Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Helminth parasites of wolves (Canis lupus): a species list and an analysis of published prevalence studies in Nearctic and Palaearctic populations

  • H.L. Craig (a1) and P.S. Craig (a2)
Abstract
Abstract

A literature survey was undertaken in order to draw up a definitive list of helminth parasites of the wolf, Canis lupus. From 27 papers a total of 72 helminth species from 40 genera were recorded that infect wolves, of which 93% were identified from the gastrointestinal tract at necropsy. They comprised 28 species of nematode, 27 species of cestode, 16 species of trematode and one acanthocephalan. Of these, 46 species were able to be included in further meta-analysis of prevalence data derived from 25 publications for which the total number of wolves examined was 1282 (1066 from Nearctic populations, and 216 from the Palaearctic region). These two populations were further subdivided into three relevent ecosystems or biomes, i.e. temperate/montane (n=216), boreal (n=805) or tundra (n=261). The meta-analysis of relative prevalence indicated the most common helminth species to be the tapeworm Taenia hydatigena, which occurred at relative rates of >30% for either zoogeographic region as well as in each of the three biomes. The related tapeworm, Echinococcus granulosus also exhibited high meta-prevalence (>19%) in all host biomes. The hookworm Uncinaria stenocephala was the most prevalent nematode species by meta-analysis (meta-prevalence 44.9%) in the temperate/montane biome, while the ascarid Toxascaris leonina was the dominant helminth species (meta-prevalence 73.9%) in the tundra wolf populations. Trematodes in the genus Alaria were the dominant fluke (meta-prevalence 3–5%) in all biomes. Analysis of published studies for helminth biodiversity using the Shannon-Wiener index based on species number and meta-prevalence by region or biome, indicated that highest helminth diversity occurred in wolf populations of the temperate/ montane biome (Palaearctic), and was lowest in tundra wolf populations of the Nearctic (P<0.05). Helminth species assemblage in European wolf populations was therefore at least as great or more varied than was recorded for the larger less disturbed wolf populations of North America.

Copyright
Corresponding author
*Author for correspondence Fax: 0161 295 5210 E-mail: p.s.craig@salford.ac.uk
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

A.E. Magurran (1988) Ecological diversity and its measurement. pp. 145149. London, Croom Helm.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of Helminthology
  • ISSN: 0022-149X
  • EISSN: 1475-2697
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-helminthology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×