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Pneumostrongylus tenuis in Deer in Minnesota and Implications for Moose

Patrick D. Karns
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 31, No. 2 (Apr., 1967), pp. 299-303
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
DOI: 10.2307/3798320
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3798320
Page Count: 5
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Pneumostrongylus tenuis in Deer in Minnesota and Implications for Moose
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Abstract

Heads of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) were collected from hunters in four areas of Minnesota and inspected for the presence of the roundworm Pneumostrongylus tenuis Dougherty. Adult worms were found in 69 (49 percent) of the 140 heads examined. There was a significantly higher rate of infection in central Minnesota, where there are more than 30 deer per square mile, than in northern Minnesota where deer are fewer, indicating that the occurrence of this parasite is density dependent. Mean rate of infection for the central area was 68 percent and for the northern area, 39 percent. All deer over 4½ years of age were infected. P. tenuis is the etiological agent of a neurological disease in moose (Alces alces) and it is likely that it was responsible for the major population decline of moose in the 1920's and 1930's. It appears from these findings that, in areas managed primarily for moose, consideration should be given to keeping deer at a minimum population level.

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