Felis rufus (bobcat) populations are declining throughout some of their range in Wisconsin, while expanding in others (Personal Communication, WI DNR)1. Many theories exist as to why this is happening, including the possibility of disease. Our lab wanted to determine the helminth parasite population prevalence and intensity in Wisconsin bobcat and determine if there was a correlation with sex, age or geographic location of these animals. One hundred and fifteen bobcat intestines were collected March 5, 2012 at a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Facility, Madison, WI. These animals were legally harvested by trapping/hunting and the carcasses were made available for scientific use by the WI DNR. Each intestine was analyzed by first washing the digesta through different pore sized screens or sieves, and then observing the retentate for parasites. Parasites were sorted and counted by species and gender and stored in 70% ethanol for further processing. Some parasites were stained or cleared and mounted for species determination. Currently, prevalence and intensity of infection are being determined and correlated with the geographic range, age, and gender of the animals.
Final Report Form, Poster