Parasite surveys of free-ranging wildlife provide important information for monitoring population health. Between March 2001 and March 2003, we sampled 10 ocelots (Leopardus pardalis), eight Geoffroy's cats (Oncifelis geoffroyi), a jaguarundi (Herpailurus yaguarondi), five pampas foxes (Pseudalopex gymnocercus), and three crab-eating foxes (Cerdocyon thous) at three sites in the Bolivian Chaco. The objective of the study was to survey the parasite fauna of these carnivores and compare prevalence of parasites among the sites. The parasite community of these carnivores was diverse, with representatives from eight genera of nematodes, two families of cestodes, two protozoan species, and six arthropod species. Fecal parasites identified from 12 of the 13 felids and five of the six canids examined included Aelurostrongylus abstrusus, Ancylostoma tubaeforme, Uncinaria sp., Crenosoma sp., Toxocara cati, Spirurida, Capillaria aerophila, Spirometra sp., Taeniidae, and Cystoisospora sp. Four tick species, Amblyomma parvum, A. tigrinum, A. ovale, and A. cajennense, and two flea species, Pulex irritans and Delostichus phyllotis, were identified. Two crab-eating foxes had serologic evidence of heartworm disease (HWD). Antibodies against Toxoplasma gondii were found in 15 of 26 animals. Although HWD was found only in canids inside the national park, parasite prevalence did not appear to differ among sites, and no evidence was found of parasite spillover from domestic to wild carnivores.
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Vol. 37 • No. 2