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Comparative survey of hemoparasites in two south Florida gopher tortoise populations

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Date Issued:
2014
Summary:
The gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) is a threatened keystone species of the Southeastern United States. Increasing urban encroachment and tortoise translocation increases the risk of disease transmission. Prior work at Florida Atlantic University suggested resident gopher tortoises had high tick burdens. To investigate ticks as potential disease vectors, two sites were examined. The Florida Atlantic University Preserve (FAUP); managed by mowing and herbicides and Jonathan Dickinson State Park (JDSP); managed by fire. We hypothesized that gopher tortoises in the FAUP will be infected by heavier hemoparasite loads, potentially causing anemia, when compared to JDSP. To detect hemoparasites, blood was collected from tortoises at FAUP and JDSP. Blood smears revealed intracellular parasites and inclusions at both sites. Packed cell volumes were done to assess whether tortoises were anemic; results found tortoises were not anemic during that sampling period. This study will provide baseline data for blood-borne infections in two south Florida gopher tortoise populations.
Title: Comparative survey of hemoparasites in two south Florida gopher tortoise populations.
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Name(s): Elhassani, Dana, author
Caruso, Joseph P.
Graduate College
Frazier, Evelyn
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Poster
Date Created: 2014
Date Issued: 2014
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Florida
Physical Form: pdf
Extent: 1 p.
Language(s): English
Summary: The gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) is a threatened keystone species of the Southeastern United States. Increasing urban encroachment and tortoise translocation increases the risk of disease transmission. Prior work at Florida Atlantic University suggested resident gopher tortoises had high tick burdens. To investigate ticks as potential disease vectors, two sites were examined. The Florida Atlantic University Preserve (FAUP); managed by mowing and herbicides and Jonathan Dickinson State Park (JDSP); managed by fire. We hypothesized that gopher tortoises in the FAUP will be infected by heavier hemoparasite loads, potentially causing anemia, when compared to JDSP. To detect hemoparasites, blood was collected from tortoises at FAUP and JDSP. Blood smears revealed intracellular parasites and inclusions at both sites. Packed cell volumes were done to assess whether tortoises were anemic; results found tortoises were not anemic during that sampling period. This study will provide baseline data for blood-borne infections in two south Florida gopher tortoise populations.
Identifier: FA00005145 (IID)
Held by: Florida Atlantic University Libraries
Sublocation: FAU Digital Library
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00005145
Restrictions on Access: Author retains copyright.
Owner Institution: FAU