Parasitic and Infectious Diseases
Currently, we are surveying parasitic and infectious diseases in wolves and their close relatives, dogs. As industrial activity such as logging increases in coastal B.C., natural disease cycles may be disrupted and/or new pathogens introduced that could threaten the health of wolves, other wildlife, domestic animals, and humans.
Analysis of scats for evidence of parasites, combined with molecular genetic techniques, is generating information that we are using to develop a spatially-explicit model of parasite distribution in dogs and wolves across the coastal landscape. Blood samples taken from dogs – which serve as ‘sentinels of disease’ in wolves – tell us about infectious diseases to which coastal canids have been exposed. Ultimately, we hope that this information will provide baseline knowledge for monitoring existing diseases and potential disease threats on the coast.
NFTF Notes From the Lab March 2008
NFTF: Bear Interactions September 2007