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Makouloutou P.,Yamaguchi University | Setsuda A.,Osaka City Government Meat Inspection Center | Yokoyama M.,University of Hyogo | Yokoyama M.,Wildlife Management Research Center | And 9 more authors.
Journal of Helminthology | Year: 2013

The gullet worm (Gongylonema pulchrum) has been recorded from a variety of mammals worldwide, including monkeys and humans. Due to its wide host range, it has been suggested that the worm may be transmitted locally to any mammalian host by chance. To investigate this notion, the ribosomal RNA gene (rDNA), mainly regions of the internal transcribed spacers (ITS) 1 and 2, and a cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) region of mitochondrial DNA of G. pulchrum were characterized using parasites from the following hosts located in Japan: cattle, sika deer, wild boars, Japanese macaques, a feral Reeves's muntjac and captive squirrel monkeys. The rDNA nucleotide sequences of G. pulchrum were generally well conserved regardless of their host origin. However, a few insertions/deletions of nucleotides along with a few base substitutions in the ITS1 and ITS2 regions were observed in G. pulchrum from sika deer, wild boars and Japanese macaques, and those differed from G. pulchrum in cattle, the feral Reeves's muntjac and captive squirrel monkeys. The COI sequences of G. pulchrum were further divided into multiple haplotypes and two groups of haplotypes, i.e. those from a majority of sika deer, wild boars and Japanese macaques and those from cattle and zoo animals, were clearly differentiated. Our findings indicate that domestic and sylvatic transmission cycles of the gullet worm are currently present, at least in Japan. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2012.


PubMed | NPO Shikoku Institute of Natural History, Hikiiwa Park Center, Yamaguchi University and Wildlife Management Research Center
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of helminthology | Year: 2014

Male dimorphism of the subfamily Ostertagiinae (Nematoda: Trichostrongylidae) is a well-known phenomenon, and two or more morphotypes of a single species have previously been described as different species. Two Spiculopteragia spp., S. houdemeri (syn. S. yamashitai) and S. andreevae (syn. Rinadia andreevae) recorded in Asian cervids and wild bovids, are considered to represent major and minor morphs of S. houdemeri, respectively, based solely on their co-occurrence in the same host individual along with monomorphic females. In this study, males of morph houdemeri (=S. houdemeri) and morph andreevae (=S. andreevae) as well as females with three different vulval ornamentations were collected from sika deer (Cervus nippon) and Japanese serows (Capricornis crispus) distributed on the mainland of Japan. Morphologically characterized worms were subjected to molecular genetic analyses based on the internal transcribed spacer region of the ribosomal RNA gene and a partial region of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene of mitochondrial DNA. Of 181 collected sika deer, 177 (97.8%) and 73 (40.3%) deer harboured males of morphs houdemeri and andreevae, respectively. Worm numbers of the former morph were found to range between 1 and 444 per individual, whereas only 1-25 worms per individual were detected for the latter morph. Five out of six serows harboured 47-71 or 2-9 males of morphs houdemeri and andreevae per individual, respectively. Females with one or two vulval flaps were predominant, but there was a substantial presence of flapless females in both host species. All the morphs of male and female adults had an identical genetic background, thus directly confirming the morphological polymorphism of S. houdemeri.


Horimoto T.,University of Tokyo | Maeda K.,Yamaguchi University | Murakami S.,University of Tokyo | Kiso M.,University of Tokyo | And 6 more authors.
Emerging Infectious Diseases | Year: 2011

Although raccoons (Procyon lotor) are susceptible to influenza viruses, highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (H5N1) infection in these animals has not been reported. We performed a serosurvey of apparently healthy feral raccoons in Japan and found specific antibodies to subtype H5N1 viruses. Feral raccoons may pose a risk to farms and public health.


Tsuji T.,Gifu University | Yokoyama M.,Wildlife Management Research Center | Yokoyama M.,University of Hyogo | Asano M.,Gifu University | Suzuki M.,Gifu University
Acta Theriologica | Year: 2013

Effective population control of Japanese wild boar (Sus scrofa leucomystax) requires reliable information about population dynamics. Fertility rate is the fundamental component of reproduction to evaluate population dynamics. However, little is known regarding the fertility rate of Japanese wild boar. The traditional hunting practices make it difficult to obtain pregnant females and calculate the fertility rate by checking fetuses as is performed in other countries. Therefore, we focused on the corpora albicans (CA) as the CA remains in the ovaries of postpartum females after pregnancy. This study aimed to evaluate the utility of CA and estimate the fertility rate of Japanese wild boars using CA. Histological analysis of ovaries enabled us to discriminate type 1 CA, which remains for 1 year after breeding. Type 1 CA is a superior indicator compared with lactation in the non-pregnancy season because it allows verification of postpartum females over a long period. The fertility rate was calculated by the combination of pregnant and postpartum females using fetuses and type 1 CA from April to November. The fertility rate of the females captured after the second pregnancy season was 90.3 % during the pregnancy period and 100 % during the non-pregnancy period. The high fertility rate of adult females suggests that intensive adult female harvesting is needed. Our new method to determine fertility rates contributes to developing a monitoring system to adequately control Japanese wild boar population. © 2012 Mammal Research Institute, Polish Academy of Sciences, Białowieża, Poland.


