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Monday, August 6 • 4:30pm - Friday, August 10 •12:00pm
Student Poster: Are There Costs of Shifting Migration Linked to Parasitism?

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AUTHORS: Jacalyn Normandeau, Evelyn Merrill – University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada; Susan Kutz, University of Calgary, Canada; Mark Hebblewhite, University of Montana, Missoula, MT

ABSTRACT: Most ungulate studies focus on forage-predation interactions, but parasites can be as important in some situations.1 Parasites can have significant impacts on body condition,2 reproduction,1 and longevity in ungulates,3 but the interaction between migration and parasite levels is not well understood, especially for environmentally transmitted parasites in partially migratory ungulates. Parasite exposure may differ on summer ranges of migratory herd segments for several reasons: (1) early migration from a highly contaminated winter range may provide an “escape” during spring peak infectious period, (2) differences in forage quality on summer ranges may alter susceptibility to parasite infection due to improved body condition, (3) differences in either quality habitat configuration or use of predator refuges may concentrate hosts and increase subsequent transmission, (4) summer ranges may differ in secondary host habitat, or (5) parasite exposure from other ungulate species may differ. This project addresses the above hypotheses in a partially migratory elk (Cervus elaphus) herd that winters at the Ya Ha Tinda (YHT), AB, bordering Banff National Park (BNP). The YHT elk herd has been experiencing a population decline and a shift in summer migration from westward into BNP to eastward onto industrial lands along the Red Deer river. Results from a 2017 field season show average intensity of giant liver fluke (Fascioloides magna) infection was 0.78 eggs/g for western migrants, 2.12 eggs/g for residents, and 5.29 eggs/g for eastern migrants. There were significant differences between fluke prevalence in migrant segments during the summer (P

Monday August 6, 2018 4:30pm - Friday August 10, 2018 12:00pm
Assembly Hall Foyer

Attendees (2)