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Baseline Study for the Identification of Intestinal Parasites in Gopher Tortoises Found in Blazing Star and Pine Jog

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Date Issued:
2015
Summary:
Gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) populations are diminishing in South Florida due to habitat fragmentation in urban sites. As a keystone species, gopher tortoises have important ecological roles. The goal of this study was to establish a baseline of intestinal parasites in two South Florida populations. One population resides in a fragmented and non-fire maintained site, Blazing Star, and the other in a fire maintained site, Pine Jog. Fire is a natural factor in these habitats reducing canopy cover and killing parasite eggs. The lack of fire in Blazing Star can lead to overgrowth of vegetation, forcing tortoises to crowd where lower vegetation is found. We hypothesize that tortoises from Blazing Star will have a higher degree of intestinal parasites, when compared to those from Pine Jog due to potential crowding. Data is currently being collected, and may provide insight to improve future management and conservation practices.
Title: Baseline Study for the Identification of Intestinal Parasites in Gopher Tortoises Found in Blazing Star and Pine Jog.
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Name(s): Shanker, Rachel
Haizlett, Kent
Huffman, Jessica
Frazier, Evelyn
Caruso, Joseph P.
Charles E. Schmidt College of Science
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Poster
Date Issued: 2015
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University Libraries: Digital Library
Physical Form: pdf
Extent: 1 p.
Language(s): English
Summary: Gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) populations are diminishing in South Florida due to habitat fragmentation in urban sites. As a keystone species, gopher tortoises have important ecological roles. The goal of this study was to establish a baseline of intestinal parasites in two South Florida populations. One population resides in a fragmented and non-fire maintained site, Blazing Star, and the other in a fire maintained site, Pine Jog. Fire is a natural factor in these habitats reducing canopy cover and killing parasite eggs. The lack of fire in Blazing Star can lead to overgrowth of vegetation, forcing tortoises to crowd where lower vegetation is found. We hypothesize that tortoises from Blazing Star will have a higher degree of intestinal parasites, when compared to those from Pine Jog due to potential crowding. Data is currently being collected, and may provide insight to improve future management and conservation practices.
Identifier: FA00005209 (IID)
Subject(s): College students --Research --United States.
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00005209
Owner Institution: FAU