Sashika M.,Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine | Sashika M.,Gifu University | Abe G.,Wildlife Management Research Center | Matsumoto K.,Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine | Inokuma H.,Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine
Japanese Journal of Infectious Diseases | Year: 2010

Rickettsial infection in feral raccoons (Procyon lotor) in Hokkaido, Japan was analyzed by molecular methods. Genus-specific nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis based on the Rickettsia citrate synthase (gltA) gene showed that 13 of 699 raccoons (1.9%) examined were positive for Rickettsia. Twelve of the 13 partial gltA sequence amplicons were successfully analyzed. The nucleo-tide sequence of one amplicon was identical to both Rickettsia heilongjiangensis and R. japonica, one was identical to R. felis,andtheresttoR. helvetica. This is the first report on the detection of rickettsial agents in peripheral blood of raccoons.


Sashika M.,Gifu University | Sashika M.,Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine | Abe G.,Wildlife Management Research Center | Matsumoto K.,Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine | Inokuma H.,Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine
Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases | Year: 2011

Infection by Anaplasma and Ehrlichia in feral raccoons (Procyon lotor) in Hokkaido, Japan, was examined by molecular methods. A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) screen for Anaplasmataceae, based on 16S rRNA, showed that 38 (5.4%) of 699 raccoons examined were positive. These 38 positive samples were examined for Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Anaplasma bovis, Ehrlichia chaffeensis, and Ehrlichia canis infection by species-specific nested PCR. Nested PCR results indicated that 36 of the 38 samples were positive for A. bovis. All 38 samples were PCR negative for A. phagocytophilum, E. chaffeensis, and E. canis. This is the first report of the detection of A. bovis in the peripheral blood of raccoons. A total of 124 raccoons were infested with ticks, including Ixodes ovatus, Ixodes persulcatus, and Haemaphysalis spp. The rate of A. bovis infection in raccoons infested with Haemaphysalis spp. (46.7%, 7/15) was significantly higher than that in raccoons without Haemaphysalis spp. infestation (3.7%, 4/109, p<0.001). No significant differences were observed in A. bovis infection rates between raccoons infested with I. ovatus or I. persulcatus and those not so infested. A total of four ticks (two males and two nymphs) and one larval pools from four raccoons showed positive for A. bovis-specific nested PCR. This results support the correlation between the A. bovis infection of raccoons and Haemaphysalis infestation. In conclusion, raccoons could be possible reservoir animals for A. bovis, and A. bovis infection in raccoons may be related to infestation with Haemaphysalis spp. © 2011, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.


Seki S.-I.,Japan Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute | Fujiki D.,Wildlife Management Research Center | Sato S.,Japan Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute
Forest Ecology and Management | Year: 2014

The impacts of deer browsing on forest ecosystems, including effects on woodland bird species, are now rapidly being felt in western Japan, and quick assessments regarding the spatial and temporal expansion of deer effects are urgently needed in forest management. We gathered multisite profiles of local bird communities together with information on deer-induced changes in forests' physical structure and evaluated deer effects on bird communities by using an ordination approach. Forty-two survey sites were established in mountainous cool-temperate forests in the Mt. Hyonosen region, western Japan. Bird abundance at each site was estimated in June 2012 by using the conventional fixed-radius point count method. Deer-induced changes in forests' physical structure were evaluated by using the shrub-layer decline rank (SDR; ranked D0-D4 based on visual categorization of the shrub-layer vegetation cover). The most recent SDR scores varied from D0 to D4, and by considering previously published scores (5-6. years previously), the intensity of deer effects on vegetation during the intervening period were classified as continuously low at 18 sites, increasing at 11 sites, and high at 13 sites. In the nonmetric multidimensional scaling plot of bird community dissimilarity, sites with lower and higher SDR scores were plotted in a mutually exclusive way. SDR scores explained 11.6% of the among-site differences in bird communities over the effects of various microhabitat differences in a partial canonical correspondence analysis. Another advantage of using SDR scores to assess multisite profiles of local bird communities is that the local indicator species for a forest with a lower impact of deer browsing can be roughly estimated without requiring well-defined control data. In the study region, six potential indicator bird species were identified as being closely associated with low-SDR sites based on an indicator species analysis. SDR-guided management of deer density is being considered in western Japan due to its easy application, even at a regional scale. An SDR-guided management strategy might also be preferable for maintaining local bird communities because it would be possible to infer resulting changes in native bird communities using SDR scores. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


