Abomasal Parasites in Wild Sympatric Cervids, Red Deer, Cervus elaphus, and Fallow Deer, Dama dama, from Three Localities across Central and Western Spain: Relationship to Host Density and Park Management
Date of this Version
A survey of abomasal parasites in cervids from Central Spain was conducted at three sites, Quintos de Mora (Toledo), Maluéñez de Arriba (Cáceres), and La Herguijuela (Cáceres). Commonly occurring helminths belonged to three polymorphic species of the Ostertagiinae: Spiculopteragia asymmetrica/S. quadrispiculata, Ostertagia leptospicularis/O. kolchida, and O. drozdzi/O. ryjikovi. Trichostrongylus axei was found in very few cases. Ostertagia drozdzi/O. ryjikovi and the minor male morphotype, S. quadrispiculata, are reported for the first time in red deer from Spain. The three ostertagiine species are also reported for the first time in fallow deer from Spain. These three species of Ostertagiinae are primarily parasites of cervids, and nematode species characteristic of domestic ruminants were not present. Prevalence of infection by gastrointestinal parasites in cervids was high, ranging from 97.5 to 100%, across the three areas sampled. Mean intensity of infection and abundance showed a positive relationship to the population density of red deer. Helminth burdens were higher in fallow deer than in the sympatric red deer and may reflect the gregarious social structure and different foraging patterns of fallow deer.