Sarcoptes mange (Sarcoptes scabiei) increases diurnal activity of bare-nosed wombats (Vombatus ursinus) in an agricultural riparian environment
Sarcoptes mange is an important disease that affects the health, mobility and longevity of bare-nosed wombats (Vombatus ursinus) in Australia. We measured the activity patterns of wombats infected with varying levels of mange in an agricultural riparian environment using motion-sensing cameras. Over a 10 month period we observed a greater increase in nocturnal activity of mange-free wombats than those with mange on six or more body sections. The percentage of mange-infected wombats was greater during the day, but in the 6h after midnight, wombats were detected with fewer mange-infected segments. Air temperature at the time of wombat detections was generally higher for individuals with mange than those without mange. Our results show that diurnal activity of wombats is likely to increase with higher levels of infection by sarcoptes mange. Increased diurnal activity is likely to present serious problems for the persistence of sustainable populations of wild wombats.
KeywordsSarcoptes scabiei Mange Wombat Parasites
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