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Madagascar Conservation & Development

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Gastrointestinal parasite infection of the Gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) in the littoral forest of Mandena, Madagascar: Effects of forest fragmentation and degradation

BM Raharivololona, JU Ganzhorn

Abstract


Faecal material from 169 individuals of Microcebus murinus living in five littoral forest fragments was analyzed for gastrointestinal parasites. The fragments differed in size and forest quality. Gastrointestinal parasite infection of M. murinus was characterised using parasite species richness, the prevalence of parasites, and the intensity of infection expressed as the number of parasite eggs, larvae and cysts per gram of faeces. For this, a modification of the McMaster flotation egg counting technique was applied to analyze egg shedding. We recorded nine gastrointestinal parasite species in faecal samples of Microcebus murinus. In good quality forest lemurs from a smaller fragment had higher prevalences and intensities of infection of gastrointestinal nematodes and protozoans than animals from a larger forest fragment. In large forests, excretion of eggs from Ascarididae and tapeworms was higher in a degraded forest fragment than in a good quality forest fragment. This situation was reversed in small forest fragments with fewer eggs of Suburula nematodes and protozoans shed by lemurs in the degraded fragment than by lemurs from the good quality fragment. Our analyses are hampered by the fact that we had only one forest fragment per type of treatment. Keeping this limitation in mind, the results are consistent with other studies and indicate that forest degradation and fragmentation have marked effects on
the level of parasitism of Madagascar’s lemurs.



http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/mcd.v4i2.48650
AJOL African Journals Online