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An identification and comparison of intestinal parasites found within Gopherus polyphemus at two differing Southeastern Florida habitats

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Date Issued:
2014
Summary:
Gopherus polyphemus is a keystone terrestrial reptile, currently threatened in Florida due to habitat destruction. Overcrowded populations are associated with higher infectious disease transmission. Parasite roles within wild tortoise populations are largely unknown, despite growing evidence they may pose significant health risks. There is a large gopher tortoise population in the fragmented, poorly maintained Florida Atlantic University Preserve (FAUP). A separate Martin County population is at Jonathan Dickinson State Park (JDSP) in a higher quality habitat. We hypothesized there would be higher intestinal parasite loads in FAUP tortoises than JDSP tortoises, due to overcrowding. Several methods were used to determine parasite species and infection intensities. Fecal flotations revealed moderate to high Strongyle and Hookworm intensities in FAUP tortoises; in contrast, low Hookworm and moderate Strongyle intensities were seen in JDSP tortoises. Comparing infection intensities to degree of crowding is important to optimize management strategies of these threatened species.
Title: An identification and comparison of intestinal parasites found within Gopherus polyphemus at two differing Southeastern Florida habitats.
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Name(s): Huffman, Jessica, author
Frazier, Evelyn
Graduate College
Caruso, Joseph P.
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: Gopherus polyphemus is a keystone terrestrial reptile, currently threatened in Florida due to habitat destruction. Overcrowded populations are associated with higher infectious disease transmission. Parasite roles within wild tortoise populations are largely unknown, despite growing evidence they may pose significant health risks. There is a large gopher tortoise population in the fragmented, poorly maintained Florida Atlantic University Preserve (FAUP). A separate Martin County population is at Jonathan Dickinson State Park (JDSP) in a higher quality habitat. We hypothesized there would be higher intestinal parasite loads in FAUP tortoises than JDSP tortoises, due to overcrowding. Several methods were used to determine parasite species and infection intensities. Fecal flotations revealed moderate to high Strongyle and Hookworm intensities in FAUP tortoises; in contrast, low Hookworm and moderate Strongyle intensities were seen in JDSP tortoises. Comparing infection intensities to degree of crowding is important to optimize management strategies of these threatened species.
Identifier: FA00005150 (IID)
Held by: Florida Atlantic University Libraries
Sublocation: FAU Digital Library
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00005150
Restrictions on Access: Author retains copyright.
Owner Institution: FAU