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First parasitological survey of endangered Bornean elephants Elephas maximus borneensi

Hing, S., Othman, N., Nathan, S.K.S.S., Fox, M., Fisher, M. and Goossens, B. (2013) First parasitological survey of endangered Bornean elephants Elephas maximus borneensi. Endangered Species Research, 21 (3). pp. 223-230.

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Relatively few studies have been carried out on the parasites of free-ranging wild animal species, which has led to a lack of baseline parasitological data. This is a concern because endoparasites can have an important influence on fitness and survival, particularly in small populations of endangered species. This field study is the first parasitological survey of Endangered Bornean elephants Elephas maximus borneensis. Using a special modification of the McMaster method, trematode, cestode and nematode ova were identified in the faeces of wild Bornean elephants in 2 key range areas in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo: the Tabin Wildlife Reserve and the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary. Preliminary comparisons between the sites suggest that prevalence, load and diversity vary between the two, leading to hypotheses on host, parasite and environmental factors which may affect endoparasite infection dynamics in wild Bornean elephants. This study provides an initial catalogue of parasite types in the Bornean elephant and reports on endoparasite prevalence and load, valuable baseline data for future research.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Inter-Research Science Center
Copyright: © Inter-Research 2013.
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