RESEARCH PAPER
Health survey on the wolf population in Tuscany, Italy
 
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1
Comando Unità Tutela Forestale Ambientale Agroalimentare Carabinieri
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Dipartimento di Medicina Veterinaria, Strada Provinciale per Casamassima 3, 70010 Valenzano (BA).
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Dipartimento di Scienze Veterinarie, Largo Paolo Braccini 2, 10095 Grugliasco (TO)
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Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Sassari, Sassari, Sardinia, Italy
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Dipartimento di Scienze Veterinarie, Largo Paolo Braccini 2, 10095 Grugliasco (TO)
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Cecilia Ambrogi   

Comando Unità Tutela Forestale Ambientale Agroalimentare Carabinieri
Online publish date: 2019-04-29
Publish date: 2019-06-03
 
Hystrix It. J. Mamm. 2019;30(1):19–23
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ABSTRACT
The objective of our study was to survey the occurence of transmissible agents in wolf (Canis lupus) population living in the northern Apennines. A total of 703 wolf fecal samples were collected in the Appennino Tosco-Emiliano National Park (ATENP) and the Foreste Casentinesi National Park (FCNP) in Tuscany, Italy. Parasitic forms (eggs or oocists) were detected in 74.3% of fecal samples, mainly infested by Trichuroidae (60.4%) and Coccidia (27.3%); heavy Trichuroidea and Coccidia infestation were found in 8.5% and 17.4% of samples (the intensity of infestation measured as EPG >1000, OPG >10000). Taking into consideration the main canine viruses, we evaluated the presence of Parvovirus in feces: 54 specimens from the study area in the ATENP and 71 from the study area in the FCNP were negative by PCR for the detection of Parvovirus. Tissue samples from nine wolves found dead were negative for Canine Distemper Virus (CDV), Canine Coronavirus (CCoV), Canine Adenovirus-1 (CAdV-1) and Canine Adenovirus-2 (CAdV-2). Tissue samples of two dead wolves in the FCNP were positive for Canine Parvovirus (CPV) and the virus was characterized as the antigenic variant 2a. Wild boar is the main component of the wolf’s diet in the study areas and 57 out of 135 serum samples (42.2%), collected from wild boars in the surroundings of the FCNP, yielded positive results for the detection of antibodies against Pseudorabies Virus (PrV). Wolves, especially in mountain areas, share the same habitat with dogs: this suggests how useful dog vaccination is for wolf protection.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
We wish to thank all the staff of RCB Lucca Orecchiella Natural Reserve, especially Michela Adami for her invaluable help in collecting wolf samples and monitoring wolf-howling and reproduction. The project was funded by Comando Unità Tutela Forestale Ambientale Agroalimentare Carabinieri and by Regione Toscana.
We also thank the editor in chief and the anonymous reviewers who greatly contributed to the improvement of the original manuscript.
eISSN:1825-5272
ISSN:0394-1914