Fujiki D.,University of Hyogo | Fujiki D.,Wildlife Management Research Center | Kishimoto Y.,Wildlife Management Research Center | Sakata H.,University of Hyogo | Sakata H.,Wildlife Management Research Center
Japanese Journal of Conservation Ecology | Year: 2011

We investigated the current distribution of the sika deer population and its impact on vegetation around Mt. Hyonosen, Hyogo Prefecture. Based on a vegetation survey that was conducted at a regional scale, we estimated that understory vegetation in deciduous hardwood forests has declined significantly over mountain ranges on the east- and south-sides of Mt. Hyonosen. A pellet group count survey indicated that there has been an overabundance of sika deer since 1999 in these areas. It is hypothesized that a neighboring population of sika deer with high density expanded into these mountain ranges. Moreover, recent decreases in snow in this region could have promoted population expansion. Vegetation around the peak has not declined yet, but deer grazing has occurred seasonally due to migratory individuals traveling from the foot of the mountain. Signs of deer grazing were observed on 230 plant species, including 13 red-listed species, on Mt. Hyonosen. Moreover, we found that a community of red-listed species had declined because of deer grazing. We note that serious declines in vegetation could expand to the peak of Mt. Hyonosen if management of the deer population is not rapidly introduced.


Fujiki D.,University of Hyogo | Fujiki D.,Wildlife Management Research Center | Kishimoto Y.,Wildlife Management Research Center | Sakata H.,University of Hyogo | Sakata H.,Wildlife Management Research Center
Journal of Forest Research | Year: 2010

For 345 stands of deciduous hardwood forest in Hyogo Prefecture, Western Japan, we assessed the decline of shrub-layer vegetation due to sika deer in each stand by using the shrub-layer decline rank (SDR), determined by combining the shrub-layer vegetation cover and the presence of signs of grazing by sika deer in a stand. Since there was a geographical correlation between SDR and sighting per unit effort (SPUE), which is an index of the relative density of sika deer, it appeared that decline of shrub-layer vegetation in a stand can be accurately evaluated by SDR. There were correlations between SDR and several variables that indicate the status of components in forests (presence of saplings of tall trees, occurrence of bark stripping of tall trees, proportion of bark-stripped stems of Clethra barvinervis, decline of subtree-layer vegetation by bark stripping, cover of litter on the ground, and area of soil surface erosion). These results indicate that the status of these components changes with decline of shrub-layer vegetation by sika deer grazing. It is thought that such synchronizations are caused by sika deer grazing or a direct or indirect effect by decline of shrub-layer vegetation due to sika deer. Therefore, it is reasonable to assess decline in physical structure due to sika deer for stands of deciduous hardwood forests according to SDR. © 2009 The Japanese Forest Society and Springer.


Kishimoto Y.,Wildlife Management Research Center | Fujiki D.,Wildlife Management Research Center | Fujiki D.,University of Hyogo | Sakata H.,Wildlife Management Research Center | Sakata H.,University of Hyogo
Journal of Forest Research | Year: 2010

We investigated the validity and efficiency of a survey using sight per unit effort (SPUE) of sika deer and shrub-layer decline rank (SDR), which is an index of decline in the physical structure of a whole stand caused by sika deer, based on data collected on a broad scale. This survey was to be used to manage a deer population in order to conserve a forest ecosystem. First, we evaluated the spatial and temporal scales of deer density that are most appropriate for predicting decline in the status of understory vegetation. The model with SPUE calculated in a buffer with a radius of 4.5 km using data for the past 4 years was found to be the best. We showed that our knowledge of the relationship between deer density and status of shrub-layer vegetation is improved by identifying the most suitable spatial and temporal scales of SPUE for predicting SDR. Next, we quantified the effects of SPUE and environmental components on SDR in stands. We found that SPUE had the greatest effect on SDR among all explanatory variables. Moreover, the area under the curve (AUC) was large in a model that only used SPUE (AUC = 0.718). This result suggests that the variation in SDR among stands was explained well by SPUE regardless of differences in the forest environment. Furthermore, we identified the effective values of SPUE for preventing shrub-layer vegetation from declining through deer density control. We conclude that a management system based on SPUE and SDR is a simple and valid method for managing deer populations in order to conserve forest ecosystems. © 2010 The Japanese Forest Society and Springer.

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