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Ecología en Bolivia

On-line version ISSN 2075-5023


BELTRAN-SAAVEDRA, Lucio Fabián et al. Health assessment of free-ranging vicuna of the National Integrated Management Natural Area Apolobamba, Bolivia. Ecología en Bolivia [online]. 2011, vol.46, n.1, pp. 14-27. ISSN 2075-5023.

Within the National Integrated Management Natural Area (ANMI) Apolobamba, vicuñas share their habitat with domestic species including alpacas and sheep. The aim of this study was to evaluate the health status of free-ranging vicuñas in contact with livestock in the ANMI Apolobamba. Between October and December 2006, 36 vicuñas were sampled and complete blood count (CBC), sero-exposition to Brucella spp. and foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), and the presence of parasites (internal and external) were evaluated. Total protein levels show significant differences (P<0.05) between young and adult vicuñas, while erythrocytes counts were significantly inferior in adult females compared to young vicuñas. None of the evaluated vicuñas showed exposition to Brucella spp., FMD or hemoparasites. All animals presented endoparasites, particularly coccidia (100%) (predominantly Eimeria punoensis and E. alpacae), nematodes (87.5%), and cestodes (3.1%). Mixed infections were observed in 87% of the animals and Moniezia benedeni was detected in one young male. Ectoparasites and scabies lesions were f ound in 30.6% of the evaluated vicuñas including Microthoracius mazzai (5.6%), M. minor (2.8%), acari Amblyomma parvitarsum (16.7%), and Sarcoptes scabieivar. aucheniae (5.6%). No ectoparasitic mixed infestations were observed. The finding of the cestode M. benedeni in a free-ranging vicuña must be studied in greater detail to establish possible spill-over from sheep including the sanitary risk for the vicuñas.

Keywords : Brucella spp.; Foot-and-mouth disease; Free-ranging; Parasites; Vicugna vicugna.

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