Fecal parasite risk in the endangered proboscis monkey is higher in an anthropogenically managed forest environment compared to a riparian rain forest in Sabah, Borneo

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Klaus, A.; Strube, C.; Röper, K.M.; Radespiel, U.; Schaarschmidt, F. et al.: Fecal parasite risk in the endangered proboscis monkey is higher in an anthropogenically managed forest environment compared to a riparian rain forest in Sabah, Borneo. In: PLoS ONE 13 (2018), Nr. 4, e0195584. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0195584

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Understanding determinants shaping infection risk of endangered wildlife is a major topic in conservation medicine. The proboscis monkey, Nasalis larvatus, an endemic primate flagship species for conservation in Borneo, is endangered through habitat loss, but can still be found in riparian lowland and mangrove forests, and in some protected areas. To assess socioecological and anthropogenic influence on intestinal helminth infections in N. larvatus, 724 fecal samples of harem and bachelor groups, varying in size and the number of juveniles, were collected between June and October 2012 from two study sites in Malaysian Borneo: 634 samples were obtained from groups inhabiting the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary (LKWS), 90 samples were collected from groups of the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary (LBPMS), where monkeys are fed on stationary feeding platforms. Parasite risk was quantified by intestinal helminth prevalence, host parasite species richness (PSR), and eggs per gram feces (epg). Generalized linear mixed effect models were applied to explore whether study site, group type, group size, the number of juveniles per group, and sampling month predict parasite risk. At the LBPMS, prevalence and epg of Trichuris spp., strongylids, and Strongyloides spp. but not Ascaris spp., as well as host PSR were significantly elevated. Only for Strongyloides spp., prevalence showed significant changes between months; at both sites, the beginning rainy season with increased precipitation was linked to higher prevalence, suggesting the external life cycle of Strongyloides spp. to benefit from humidity. Higher prevalence, epgs, and PSR within the LBPMS suggest that anthropogenic factors shape host infection risk more than socioecological factors, most likely via higher re-infection rates and chronic stress. Noninvasive measurement of fecal parasite stages is an important tool for assessing transmission dynamics and infection risks for endangered tropical wildlife. Findings will contribute to healthcare management in nature and in anthropogenically managed environments.
Lizenzbestimmungen: CC BY 4.0
Publikationstyp: article
Publikationsstatus: publishedVersion
Erstveröffentlichung: 2018
Die Publikation erscheint in Sammlung(en):Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät

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