ESR 21:223-230 (2013)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/esr00527

First parasitological survey of Endangered Bornean elephants Elephas maximus borneensis

Stephanie Hing1,*, Nurzhafarina Othman2,3, Senthilvel K. S. S. Nathan2,4, Mark Fox5, Matthew Fisher6, Benoit Goossens2,3,4

1Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, London, UK
2Organisms and Environment Division, School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK
3Danau Girang Field Centre, Sabah Wildlife Department, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
4Sabah Wildlife Department, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
5The Royal Veterinary College, London, UK
6Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Imperial College London, London, UK

ABSTRACT: Relatively few studies have been carried out on the parasites of free-ranging wild animal species, which has led to a lack of baseline parasitological data. This is a concern because endoparasites can have an important influence on fitness and survival, particularly in small populations of endangered species. This field study is the first parasitological survey of Endangered Bornean elephants Elephas maximus borneensis. Using a special modification of the McMaster method, trematode, cestode and nematode ova were identified in the faeces of wild Bornean elephants in 2 key range areas in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo: the Tabin Wildlife Reserve and the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary. Preliminary comparisons between the sites suggest that prevalence, load and diversity vary between the two, leading to hypotheses on host, parasite and environmental factors which may affect endoparasite infection dynamics in wild Bornean elephants. This study provides an initial catalogue of parasite types in the Bornean elephant and reports on endoparasite prevalence and load, valuable baseline data for future research.


KEY WORDS: Bornean elephant · Endoparasites · Trematode · Cestode · Nematode · Anoplocephala · Fasciola


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Cite this article as: Hing S, Othman N, Nathan SKSS, Fox M, Fisher M, Goossens B (2013) First parasitological survey of Endangered Bornean elephants Elephas maximus borneensis. Endang Species Res 21:223-230. https://doi.org/10.3354/esr00527

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