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A comparative survey of Gopherus polyphemus hemoparasites in two differing South Florida habitats

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Date Issued:
2015
Summary:
The gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) is a keystone species which affects the biodiversity that shares its burrow. Habitat fragmentation has led to a decline in populations within southeastern ranges. Haemogregarina (intracellular parasites) have been identified in the blood of gopher tortoises, possibly due to the lack of prescribed fires which are known to kill ticks. However, little is known about their health significance. Two study sites, Blazing Star Preserve (BSP), and Pine Jog Preserve (PJP), differ in their management. The goal of this study is: (1) determine, if any, haemogregarina parasitemia levels of the gopher tortoise population in each site and (2) detect any additional hemoparasite species. We hypothesize that paristemia will be higher in BSP due to increased overcrowding and lack of prescribed fires. This study will benefit current conservation and management practices for gopher tortoises and provide a baseline study for intracellular parasites.
Title: A comparative survey of Gopherus polyphemus hemoparasites in two differing South Florida habitats.
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Name(s): Cooney, Brian
Elhassani, Dana
Frazier, Evelyn Dr.
Caruso, Joseph Dr.
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: The gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) is a keystone species which affects the biodiversity that shares its burrow. Habitat fragmentation has led to a decline in populations within southeastern ranges. Haemogregarina (intracellular parasites) have been identified in the blood of gopher tortoises, possibly due to the lack of prescribed fires which are known to kill ticks. However, little is known about their health significance. Two study sites, Blazing Star Preserve (BSP), and Pine Jog Preserve (PJP), differ in their management. The goal of this study is: (1) determine, if any, haemogregarina parasitemia levels of the gopher tortoise population in each site and (2) detect any additional hemoparasite species. We hypothesize that paristemia will be higher in BSP due to increased overcrowding and lack of prescribed fires. This study will benefit current conservation and management practices for gopher tortoises and provide a baseline study for intracellular parasites.
Identifier: FA00005182 (IID)
Subject(s): College students --Research --United States.
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00005182
Owner Institution: FAU