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1 January 2019 HEALTH STATUS OF REINTRODUCED WOOD BISON (BISON BISON ATHABASCAE): ASSESSING THE CONSERVATION VALUE OF AN ISOLATED POPULATION IN NORTHWESTERN CANADA
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Abstract

A central goal for reintroduced populations of threatened wood bison (Bison bison athabascae) is to maintain them free of diseases of concern, particularly bovine tuberculosis (caused by Mycobacterium bovis) and brucellosis (caused by Brucella abortus). A wood bison population in southwestern Yukon, Canada was reintroduced into the wild in 1988, but no health assessment has been done since then. To provide an initial assessment of the health status and, hence, the conservation value of this population, we serologically tested 31 wood bison (approximately 3% of the population) for pathogens of interest and obtained histopathology results for select tissues. We found no evidence of exposure to M. bovis or Brucella spp., but antibodies were present to bovine parainfluenza virus 3, bovine coronavirus, Leptospira interrogans, and Neospora caninum, with seroprevalences of 87, 7, 61, and 7% of the tested animals, respectively. Reintroduced wood bison in southwestern Yukon may be of high value for wood bison recovery because it is a large and geographically isolated population with no bacteriologic, histopathologic, or serologic evidence of exposure to Brucella spp. or M. bovis.

© Wildlife Disease Association 2019
N. Jane Harms, Thomas S. Jung, Cassandra L. Andrew, Om P. Surujballi, Mary VanderKop, Mirjana Savic, and Todd Powell "HEALTH STATUS OF REINTRODUCED WOOD BISON (BISON BISON ATHABASCAE): ASSESSING THE CONSERVATION VALUE OF AN ISOLATED POPULATION IN NORTHWESTERN CANADA," Journal of Wildlife Diseases 55(1), 44-53, (1 January 2019). https://doi.org/10.7589/2017-09-235
Received: 22 September 2017; Accepted: 27 February 2018; Published: 1 January 2019
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