Symptomatic Raccoon Dogs and Sarcoptic Mange Along an Urban Gradient
We quantitatively evaluated the effects of landscape factors on the distribution of symptomatic raccoon dogs with sarcoptic mange along an urban gradient. We used 246 camera traps (182 traps from April 2005 to December 2006; 64 traps from September 2009 to October 2010) to record the occurrence of asymptomatic and symptomatic raccoon dogs at 21 survey sites along an urban–rural gradient in the Tama Hills area of Tokyo. Each occurrence was explained in terms of the surrounding forest, agricultural, and grassland areas and additional factors (i.e., seasonal variations and survey methods) at various spatial scales using a generalized additive mixed model (GAMM). In our analysis, a 1000-m radius was identified as the important spatial scale for asymptomatic and symptomatic raccoon dog occurrence. The peak of the predicted occurrence probability of asymptomatic raccoon dogs appeared in the intermediate forest landscape as opposed to non-forest and forest landscapes. However, a high occurrence probability of symptomatic raccoon dogs was detected in non-forest and intermediate forest landscapes (i.e., urban and suburban) as opposed to a forest landscape, presumably because of animals occurring at much higher densities in more urbanized areas. Therefore, our results suggest that human-modified landscapes play an important role in the high occurrence of sarcoptic mange in raccoon dogs.
KeywordsCarnivore Epidemiology Landscape ecology Scabies Urban ecology Wildlife disease
We thank the administrative offices of each green area for permitting the field surveys. This study was supported in part by the JSPS Global COE (Centers of Excellence) Program “Global eco-risk Management from Asian Viewpoints,” Joint Research Program C of the Research Institute of Environment and Information Sciences, Yokohama National University, and JSPS KAKENHI [Grant Number 15J08830].
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