Supplemental feeding drives endoparasite infection in wild boar in Western Spain

Nora Navarro-Gonzalez, Pedro Fernández-Llario, Juan Enrique Pérez-Martín, Gregorio Mentaberre, José M. López-Martín, Santiago Lavín, Emmanuel Serrano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Wildlife population management is thought to destabilize existing host-parasite equilibriums in opposing directions, that is, it may increase parasite success or host resilience once infection takes place. This process is of special importance for species such as the wild boar (Sus scrofa) that are managed for game purposes throughout much of Europe. However, little is known about how this practices influcences either gastrointestinal or pulmonary parasitism in the wild boar. Twelve hunting estates were chosen in order to study the relationship of management measures (feeder density, wild boar abundance, the ratio of wild boar per feeder and the percentage of sclerophyllous vegetation) and host factors (age and sex) with gastrointestinal and pulmonary parasite aggregation, richness, infection probability and intensity of infection. Parasitological analyses from 300 wild boar gastrointestinal and 269 respiratory tracts were performed for this purpose. A set of general linear models with combinations of the explanatory variables was built and the model with the smallest Akaike Information Criterion was selected as the best. The feeder density increased gastrointestinal parasite traits (richness, infection probability and intensity of infection), probably due to the contamination of feeding sites with infective parasite forms. Pulmonary parasite traits, on the other hand, were only influenced by host sex and age class, and parasite aggregation was as expected for a wild population. Managers should be aware of the consequences on parasitism when implementing supplemental feeding in hunting estates. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-123
JournalVeterinary Parasitology
Volume196
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2013

Keywords

  • Density dependence
  • Feeders
  • Game management
  • Host-parasite relationships
  • Parasite aggregation
  • Sus scrofa

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