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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date

2001

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Wildlife and Fisheries Science

First Advisor

Jonathan A. Jenks

Abstract

Infectious diseases are important factors affecting the health of deer and elk populations. The objectives of this study were to determine any occurrences of Chronic Wasting Disease and Bovine Tuberculosis in free ranging deer and elk populations in South Dakota, to determine occurrence and distribution of meningeal worm (Parelaphostrongylus tenuis) in white-tailed deer populations in South Dakota, to determine distribution and relative abundance of gastropod intermediate hosts for P. tenuis in South Dakota. Heads of hunter harvested deer and elk were collected form meat lockers for use in determining infection CWD, Bovine TB, and P. tenuis. A total of 368 elk, 519 white-tailed deer, and 128 mule deer were sampled for CWD from 1997-1999. All 1,015 deer and elk tested negative for the disease. A total of 401 elk, 1,638 white-tailed deer, and 207 mule deer were sampled for Bovine TB during the 1998 and 1999 hunting seasons. All 2,246 deer and elk tested negative for the disease. A total of 2,848 white-tailed deer were examined for P. tenuis from 1997- 1 999. Of the 578 white-tailed deer infected with P. tenuis, 570 (98 .6%) were harvested east of the Missouri River. Overall prevalence of infection with P. tenuis for all white-tailed deer sampled in South Dakota was 20.3%. In addition, 215 mule deer and 344 elk also were sampled for P. tenuis, however, none were found to be infected with the parasite. Prevalence of P. tenuis infection was higher (P < 0.0001) in white-tailed deer examined in eastern South Dakota than in western South Dakota. Prevalence of infection was higher (P < 0.0001) in female than in male deer. Mean intensity of infection with P. tenuis was 1.638 (0.054 SE) worms per head. Intensity of infection was higher (P = 0.012) in adult deer than in fawn or yearling deer (P = 0.001). In addition, 98 white-tailed deer and four mule deer harvested in 1999 from westcentral North Dakota Deer Gun Hunting Unit 3B3 also were examined for adult P. tenuis. Of the 98 white-tailed deer, five (5.1%) were found to be infected with P. tenuis. Among these five infected deer were three adult females, one yearling female, and one yearling male. None of four mule deer from North Dakota examined were infected with P. tenuis. A total of 4,062 terrestrial gastropods representing 14 species, five of which were known intermediate hosts for P. tenuis, were collected in South Dakota during the summers of 1 999 and 2000 to assess the involvement of gastropods in transmission of P. tenuis to white-tailed deer. Significantly more (P < 0.0001) gastropods were collected in eastern South Dakota than in western South Dakota. Prevalence of P. tenuis infection in terrestrial gastropods differed (P < 0.0001) between counties. Furthern1ore, prevalence of infection with P. tenuis in terrestrial gastropods was higher (P < 0.0001) in semipermanent wetlands than in grassland or forested habitats. Multiple logistic regression analysis of prevalence data by county found strong associations with wetland (P = 0.018) and spring precipitation (P = 0.002). Furthermore, the overall regression model explained a statistically significant (R2 = 0.596; P = 0.002) amount of variation in prevalence of P. tenuis in eastern South Dakota. An estimated minimum of 75 deer heads should be sampled to determine an accurate estimate of prevalence of P. tenuis by county in white-tailed deer populations throughout eastern South Dakota. Moreover, a minimum of five heads per county should be sampled to detect the presence or absence of P. tenuis throughout eastern South Dakota. Future CWD and Bovine TB sampling should continue to focus on deer and elk harvested from the Black Hills, northwest, and northcentral regions of South Dakota. It is recommended that double fences be constructed around captive facilities known to harbor Bovine TB or CWD infected individuals to minimize contact between infected and free-ranging cervids. Weekly inspections of fence lines are recommended to reduce the likelihood that "downed" fences go undetected. Furthermore, it is recommended that management practices that result in artificially high deer or elk densities be avoided, particularly in areas where CWD and Bovine TB infected facilities exist. Future sampling should focus on sampling deer harvested in western South Dakota to further define the western most range of P. tenuis. Sampling in eastern South Dakota should be confined to those counties in which fewer than 75 heads were collected. Future research also should focus on determining the distribution and abundance of the terrestrial gastropod fauna in western South Dakota for use in assessing the involvement of gastropods in the transmission of P. tenuis to white-tailed deer populations.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Deer -- Diseases -- South Dakota
Elk -- Diseases -- South Dakota
Communicable diseases

Description

Includes bibliographical references (page 77-90)

Format

application/pdf

Number of Pages

139

Publisher

South Dakota State University

Rights

Copyright © 2001 Christopher N. Jacques. All rights reserved.

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