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A Survey of Gopherus polyphemus Intestinal Parasites in South Florida

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Date Issued:
2017
Summary:
Gopherus polyphemus populations are diminishing throughout their range due to urbanization, fragmentation, and poor management of habitats. Increased population densities, poor habitat quality, and lack of fire may influence disease transmission. Parasite roles within wild tortoise populations are largely unknown, despite evidence these pathogens may pose health risks. This study provides a baseline of gopher tortoise endoparasites across South Florida and reports on how varying environmental and tortoise characteristics may affect endoparasite species prevalence, approximate loads, and overall distributions. Tortoise fecal samples were taken from five differing SF habitats. Seven species of intestinal parasites were discovered from 123 tortoises. Identified parasites include endo-helminths such as cyathostomes, pinworms, ascarids, flukes, and protozoans including Eimeria, Cryptosporidium, and Amoeba species. Significant differences in parasite prevalence and loads were seen between sampling years, seasons, size classes, and sites, however, overall parasite distributions suggest parasitism remains relatively ubiquitous throughout most host and site characteristics.
Title: A Survey of Gopherus polyphemus Intestinal Parasites in South Florida.
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Name(s): Huffman, Jessica, author
Frazier, Evelyn, Thesis advisor
Florida Atlantic University, Degree grantor
Charles E. Schmidt College of Science
Department of Biological Sciences
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Date Created: 2017
Date Issued: 2017
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 131 p.
Language(s): English
Summary: Gopherus polyphemus populations are diminishing throughout their range due to urbanization, fragmentation, and poor management of habitats. Increased population densities, poor habitat quality, and lack of fire may influence disease transmission. Parasite roles within wild tortoise populations are largely unknown, despite evidence these pathogens may pose health risks. This study provides a baseline of gopher tortoise endoparasites across South Florida and reports on how varying environmental and tortoise characteristics may affect endoparasite species prevalence, approximate loads, and overall distributions. Tortoise fecal samples were taken from five differing SF habitats. Seven species of intestinal parasites were discovered from 123 tortoises. Identified parasites include endo-helminths such as cyathostomes, pinworms, ascarids, flukes, and protozoans including Eimeria, Cryptosporidium, and Amoeba species. Significant differences in parasite prevalence and loads were seen between sampling years, seasons, size classes, and sites, however, overall parasite distributions suggest parasitism remains relatively ubiquitous throughout most host and site characteristics.
Identifier: FA00005933 (IID)
Degree granted: Thesis (M.S.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2017.
Collection: FAU Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection
Note(s): Includes bibliography.
Subject(s): Dissertations, Academic -- Florida Atlantic University
Gopherus polyphemus
Gopher tortoise.
Parasites.
Florida.
Held by: Florida Atlantic University Libraries
Sublocation: Digital Library
Links: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00005024
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00005933
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author, with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Owner Institution: FAU
Is Part of Series: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections.