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Parasite invasion following host reintroduction: a case of Yellowstone’s wolves

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

By:
, , , ,
DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2011.0369

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Abstract

Wildlife reintroductions select or treat individuals for good health with the expectation that these individuals will fare better than infected animals. However, these individuals, new to their environment, may also be particularly susceptible to circulating infections and this may result in high morbidity and mortality, potentially jeopardizing the goals of recovery. Here, using the reintroduction of the grey wolf (Canis lupus) into Yellowstone National Park as a case study, we address the question of how parasites invade a reintroduced population and consider the impact of these invasions on population performance. We find that several viral parasites rapidly invaded the population inside the park, likely via spillover from resident canid species, and we contrast these with the slower invasion of sarcoptic mange, caused by the mite Sarcoptes scabiei. The spatio-temporal patterns of mange invasion were largely consistent with patterns of host connectivity and density, and we demonstrate that the area of highest resource quality, supporting the greatest density of wolves, is also the region that appears most susceptible to repeated disease invasion and parasite-induced declines. The success of wolf reintroduction appears not to have been jeopardized by infectious disease, but now shows signs of regulation or limitation modulated by parasites.

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Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Parasite invasion following host reintroduction: a case of Yellowstone’s wolves
Series title:
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
DOI:
10.1098/rstb.2011.0369
Volume
367
Issue:
1604
Year Published:
2012
Language:
English
Publisher:
Royal Society Publishing
Publisher location:
London, UK
Contributing office(s):
Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center
Description:
12 p.
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
First page:
2840
Last page:
2851
Number of Pages:
12
Country:
United States
State:
Wyoming
Other Geospatial:
Yellowstone National Park
Additional Online Files(Y/N):
N