequency distribution of Echinococcus multilocularis and other helminths of foxes in Kyrgyzstan

    PubMed Central

    I., Ziadinov; P., Deplazes; A., Mathis; B., Mutunova; K., Abdykerimov; R., Nurgaziev; P.R, Torgerson

    2010-01-01

    Echinococcosis is a major emerging zoonosis in central Asia. A study of the helminth fauna of foxes from Naryn Oblast in central Kyrgyzstan was undertaken to investigate the abundance of Echinococcus multilocularis in a district where a high prevalence of this parasite had previously been detected in dogs. A total of 151 foxes (Vulpes vulpes) were investigated in a necropsy study. Of these 96 (64%) were infected with E. multilocularis with a mean abundance of 8669 parasites per fox. This indicates that red foxes are a major definitive host of E. multilocularis in this country. This also demonstrates that the abundance and prevalence of E. multilocularis in the natural definitive host are likely to be high in geographical regions where there is a concomitant high prevalence in alternative definitive hosts such as dogs. In addition Mesocestoides spp., Dipylidium caninum, Taenia spp., Toxocara canis, Toxascaris leonina, Capillaria and Acanthocephala spp. were found in 99 (66%), 50 (33%), 48 (32%), 46 (30%), 9 (6%), 34 (23%) and 2 (1%) of foxes, respectively. The prevalence but not the abundance of E. multilocularis decreased with age. The abundance of Dipylidium caninum also decreased with age. The frequency distribution of E. multilocularis and Mesocestoides spp. followed a zero inflated negative binomial distribution, whilst all other helminths had a negative binomial distribution. This demonstrates that the frequency distribution of positive counts and not just the frequency of zeros in the data set can determine if a zero inflated or non-zero inflated model is more appropriate. This is because the prevalences of E. multolocularis and Mesocestoides spp. were the highest (and hence had fewest zero counts) yet the parasite distribution nevertheless gave a better fit to the zero inflated models. PMID:20434845

  17. Exposure to Persistent Organic Pollutants Reduces Testosterone Concentrations and Affects Sperm Viability and Morphology during the Mating Peak Period in a Controlled Experiment on Farmed Arctic Foxes (Vulpes lagopus).

    PubMed

    Sonne, Christian; Torjesen, Peter A; Fuglei, Eva; Muir, Derek C G; Jenssen, Bjørn Munro; Jørgensen, Even H; Dietz, Rune; Ahlstrøm, Øystein

    2017-04-18

    We investigated testosterone production and semen parameters in farmed Arctic foxes by dietary exposure to persistent organic pollutants (POPs) for 22 months. Eight male foxes were given a diet of POP-contaminated minke whale blubber, whereas their eight male siblings were fed a control diet containing pig fat as the main fat source. The minke whale-based feed contained a ∑POPs concentration of 802 ng/g ww, whereas the pig-based feed contained ∑POPs of 24 ng/g ww. At the end of the experiment, ∑POP concentrations in adipose tissue were 8856 ± 2535 ng/g ww in the exposed foxes and 1264 ± 539 ng/g ww in the control foxes. The exposed group had 45-64% significantly lower testosterone concentrations during their peak mating season compared to the controls (p ≤ 0.05), while the number of dead and defect sperm cells was 27% (p = 0.07) and 15% (p = 0.33) higher in the exposed group. Similar effects during the mating season in wild Arctic foxes may affect mating behavior and reproductive success. On the basis of these results, we recommend testosterone as a sensitive biomarker of POP exposure and that seasonal patterns are investigated when interpreting putative endocrine disruption in Arctic wildlife with potential population-level effects.

  18. Effects of introducing foxes and raccoons on herring gull colonies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kadlec, J.A.

    1971-01-01

    Red foxes (Vulpes fulva) and raccoons (Procyon lotor) released at colonies of herring gulls (Larus argentatus) on islands off the Massachusetts coast effectively eliminated the production of young gulls. Annual predator introductions for 2-4 years caused major reductions in colony size and occasionally total abandonment of the island as a colony site. Observations of the experimental islands for 2 years after cessation of predator introductions showed slow repopulation of the islands and lower breeding success than on control islands. The size of the regional population was reduced largely because of the movements of gulls off the experimental islands. The introduced predators are, in most cases, difficult to maintain on the islands; this restricts their utility in population management.

  19. Assessment of proposed agricultural outleasing - Naval Air Station, Lemoore, California, on the endangered San Joaquin kit fox, Vulpes macrotis mutica, and blunt-nosed leopard lizard, Crotaphytus (=Gambelia) silus

    SciTech Connect

    O'Farrell, T.P.; Sauls, M.L.

