A comparative study of the dietary habits and helminth fauna of Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis), Red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and Eastern coyote (Canis latrans) on insular Newfoundland

Bridger, Kimberly Elizabeth (2005) A comparative study of the dietary habits and helminth fauna of Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis), Red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and Eastern coyote (Canis latrans) on insular Newfoundland. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

The morphology, diet and helminth fauna of 366 Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis), 112 Red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and 75 Eastern coyote (Canis latrans) were examined from insular Newfoundland. Morphometric data of each species was similar to that reported elsewhere . Lynx diet was less diverse than that of either canid and dietary overlap was highest between Red fox and coyote . Snowshoe hare (Lepus american us) was the most important food item to lynx while Red fox depended more on other prey items including Meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus). Woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus) was more prominent in coyote diets. Examinations for parasites were carried out on the heart , lungs, urigenital system and digestive tracts only. Twelve, seven and ten helminth species were recovered from lynx, Red fox and coyote respectively. Taenia macrocystis and T laticollis were only recovered from lynx. Taenia pisiformis and Toxascaris leonina were recovered in lynx and coyote, with higher prevalences in lynx. Crenosoma vulpis was most prevalent in Red fox and coyote, while T ovis krabbei and Toxocara canis were more prevalent in coyotes . Seventy-three percent oflynx, 10.3% of Red fox and 16.0% of coyotes were parasitized by two or more co-occurring parasite species. Multiple parasite infections were significantly higher in juvenile Red fox and coyotes. The geographic areas studied in this report did not contain all of the species under consideration. Some areas were more heavily represented by some species (i.e. Red fox) which were collected during the Rabies Eradication Program carried out in northern and western Newfoundland during 2002-2004 whereas there was one specimen from central Newfoundland and none from the other locations. There were significant differences in parasite prevalence patterns and parasite species diversity with respect to intrinsic and extrinsic factors associated with each host and geographic location where specimen numbers permitted. Of the areas with sufficient sample sizes three main areas of parasite infection were identified; Northern Peninsula, West Coast and North East Coast. Higher prevalences were recorded from West to East. This study represents the first record of Physaloptera rara from Red fox and coyotes in insular Newfoundland. Angiostrongylus vasorum was recovered from one coyote on the North East Coast. Taenia ovis krabbei was recovered from coyotes on the North East Coast and Central Newfoundland but was previously only known from Arctic fox in northern Newfoundland. Diversity of parasite species in insular Newfoundland may be increasing as a result of the establishment of Eastern coyote populations.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/12232
Item ID: 12232
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 72-148).
Department(s): Science, Faculty of > Biology
Date: June 2005
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Coyote--Food--Newfoundland and Labrador; Coyote--Parasites--Newfoundland and Labrador; Lynx--Food--Newfoundland and Labrador; Lynx--Parasites--Newfoundland and Labrador; Red fox--Food--Newfoundland and Labrador; Red fox--Parasites--Newfoundland and Labrador

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