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Preliminary Assessment of Gastrointestinal Parasites in Two Wild Groups of Endangered Moor Macaques (Macaca maura) from Sulawesi

Abstract

Information on parasite biodiversity and abundance can improve our understanding of parasitic infections on endangered wildlife, as parasites can affect host survival and reproduction and may play a crucial role in determining population dynamics. We conducted a noninvasive assessment of gastrointestinal parasites in wild Macaca maura, an Endangered primate endemic to the Indonesian island of Sulawesi and examined the influence of season and sex on parasite richness and prevalence. We collected fecal samples (N = 72) from 18 individuals from two groups. We collected data from September 2014 to February 2015 and from June to November 2016, sampling each individual at least twice. We detected two taxa of nematodes (Trichuris sp. and Strongylida fam. gen.) and eight of protozoa (Giardia duodenalis, Chilomastix mesnili, Entamoeba hartmanni, Entamoeba polecki-like, Entamoeba coli, Iodamoeba bütschlii, Balantoides coli, and Blastocystis sp.). The gastrointestinal parasite richness (2.5 ± 0.4 SD) was below the mean reported for nonthreatened primates, whereas the mean prevalence of infection across all parasites (56.3%) was above the mean. We did not find any statistically significant difference in parasite richness or prevalence between seasons or the sexes. This preliminary assessment addresses the paucity of studies on parasites of wild primates in Southeast Asia and can contribute to our understanding of the newly emerging human–macaque interface at this site.

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Acknowledgments

This work was supported by a Safari Ravenna Zoo’s grant for conservation to MC, and Roma Tre University doctoral funds granted to AA. We would like to mention Pak Dedy Asriady and Pak Abdul Azis Bakry (former and current Head of Administration Section at BBNP) for their assistance and logistical support, and Pak Haro, Pak Pado, Jack Syamsuddin, and Hendra (former and current rangers at BBNP) for their invaluable commitment in the field. We also thank all the students of the Laboratory of Parasitology and Cristina Sagnotti (Hasanuddin University, Indonesia), Lavinia Germani and Elena Amanti (Roma Tre University, Italy), K. T. Hanson (San Diego State University, USA), and Leonardo Sale (University of Turin, Italy) for their help and support in this project. We would also like to thank Amiruddin Bin Dahlan (Hasanuddin University, Indonesia) for his invaluable help in the field and for his friendship, and mama Aco and her family for taking great care of us. We kindly acknowledge Dr. Giuseppe Donati (Oxford Brookes University, UK) and Dr. Emiliano Mancini (Sapienza University of Rome, Italy) for their comments on earlier versions of this manuscript. Finally, we thank the editor-in-chief Dr. Joanna Setchell and two anonymous reviewers, whose comments greatly improved the manuscript.

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AA and MC originally formulated the idea. CDL, IW and FB developed methodology. AA conducted fieldwork. AA, CDL and IW performed morphological analyses. AA and MC wrote the manuscript. EPR, GC and PON provided substantial editorial advice.

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Correspondence to Alessandro Albani.

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Handling Editor: Joanna M. Setchell

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Albani, A., De Liberato, C., Wahid, I. et al. Preliminary Assessment of Gastrointestinal Parasites in Two Wild Groups of Endangered Moor Macaques (Macaca maura) from Sulawesi. Int J Primatol 40, 671–686 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10764-019-00114-w

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Keywords

  • Helminths
  • Noninvasive assessment
  • Protozoans
  • Sulawesi macaques