    1982-11-01

    The United States Navy proposes to outlease lands adjacent to the runways of Naval Air Station, Lemoore, California, for agricultural purposes. These lands are currently undeveloped annual grasslands that have been modified by past land management practices. The proposed site is thought to provide habitat for the endangered San Joaquin kit fox. It has also been speculated that another endangered species, the blunt-nosed leopard lizard, may occur on the station. The objectives of this study were to determine whether kit fox and leopard lizards occurred on NAS, Lemoore, and to assess the possible impacts of the agricultural outlease program on these species and their essential habitats. Between 24 to 28 May 1982, ground transects studies, a helicopter overflight, night spotlight surveys, and live-trapping for kit fox were conducted on approximately 2700 acres to determine presence of the species. No evidence of either kit fox or blunt-nosed leopard lizards was found. It is unlikely that the Navy's proposed outlease program will negatively affect either species or jeopardize their continued existence.

  20. Crab-eating fox (Cerdocyon thous), a South American canid, as a definitive host for Hammondia heydorni.

    PubMed

    Soares, Rodrigo M; Cortez, Luiz R P B; Gennari, Solange M; Sercundes, Michelle K; Keid, Lara B; Pena, Hilda F J

    2009-05-26

    Hammondia heydorni is a cyst forming coccidia closely related to other apicomplexans, such as Toxoplasma gondii, Neospora caninum and Hammondia hammondi with a two-host life cycle. Dogs and other canids as red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and coyotes (Canis latrans) may serve as definitive hosts for H. heydorni. Sporulated oocysts are infective for cattle, sheep and goats, which may serve as intermediate hosts. Herein, we describe the ability of crab-eating fox (Cerdocyon thous), a wild carnivore that is commonly found from northern Argentina to northern South America, to serve as definitive host of H. heydorni. The whole masseter muscle and brain from two 2-year-old bovines were collected, minced and pooled together for the fox infection. The bovine pooled tissues were equally administered to four foxes, in two consecutive days. Two foxes shed subspherical unsporulated oocysts measuring 10-15microm, after 8 and 9 days post-infection, respectively. One of the foxes eliminated oocysts for 5 days, while the other fox shed oocysts for 9 days. A DNA sample of oocysts detected at each day of oocyst elimination was tested by two PCRs, one of them carried out employing primers directed to the common toxoplasmatiid 18S and 5.8S ribosomal RNA coding genes (PCR-ITS1) and the other based on heat-shock protein 70kDa coding gene (PCR-HSP70). These samples were also submitted to a N. caninum specific nested-PCR protocol based on a N. caninum specific gene (Nc5-nPCR). All of them were positive by PCR-ITS1 and PCR-HSP70 but negative by Nc5-nPCR. The PCR-ITS1 and PCR-HSP70 nucleotide sequences amplified from the oocysts shed by the foxes revealed 100% identity with homologous sequences of H. heydorni. In conclusion, it is clear that H. heydorni also uses the crab-eating fox as a definitive host. The crab-eating fox is usually reported to live in close contact with livestock in several regions of Brazil. Therefore, it is reasonable to infer that such carnivores may play an important role

  1. Concentrations of vitamin A, E, thyroid and testosterone hormones in blood plasma and tissues from emaciated adult male Arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) dietary exposed to persistent organic pollutants (POPs).

    PubMed

    Rogstad, Tonje W; Sonne, Christian; Villanger, Gro D; Ahlstøm, Øystein; Fuglei, Eva; Muir, Derek C G; Jørgensen, Even; Jenssen, Bjørn Munro

    2017-04-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationships and effects of oral POP exposure on retinol (vitamin A), α-tocopherol (vitamin E), thyroid hormones and testosterone in emaciated adult farmed Arctic foxes. Eight brother-pairs were exposed to either a diet containing naturally POP-contaminated minke whale blubber (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) (n=8), or a control diet containing pig (Sus scrofa) fat as the primary fat source (n=8) for 22 months. In the whale blubber containing feed the ∑POPs concentration was 802ng/g w.w. and it was 24ng/g w.w. in control feed. The liver mass was significantly higher and the ratio of FT4 (free thyroxine):FT3 (free triiodothyronine) was significantly lower in the POP exposed group as compared to the control group given feed with pig fat (both p<0.05). The exposed group revealed lower plasma and liver concentrations of α-tocopherol compared to the control group (both p<0.05). These results indicate that plasma FT4:FT3 ratio and plasma and liver α-tocopherol are valuable biomarker endpoints for chronic oral POP exposure in wild Arctic foxes. Based on this we suggest that plasma FT4:FT3 ratio and plasma and liver α-tocopherol are valuable biomarker endpoints for chronic POP exposure in wildlife Arctic foxes and that these perturbations may affect their health status. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Vegetative characteristics of swift fox denning and foraging sites in southwestern South Dakota

