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1 April 2014 HEALTH EVALUATION OF FREE-RANGING EASTERN BETTONGS (BETTONGIA GAIMARDI) DURING TRANSLOCATION FOR REINTRODUCTION IN AUSTRALIA
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Abstract
Sixty (19 male, 41 female) free-ranging adult eastern bettongs (Bettongia gaimardi) were captured in Tasmania and translocated to the Australian Capital Territory between July 2011 and September 2012 for reintroduction into fenced, predator-proof reserves. The bettongs were anesthetized for physical examination and screened for selected diseases during translocation. Reference ranges for hematologic and biochemical parameters were determined. Two bettongs had detectable antibodies to the alphaherpesviruses macropodid herpesvirus 1 and macropodid herpesvirus 2 by serum neutralization assay. A novel gammaherpesvirus was detected, via PCR, from pooled swabs collected from the nasal, conjunctival, and urogenital tract mucosa of four other bettongs. Sera from 59 bettongs were negative for antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii as assessed by both the modified agglutination test and the direct agglutination test (n = 53) or by the modified agglutination test only (n = 6). Rectal swabs from 14 bettongs were submitted for bacterial culture and all were negative for Salmonella serovars. Ectoparasites identified on the bettongs included fleas (Pygiopsylla zethi, Stephanocircus harrisoni), a louse (Paraheterodoxous sp.), mites (Guntheria cf. pertinax, Haemolaelaps hatteni, a suspected protonymph of Thadeua sp., Cytostethum tasmaniense, Cytostethum intermedium, Cytostethum thetis, Cytostethum wallabia), and ticks (Ixodes cornuatus, Ixodes trichosuri, Ixodes tasmani). An intraerythrocytic organism morphologically consistent with a Theileria species was identified in blood smears from four bettongs. These data provide baseline health and disease information for free-ranging eastern bettongs that can be used for the conservation management of both the source and translocated populations.
Wildlife Disease Association 2014
Timothy Portas, Don Fletcher, David Spratt, Andrea Reiss, Peter Holz, Kathryn Stalder, Joanne Devlin, David Taylor, David Dobroszczyk and Adrian D. Manning "HEALTH EVALUATION OF FREE-RANGING EASTERN BETTONGS (BETTONGIA GAIMARDI) DURING TRANSLOCATION FOR REINTRODUCTION IN AUSTRALIA," Journal of Wildlife Diseases 50(2), (1 April 2014). https://doi.org/10.7589/2013-08-202
Received: 5 August 2013; Accepted: 1 October 2013; Published: 1 April 2014
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