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Parasites of the svalbard rein deer rangifer tarandus platyrhynchus


, : Parasites of the svalbard rein deer rangifer tarandus platyrhynchus. Fauna (Oslo) 36(3): 82-86

A population of approximately 10,000 Svalbard reindeer is endemic on the Norwegian arctic islands of Svalbard. Samples of reindeer were collected from a number of localities in March, June, Aug. and Oct., and examined for the presence of parasites. Cestodes (113) were found in all animals sampled. Data on protozoan and nematodes is from 24 reindeer shot during 1978. The only protozoan parasite, Sarcocystis spp., was detected in striated musculature in all adult animals. Two species of cestodes were recorded. Moniezia benedini was found only in calves in Oct. with a prevalence of 46%. In adult female reindeer the prevalence of Cysticercus tarandi (the cysticercoid stage of Taenia krabbei) was different for the 2 yr 1981 and 1982 being about 60% and 30% in respective years. Six species of trichostrongylid nematodes were recorded in abomasal samples. The most prevalent species were Marshallagia marshalli (100%) and Ostertagia gruehneri (83%). The intensity of infection was 210-10,000 adult nematodes/host for M. marshalli and 1070-17,530 for O. gruehneri. The prevalence of the other 4 spp. Skrjabinagia lyrata, Teladorsagia circumcincta, Ostertagia trifurcata and O. occidentalis were in 25-75% of the animals, but the infection intensities for these species were low (10-2000 adult nematodes/host). O. occidentalis has not previously been recorded in reindeer. The importance of parasites as a factor in the regulation of the Svalbard reindeer population is discussed.

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