STATUS AND REVIEW OF THE VECTOR-BORNE NEMATODE SETARIA TUNDRA IN FINNISH CERVIDS

Sauli Laaksonen, Antti Oksanen

Abstract


The filarioid nematode Setaria tundra caused an outbreak of peritonitis in Finnish semi-domesticated reindeer in 2003-2006. Our research group studied the invasion and reservoirs of S. tundra in Finnish cervid populations and this paper provides an overview of that research. The outbreak had detrimental effects on reindeer health and may, in part, explain the observed decline of the population of wild forest reindeer (Rangifer tarandus fennicus). Both range expansion by roe deer, and high summer temperatures that increased vector populations of mosquitoes and gnats and influenced habitat use by reindeer were implicated in the outbreak. We suggest that vector borne parasites will increase in the Arctic owing to the effect of global climate change and have consequences for all cervid populations.

Keywords


Cervid; climate change; Filarioidea; population dynamics; reindeer

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