Urban Ecosystems

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 1–10 | Cite as

A comparative study between enteric parasites of Coyotes in a protected and suburban habitat

  • M.M. GrigioneEmail author
  • P. Burman
  • S. Clavio
  • S.J. Harper
  • D.L. Manning
  • R.J. Sarno


Coyotes (Canis latrans) have inhabited Florida (USA) since the 1960s and are currently found throughout the state. Our objective was to obtain information on enteric parasites of coyotes from two different habitats. Fresh coyote fecal samples were collected from protected and suburban habitats in Pinellas County, Florida, USA (27o54′ N, 82o41′W) from May 2005 to March 2007. A standard fecal flotation examination and formalin-ethyl acetate sedimentation protocol were utilized on fecal samples from both habitats. Five newly documented coyote parasites were documented: one cestode (Hymenolepis spp.), one nematode (Ascaris spp.), and three protozoa (Balantidium coli, Blastocystis spp., and Entamoeba histolytica). Nine hitherto unreported parasites for FL coyotes were also discovered: two cestodes (Diphyllobothrium latum and Dipylidium caninum), two nematodes (Toxocara canis and Uncinaria stenocephala), one trematode (Paragonimus spp.), and four protozoa (Cryptosporidium spp., Giardia canis, Cystoisospora spp., and Sarcocystis cruzi). The protected area supported significantly more undocumented (i.e., newly identified) parasites for FL coyotes, and Protozoa as compared to the suburban area. Florida coyotes are likely more susceptible to infection by novel parasites because of their rapid range expansion and lack of acquired immunity. In addition, rapid habitat loss and urbanization in Florida may increase the probability of disease transmission between wild and domestic canids. We suggest preventative measures that may lower the risk of parasitic infection and promote co-existence with coyotes in urban landscapes.


Canis latrans Carnivores Coyotes Florida Parasites Urban Ecology 



We would like to thank Drs. Ricardo Izurieta for critical review of this manuscript. We thank Jay Jones for his assistance in the field, and Catherine Hughes and Michelle Dachsteiner for their assistance in the lab. We express appreciation to Dr. Bruce Rinker and the staff at Brooker Creek Preserve for providing access to the preserve, for the use of an ATV, and for being an integral part of this study. We are thankful for the assistance of Pinellas County Animal Control, specifically, Dr. Kenny Mitchell, Dr. Welch Agnew, and Richard Stahl. We are grateful to Pinellas County for funding this research.


