A total of 309 Mississippi Valley Population Canada geese, Branta canadensis interior, of different sex and age groups was collected from three locations in the Mississippi Flyway from 1979-1981 and examined for gizzard nematodes and renal coccidia. Three species of nematodes were removed from the gizzards, Amidostomum anseris, A. spatulatum, and Epomidiostomum crami. The latter two species are reported from this population of geese for the first time. Gizzard nematodes were found in 95.2% of all Canada geese examined, with A. anseris being the most abundant of the three species. There was no statistically significant difference between immatures and adults in the abundance of total nematodes species however, immature geese carried significantly more A. anseris and adult geese harbored significantly more A. spatulatum and E. crami infections. No significant difference in gizzard worm infections between male and female birds was observed. The abundance of overall gizzard nematodes was greatest in Canada geese from Winisk, Ontario (11.9), but the abundance of worms in southern Illinois geese (10.0) was similar. Geese from Horicon National Wildlife Refuge had the lowest abundance of infection, 7.5. The overall abundance of nematodes showed a general increase the second year of the study in each sex and age group and at each collection area. Each of three species of nematodes was responsible for some degree of damage to the gizzard lining and koilin, but E. crami was the most pathogenic of the species recovered. The occurrence of renal coccidiosis in Canada geese of this flyway is reported for the first time; the etiologic agent is Eimeria clarkei. The oocysts and/or endogenous stages of E. clarkei were present in 6.8% of the Canada geese sampled and this was the only species found. Male and female geese showed no significant differences in E. clarkei infections, however, significantly more immature geese than adult geese were infected with this species. A cell mediated response to the presence of E. clarkei oocysts and endogenous stages was seen in 83.3% of infected adult geese, but only 20% of immature geese showed a macrophage response to the infective stages of this parasite. A massive E. clarkei infection caused the death of one goose collected at Horicon National Wildlife Refuge. Amidostomiasis, epomidiostomiasis, and renal coccidiosis were important pathogenic diseases in the Mississippi Valley Population Canada geese but did not directly cause significant mortality in the population.
Additional Publication Details
A study of gizzard nematodes and renal coccidiosis in Canada geese (Branta canadensis interior) of the Mississippi Valley population