Fallow deer (Dama dama) were introduced to Little St. Simons Island, Georgia, USA in the 1920s and thrive at high population densities, to the exclusion of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginina). The presence of introduced pathogens and parasites as a result of their introduction is currently unknown, as is the impact of native disease on the exotic fallow deer. Hunter-killed fallow deer from 2003–2005 were necropsied and surveyed for evidence of infectious disease, parasitic agents, and toxicologic parameters. Fallow deer were positive for antibodies to bovine virus diarrhea virus I and II, bluetongue virus, and bovine adenovirus. Twenty species of bacteria were isolated from the internal organs, and 14 species of parasites were recovered including one abomasal nematode, Spiculopteragia asymmetrica, which is not known to occur in native North American ungulates. Concentrations of liver and copper were low, while lead, zinc, and iron were considered within normal levels. No clinical signs of disease were noted, and the overall health of the insular fallow deer was considered good.
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Vol. 45 • No. 2