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Senales clinicas de infestacion por sarna en el borochi (Chrysocyon brachyurus) en los llanos de Moxos, departamento del Beni, Bolivia.


The maned wolf, Chrysocyon brachyurus (Illiger, 1815), is a large omnivorous canid inhabiting the grasslands and scrub forests of South America (Rodden et al., 2008). Though range countries include Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay (Rodden et al., 2008), their current range is centered in the Cerrado ecoregion of central Brazil, Paraguay and the lowlands of Eastern Bolivia (Queirolo et al., 2011). Due to their large home ranges (25 km to over 80 km) and solitary habits, they are found in low densities throughout their range (Rodden et al., 2008). According to Muir and Emmons (2012), no reliable estimate of the global maned wolf population is known. An estimate from 2005 of 23 600 individuals (Rodden et al., 2008) overestimated the population in Brazil and a revised estimate of the maned wolf population proposes approximately 14 700 animals occurrence in the wild, with the vast majority in Brazil (Muir and Emmons, 2012). Though categorized as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List (Rodden et al., 2008) and listed as a CITES Appendix II species, it is considered "endangered" by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and included by most range countries on their own Red Lists of threatened or endangered species (Queirolo et al., 2011). In Bolivia the maned wolf (local name = borochi) is considered Near Threatened (Chavez, 2009) with an estimated population of at least 1000 individuals (Muir and Emmons, 2012). Found in the departments of Santa Cruz, Beni and La Paz, the species primarily inhabits Cerrado forests and humid savannahs but its range includes the drier parts of Beni and the Pantanal flooded grasslands (Queirolo et al., 2011; Muir and Emmons, 2012).

The IUCN identified four main threats to maned wolves: habitat reduction, road mortality, problems associated with domestic dogs, and hunting for folkloric medicine (Rodden et al., 2008), and Muir and Emmons (2012) add the threats of fire and climate change to the population in Bolivia. The threat from domestic dogs exists in the form of competition for food resource, aggression and disease transmission (Rodden et al., 2008) with disease considered the main threat from domestic dogs in Bolivia (Muir and Emmons, 2012).

The diversity and apparent increase in diseases in wildlife have raised concerns that pathogens may pose a substantial threat to biodiversity; disease risks from domestic animals are now a recognized threat to the long-term conservation of free-ranging wildlife (Smith et al., 2009). Expanding human populations and habitat fragmentation are increasing the proximity of wildlife to humans and their domestic animals, also increasing the likeli hood of disease spillover (Deem and Emmons, 2005). For a variety of wild carnivore species, domestic dogs in particular have been the suspected and proven source of diseases and pathogens (Fiorello et al., 2004). There have been several reports of exposure to an infection with disease agents in various species of wild canids in Latin America (Deem et al., 2002; Deem and Emmons, 2005), as well as studies of disease prevalence in domestic carnivores (Fiorello et al., 2004). In Bolivia, the exposure to infectious and parasitic disease agents has been reported for free-ranging maned wolves in the Noel Kempff Mercado National Park (Deem and Emmons, 2005). To the authors knowledge there have been no reports of disease in maned wolves outside of national parks. This field report documents the sighting of a free-ranging maned wolf in the Beni department of Bolivia with clinical signs suggestive of sarcoptic mange-like infestation.

Sarcoptic mange, is a highly contagious and pruritic ectoparasitic disease of domestic and free-ranging canids worldwide (Deem et al., 2002). The diseases caused by Sarcoptes scabiei mites and transmission is possible between different canid species (Deem et al., 2002). Mites at any life stage can be transmitted by direct and indirect contact as they can persist in the environment for hours to weeks (Fiorello et al., 2004). Sarcoptic mange is usually endemic in wild canid populations but can occasionally cause epidemics. Epidemics are density dependent and may occur when there are changes in virulence or pathogenicity in existing mite populations (Pence et al., 1983). The mange is a chronic debilitating disease, which is not a direct cause of death. Epidemics may have no effect at population level (Pence et al., 1983).

Fiorello et al. (2004) tested domestic canines living in three towns bordering the Madidi National Park in Bolivia for antibodies of S. scabiei and over half of the dogs tested were positive. There have also been case reports of S. scabiei in free-ranging pampas foxes (Lycalopex gymnocercus) in the Gran Chaco area of Bolivia (Deem et al., 2002).

On July 22th 2011, LG, co-author, found a considerably underweight, free-ranging maned wolf with clinical signs suggestive of a sarcoptic mange-like infestation (Fig. 1) on the Victoria cattle ranch of Cercado Province (13[degree] 37' S, 65[degrees] 07' W, 139 m asl) in the north central area of the Beni department. The maned wolf was walking slowly in an open grassland area, and after a visual contact with LG, it went into a dense shrubland area. The maned wolf did not run at any point and seemed very weak.


