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Selected Publication:

Type of publication: Journal Article
Type of document: Full Paper

Year: 2011

Authors: Painer, J; Kaczensky, P; Ganbaatar, O; Huber, K; Walzer, C

Title: Comparative parasitological examination on sympatric equids in the Great Gobi "B" Strictly Protected Area, Mongolia.

Source: Eur J Wildl Res (57), 2 225-232.

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Huber Nikolaus
Kaczensky Petra
Painer Johanna
Walzer Christian

Vetmed Research Units
Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology

Project(s): Landscape level research for the conservation of Asiatic wild ass in Mongolia

The Przewalski's horse (Equus caballus przewalskii) became extinct in the wild during the 1960s. Based on a successful captive breeding program, Przewalski's horses were reintroduced to the Great Gobi Part "B" strictly protected area (SPA) in SW Mongolia in the late 1990s. The Asiatic wild ass (Equus hemionus hemionus), Przewalski's horse, and sometimes domestic horses live sympatricly in the Gobi B SPA. Previously published data demonstrates that, as a result of their different requirements and utilization of the park's resources, their home-range size and social structure differ. Parasitological examinations in the three equid species show how the factors "home range, social structure, and resource selection" significantly impact parasitic burden. Asiatic wild asses are potentially exposed to a higher risk of parasite re-infection due to their temporal aggregation in very large groups. This study demonstrates a highly significant greater parasite load in the Asiatic wild ass for the majority of parasites evaluated (Dictyocaulus arnfieldi, Trichostrongylus axei, Strongyloides westeri, Parascaris equorum) compared to Przewalski's horses and domestic horses in the same habitat. Domestic horses had higher parasite loads for eggs of strongylids, eggs of anoplocephalidae, and Eimeria leuckarti. The potential risk of cross infection between sympatric living equids is high, as is the cross infection between ruminants and equids. Furthermore, this study reports for the first time the occurrence of lungworms in free-ranging Przewalski's horses. Whereas, Asiatic wild asses and Przewalski's horses seem to cope very well with the sometimes high parasite burden, Mongolian domestic horses manifested typical parasite burden symptoms.

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