    Treesearch

    Daniel W. Uresk; Kieth E. Severson; Jody Javersak

    2003-01-01

    Vegetative characteristics of swift fox (Vulpes velox) denning and foraging habitats were studied in southwestern South Dakota. We followed 14 radio-collared foxes over a two-year period and identified 17 den sites and 82 foraging sites. Height-density of vegetation (visual obstruction reading, VOR) was determined on each den and foraging site and on...

  3. A Molecular survey of Anaplasma spp., Rickettsia spp., Ehrlichia canis and Babesia microti in foxes and fleas from Sicily.

    PubMed

    Torina, A; Blanda, V; Antoci, F; Scimeca, S; D'Agostino, R; Scariano, E; Piazza, A; Galluzzo, P; Giudice, E; Caracappa, S

    2013-11-01

    Fleas (Insecta: Siphonaptera) are obligate bloodsucking insects, which parasitize birds and mammals, and are distributed throughout the world. Several species have been implicated in pathogen transmission. This study aimed to monitor red foxes and the fleas isolated from them in the Palermo and Ragusa provinces of Sicily, Italy, as these organisms are potential reservoirs and vectors of pathogens. Thirteen foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and 110 fleas were analysed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to detect DNA of the pathogens Ehrlichia canis, Babesia microti, Rickettsia spp., Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Anaplasma platys, Anaplasma marginale and Anaplasma ovis. In the foxes, A. ovis was detected in only one animal, whereas the prevalence of the E. canis pathogen was 31%. B. microti and Rickettsia spp. were not detected. Of all of the collected fleas, 75 belonged to the species Xenopsylla cheopis, 32 belonged to Ctenocephalides canis, two belonged to Ctenocephalides felis and one belonged to Cediopsylla inaequalis. In the fleas, the following pathogens were found: A. ovis (prevalence 25%), A. marginale (1%), A. phagocytophilum (1%), Rickettsia felis (2%) and E. canis (3%). X. cheopis was the flea species most frequently infected with Anaplasma, in particular A. ovis (33%), A. marginale (1%) and A. phagocytophilum (1%). Both C. felis exemplars were positive for R. felis. E. canis was found in the lone C. inaequalis and also in 3% of the X. cheopis specimens. No fleas were positive for B. microti or A. platys. As foxes often live in proximity to domestic areas, they may constitute potential reservoirs for human and animal parasites. Further studies should be performed on fleas to determine their vectorial capacity. © 2013 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  4. Deadly intentions: naïve introduced foxes show rapid attraction to odour cues of an unfamiliar native prey

    PubMed Central

    Bytheway, Jenna P.; Price, Catherine J.; Banks, Peter B.

    2016-01-01

    Introduced predators have caused declines and extinctions of native species worldwide, seemingly able to find and hunt new, unfamiliar prey from the time of their introduction. Yet, just as native species are often naïve to introduced predators, in theory, introduced predators should initially be naïve in their response to novel native prey. Here we examine the response of free-living introduced red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) to their first encounter with the odour cues of a novel native prey, the long-nosed bandicoot (Perameles nasuta). Despite no experience with bandicoots at the study site, foxes were significantly more interested in bandicoot odour compared to untreated controls and to a co-evolved prey, the black rat (Rattus rattus). So what gives introduced predators a novelty advantage over native prey? Such neophilia towards novel potential food sources carries little costs, however naïve native prey often lack analogous neophobic responses towards novel predators, possibly because predator avoidance is so costly. We propose that this nexus between the costs and benefits of responding to novel information is different for alien predators and native prey, giving alien predators a novelty advantage over native prey. This may explain why some introduced predators have rapid and devastating impacts on native fauna. PMID:27416966

  5. Two candidate genes (FTO and INSIG2) for fat accumulation in four canids: chromosome mapping, gene polymorphisms and association studies of body and skin weight of red foxes.

    PubMed

    Grzes, M; Szczerbal, I; Fijak-Nowak, H; Szydlowski, M; Switonski, M

    2011-01-01

    Fat accumulation is a polygenic trait which has a significant impact on human health and animal production. Obesity is also an increasingly serious pro