The prevalence of mange within the maned wolf population in the Beni department of Bolivia is unknown, neither are the domestic or wild canid species that act as the source of this mange. Maned wolves occur in low densities, their large home ranges are stable, breeding pairs have limited contact and overlap, and movement of floater individuals occurs between territories (Rodden et al., 2008; Muir and Emmons, 2012). This implies that intraspecies transmission would be unlikely. Due to the high frequency of S. scabiei in domestic dog populations found by Fiorello et al. (2004), though in a neighbor department of Bolivia, it is possible that domestic dogs are responsible for sarcoptic mange-like transmission to freeranging maned wolves in the Beni department; however, it is necessary to obtain samples to identify the mite species. In fact, making a confirmed parasitological diagnosis of mange in a wild maned wolf would be a very important record, considering that the first such record in Brazil was not formally published.

Sarcoptic mange epidemics can cause significant population declines, even local extirpation, in wildlife, especially in species that are already threatened by other factors, such as habitat loss or overexploitation (Fisher et al., 2009). Moreover severe cases of sarcoptic mange have resulted in significant decreases in fat deposits and overall body weight and in increased mortality rate of infested individuals (Pence et al., 1983; Deem and Emmons, 2005). However, this had no effect on overall mortality in populations of the coyote, Canis latrans (Pence et al., 1983).

The photographed individual appears to have a severe infestation and is considerably underweight. In species with limited wild individuals and low density populations, the constant threat of transmission of sarcoptic mange from domestic dogs may well have detrimental effects on the population (Deem and Emmons, 2005). Further studies are needed to confirm the presence of Acari species infestations on maned wolves in the study area and other localities, and to examine their host-parasite interactions. The parallel study of Acari disease dynamics within domestic dogs would allow estimation of epidemics risks and suggest possible preventive sanitary strategies in dogs for the management and conservation of wild maned wolves.

Acknowledgements. We thank Erika Alandia, Louise H. Emmons, Rosa Martinez Valverde, Marcela Orozco, Javier Pereira, Jesus Recuero Gil, and Robert Wallace for their comments and suggestions. Thanks also to Steven Briley for his help with the translation of the manuscript. The manuscript was greatly improved by comments and suggestions from Marcela Lareschi and two anonymous reviewers. IB is Research Fellow of CONICET.


CHAVEZ V. 2009.Chrysocyon brachyurus. Pp. 25-90, in: Libro rojo de la fauna silvestre de vertebrados de Bolivia (Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Agua, ed.). La Paz, Bolivia.

DEEM SL, AJ NOSS, RL CUELLAR, R VILLARROEL, MMJ LINN, and DJ FORRESTER. 2002. Sarcoptic mange in free-ranging pampas foxes in the Gran Chaco, Bolivia. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 38:625-628.

DEEM SL and LH EMMONS. 2005. Exposure of freeranging maned wolves (Chrysocyon brachyurus) to infectious and parasitic disease agents in the Noel Kempff Mercado National Park, Bolivia. Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 35:192-197.

FIORELLO CV, SL DEEM, ME GOMPPER, and EJ DUBOVI. 2004. Seroprevalence of pathogens in domestic carnivores on the border of Madidi National Park, Bolivia. Animal Conservation 7:45-54.

MUIR MJ and LH EMMONS. 2012. Conservation. Pp 91115, in: The maned wolves of Noel Kempff Mercado National Park (LH Emmons, ed.). Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, Washington D.C.

PENCE DB, LA WINDBERG, BC PENCE, and R SPROWLS. 1983. The epizootiology and pathology of sarcoptic mange in coyotes, Canis latrans, from South Texas. Journal of Parasitology 69:1100-1115.

QUEIROLO D, JR MOREIRA, A SOLER, LH EMMONS, FHG RODRIGUES, AA PAUTASSO, JL CARTES, and V SALVATORI. 2011. Historical and current range of the Near Threatened maned wolf Chrysocyon brachyurus in South America. Oryx 45:296-303.

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SMITH KF, K ACEVEDO-WHITEHOUSE, and AB PEDERSEN. 2009. The role of infectious diseases in biological conservation. Animal Conservation 12:1-12.

Jose A. Diaz Luque (1), Helen Muller (2), Lyliam Gonzalez (3), and Igor Berkunsky (1,4)

(1) Proyecto de Conservacion de la Paraba Barba Azul, World Parrot Trust, Casilla 101, Trinidad, Beni, Bolivia [correspondence: <>].

(2) 7 Cambridge, 2 Ryan Road, Rosebank, Cape Town, South Africa.

(3) Paraiso Travel, Calle 6 de Agosto # 138, Trinidad, Beni, Bolivia.

(4) Grupo Ecologia Matematica, Instituto Multidisciplinario sobre Ecosistemas y Desarrollo Sustentable, Universidad Nacional del Centro de la Provincia de Buenos Aires, Campus Universitario, Paraje Arroyo Seco, B7000GHG Tandil, Argentina.
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Title Annotation:texto en ingles
Author:Diaz Luque, Jose A.; Muller, Helen; Gonzalez, Lyliam; Berkunsky, Igor
Publication:Mastozoologia Neotropical
Date:Jun 1, 2014
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