Soboliphyme baturiniInfection Does Not Affect the Nutritional Condition of American Marten (Martes americana) in Alaska

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Abstract

Soboliphyme baturini, a stomach-dwelling nematode of American martens (Martes americana), reaches high levels of infection; however, its effects on the nutritional condition of the host are unknown. To understand the effects of this parasite on American martens, we collected S. baturini and measured abdominal fat deposits from 155 marten carcasses on Prince of Wales Island, southeastern Alaska, in the winter 2006–2007. We analyzed how the dried mass of abdominal fat varied as a function of S. baturini intensity. Parasite intensity and nutritional condition were not correlated; these results suggest that American martens were able to withstand even very high levels of S. baturini infection (up to 178 parasites per host).

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