Investigation of helminth load in grazing mammals of Gashaka Gumti National Park, Nigeria (a case study of filing a range)
AbstractThis study investigated the helminthic load in grazing mammals of Gashaka Gumti National Park, focusing on the Filinga Range of the Park where both grazing livestock and grazing wild ungulates can be found interacting. Faecal samples of different ungulates were collected from different locations in both dry and rainy seasons of 2010. A total of eleven (11) samples were collected for the study: eight (8) samples during the dry season and three (3) samples during the rainy season. The samples were examined qualitatively by sedimentation and floatation method and
quantitatively by using modified McMaster techniques. Laboratory investigation was conducted at the Department of Animal science in University of Uyo, Uyo. Findings from the study revealed the presence of eggs of Strongyloides, Nematodirus, Trichuris, Monezia, Paramphistomum and Trichostrongylus in both grazing livestock and grazing wild ungulates. These parasites affect both the grazing livestock and wild ungulates, implying that they would have been transferred from either the wild ungulates to the livestock or vice versa and will equally be spreading as these animals continue to move from the Filinga range to other ranges. The findings showed that the helminth burden was high in the rainy season with a load of 2,700 eggs per gram than in the dry season that had
1,050 eggs per gram. The study has provided baseline information on the parasite burden in the grazing mammals of Gashaka Gumti National Park; which is very essential in designing appropriate strategies for eradication of
helminths, and effective conservation of healthy populations of ungulates in the area. Maintenance of healthy herds of ungulates and livestock will go a long way in mitigating conflicts between Protected Area Management and livestock grazers because the pastoralists would only tend to rely more on resources in the park when their existing livelihood is destroyed by diseases.