Between the years of 1995 and 1997, 41 wolves were transplanted from Canada to Yellowstone National Park, and at the last count the park had a flourishing population of 225 wolves. To date no studies have been conducted on the wolves in this area, and this investigation aims to produce an insight into the parasites that infect the wolves in this area, compared to those present in both North American wolves and throughout the rest of the world.
Between 1994 and 1996 faecal scats were collected from the area and frozen in order to preserve them. In total 18 of these samples were examined using a volumetric dilution method, some of these samples had been collected from wolves that had previously been treated with Praziquantel, an anti-helmintic drug. Of these 18, 27.8% were found to be infected with Taeniia spp and 22.2% with Sarcocystis spp. In addition 11.1% were found to harbour more than one parasite.
In this review, these findings are explained and related to other studies conducted both in North America and Europe, and also possible sylvatic cycles of the main parasites identified.
Wolves, Cestodes, Taeniia spp, Echinococcus granulosus, sylvatic cycles, faecal examination.
The wolf (Canis lupus) is a member of the dog (Canidae) family, the three main species, the Gray wolf, Timber Wolf and the Tundra wolf have been widely studied, although it is estimated that there are over 23 sub species in North America alone. The genus Canis also includes foxes, dogs, coyotes, jackals and dingoes. The helminth fauna of wolves has long been studied by acclaimed researchers such as Freeman et al. 1961; Archer et al. 1986; Holmes et al. 1968; and Samuel et al. 1978. These studies have mainly been conducted in North America and Canada as this is where a large majority of the worldwide wolf population is now concentrated, with a somewhat more fragmented population in Europe. Long ago the range of wolves was much more...