  1. Ameel DJ (1955) Parasites of the coyote Canis latrans Say, in Kansas. J Parasitol 41:325CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arjo WM, Gese EM, Bromley C, Kozlowski A, Williams ES (2003) Serologic survey for diseases in free- ranging coyotes (Canis latrans) from two ecologically distinct areas of Utah. J Wildl Dis 39:449–455PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Arther RG, Post DG (1977) Coccidia of coyotes in Eastern Colorado. J Wildl Dis 13:97–100PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Belden LK, Kiesecker JM (2005) Glucocorticosteroid hormone treatment of larval treefrogs increases infection by Alaria sp. trematode cercariae. J Parasitol 91:686–688PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brown HW (1975) Basic Clinical Parasitology (4th Edition). Appleton Century Crofts, New York, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  6. Butler JM, Grundmann AW (1954) The intestinal helminths of the Coyote Canis latrans Say, in Utah. J Parasitol 40:440–443PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chessbrough M (1987) Medical Laboratory Manual for Tropical Countries: Vol. 1 (2nd Edition). Cambridge University Press, New York, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  8. Conder GA, Loveless RM (1978) Parasites of the coyote (Canis latrans) in Central Utah. J Wildl Dis 14:247–249PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Conti JA (1984) Helminths of foxes and coyotes in Florida. Proc Helminthol Soc WA 51:365–367Google Scholar
  10. Cummings CA, Kocan AA, Barker RW, Dubey JP (2000) Muscular sarcocystosis in coyotes from Oklahoma. J Wildl Dis 36:761–763PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dubey JP, Speer CA, Fayer DR (1989) Sarcocystosis of animals and man. CRC Press, Inc., Boca Raton, FloridaGoogle Scholar
  12. Dunbar M, Giordano M (2003) Abundance and condition indices of coyotes on Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge, Oregon. W North Amer Nat 62(3):341–347Google Scholar
  13. Erickson AB (1944) Helminths of Minnesota canidae in relation to food habits, and a host list and key to the species reported from North America. Am Midl Nat 32:358–372CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fayer R (2004) Cryptosporidium: a water-borne zoonotic parasite. Vet Parasitol 126(1–2):37–56PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Fayer R, Johnson AJ (1975) Sarcocystis fusiformis infection in the coyote (Canis latrans). J Infect Dis 131:189–192PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Foster GW, Main MB, Kinsella JM, Dixon LM, Terrell SP, Forrester DJ (2003) Parasitic helminths and arthropods of coyotes (Canis latrans) from Florida, U.S.A. Comp Parasitol 70:162–166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gillespie TR, Greiner EC, Chapman CA (2005) Gastrointestinal parasites of the colobus monkeys of Uganda. J Parasitol 91:569–573PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gompper ME, Goodman RM, Kays RW, Ray JC, Fiorello CV, Wade SE (2003) A survey of the parasites of coyotes (Canis latrans) in New York based on fecal analysis. J Wildl Dis 39:712–717PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Grigione MM, Manning D, Clavio S, Burman P, Harper S, Sarno R (2011) Diet of Florida coyotes in a protected wildland and suburban habitat. Urb Ecosyst 14:655–663CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Grinder M, Krausman PR (2001) Morbidity – mortality factors and survival of an urban coyote population in Arizona. J Wildl Dis 37:312–317PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Holmes JC, Podesta R (1968) The helminths of wolves and coyotes from the forested regions of Alberta. Can J Zool 46:1193–1204CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Holzman S, Conroy MJ, Davidson WR (1992) Diseases, parasites and survival of coyotes in South-Central Georgia. J Wildl Dis 28:572–580PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lindsay DS, Dubey JP, Blagburn BL (1997) Biology of Isospora spp. from humans, nonhuman primates, and domestic animals. Clin Microbiol Rev 10:19–34PubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Maehr DS, McBride RT, Mullahey JJ (1996) Status of coyotes in South Florida. FL Field Nat 24:101–107Google Scholar
  25. Main MB, Walsh PB, Portier KM, Coats SF (1999) Monitoring the extending range of coyotes in Florida: Results of the 1997–98 Statewide Scent Station Survey. FL Field Nat 27:150–162Google Scholar
  26. Main MB, Coats SF, Allen GM (2000) Coyote distribution in Florida extends southward. FL Field Nat 28:201–203Google Scholar
  27. Marzluff JM, Bowman R, Donnelly R (2001) A historical perspective on urban bird research: trends, terms, and approaches. In: Marzluff JM, Bowman R, Donnelly R (eds) Avian ecology and conservation in an urbanizing world. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Norwell, Massachusetts, pp 2–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Matsuo K, Kamiya H (2005) Modified sugar centrifugal flotation technique for recovering Echinococcus multilocularis eggs from soil. J Parasitol 91:208–209PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Olsen OW (1974) Animal Parasites: Their Life Cycles and Ecology (3rd Edition). University Park Press, Baltimore, MarylandGoogle Scholar
  30. Pence DB, Meinzer WP (1979) Helminth parasitism in the coyote, Canis latrans, from the Rolling Plains of Texas. Int J Parasitol 9:339–344CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Pence DB, Knowlton FF, Windberg LA (1988) Transmission of Ancylostoma caninum and Alaria marcianae in coyotes (Canis latrans). J Wildl Dis 26:560–563CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Price DL (1994) Procedure Manual for the Diagnosis of Intestinal Parasites. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FloridaGoogle Scholar
  33. Radomski AA (1989) Host-parasite relationships of helminths in a coyote population from southern Texas with particular reference to the dog hookworm. M.S. Thesis. Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TexasGoogle Scholar
  34. Rao CR (1972) Linear Statistical Inference and Its Applications. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  35. Rubel D, Wisnivesky C (2005) Magnitude and distribution of canine fecal contamination and helminth eggs in two areas of different urban structure, Greater Buenos Aires, Argentina. Vet Parasitol 133:339–347PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Santin M, Ludwig K, Fayer R, Trout JM (2003) First report of Giardia in coyotes (Canis latrans). J Eukary Microbiol 50:709CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Seesee FM, Sterner MC, Worley DE (1983) Helminths of the coyote (Canis latrans Say) in Montana. J Wildl Dis 19:54–55PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Thornton JE, Bell RR, Reardon MJ (1974) Internal parasites of coyotes in Southern Texas. J Wildl Dis 10:232–236PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Traub RJ, Roberston ID, Irwin PJ, Mencke N, Thompson A (2005) Canine gastrointestinal parasitic zoonoses in India. Trends Parasitol 21:42–48PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. U.S. CENSUS BUREAU (USCB) (2010)
  41. Wooding JB, Hardisky TS (1990) Coyote distribution in Florida. FL Field Nat 18:12–14Google Scholar
  42. Wooding JB, Hill EP, Sumner PR (1984) Coyote food habits in Mississippi and Alabama. Proc Ann Conf Southeast Assoc Fish Wildl Agencies 38:182–188Google Scholar
  43. Zaman V (1984) Atlas of Medical Parasitology (2nd Edition). ADIS Health Science Press, SingaporeGoogle Scholar
  44. Zierdt C (1991) Blastocystis hominis - past and future. Clin Microbiol Rev 4:61–79PubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. Zierdt C, Rude W, Bull B (1967) Protozoan characteristics of Blastocystis hominis. Amer J Clin Pathol 48:495–501Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • M.M. Grigione
    • 1
    Email author
  • P. Burman
    • 2
  • S. Clavio
    • 3
  • S.J. Harper
    • 4
  • D.L. Manning
    • 5
  • R.J. Sarno
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of BiologyPace UniversityPleasantvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of StatisticsUniversity of California-DavisDavisUSA
  3. 3.Department of Environmental Science and PolicyUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA
  4. 4.Pinellas Co. Parks & Conservation ResourcesLargoUSA
  5. 5.Department of Env Science and PolicyUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA
  6. 6.Departmentt of BiologyHofstra UniversityHempsteadUSA

Personalised recommendations