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Monday, April 9 • 3:45pm - 4:00pm
URBAN/EXURBAN LANDSCAPE ECOLOGY: Small Mites, Big City: Using Large-scale Wildlife Camera Monitoring to Examine the Spatio-Temporal Dynamics of Sarcoptic Mange in Chicago’s Urban Coyotes

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AUTHORS: Maureen H. Murray*, Urban Wildlife Institute and Davee Center for Endocrinology and Epidemiology, Lincoln Park Zoo; Mason Fidino, Travis Gallo, Liza Lehrer, Seth Magle – Urban Wildlife Institute, Lincoln Park Zoo.

ABSTRACT: Landscape composition and configuration can influence the prevalence of wildlife disease through their effects on host movement and abundance. For example, urbanization can influence host abundance and community structure by fragmenting habitat patches, which could simultaneously limit host movement and impact habitat quality. The coyote (Canis latrans) is abundant in cities across North America and a host for the mite Sarcoptes scabiei, a common parasite of canids that causes lesions and hair loss known as sarcoptic mange. Because S. scabiei causes visible signs, wildlife cameras can be used to monitor its occurrence non-invasively across large spatial and temporal scales. We used seven years of camera trapping data from the Chicago urban wildlife biodiversity monitoring program to test whether the occurrence of sarcoptic mange increases 1) along an urban gradient, 2) during the fall when young disperse, and 3) in patches where the occurrence of canid hosts (i.e. coyotes, foxes, and domestic dogs) is higher. We deployed camera traps (n = 120) along three 50 km transects radiating out from Chicago’s urban center and cameras were active seasonally. From photographs, we recorded whether a canid was present and whether hair loss or lesions consistent with sarcoptic mange were visible. We then used a mixed modeling framework to quantify the influence of urban cover, season, canid occurrences, and year on the proportion of coyote occurrences with signs of mange and included site as a random effect. We found high variation in the occurrence of mange across sites and higher occurrence in the fall and winter. Our results will help clarify the role of landscape factors that influence parasite prevalence in urban wildlife populations. These advances can help mitigate health risks for urban wildlife and the transmission of parasites between wildlife, pets, and people.

Monday April 9, 2018 3:45pm - 4:00pm CDT
Water Tower Parlor