The final Prairie Dog Pals phantasmagorical garage sale of 2018 (Halloween is coming) will be held on Saturday, 27 October 2018, at 5219 Vista Bonita NE, between the hours of 800 AM and 300 PM. Donate, shop, or just drop by to chat! All are welcome!
If you want to donate you can drop off your treasures at 5219 Vista Bonita NE from Wednesday, 24 October, onwards. Please contact Tania or Ray at 505 237 0347 so that they can have the forklift ready to help you unload. (just kidding) Please provide an inventory (with values) if you want a tax receipt. Also it would be extremely helpful if you could price your items. I mean only you can assess the true value of your treasures, right?
If you want to help with the sale, let Ray know.
Outbreaks of plague, a flea-vectored bacterial disease, occur periodically in prairie dog populations in the western United States. In order to understand the conditions that are conducive to plague outbreaks and potentially predict spatial and temporal variations in risk, it is important to understand the factors associated with flea abundance and distribution that may lead to plague outbreaks. We collected and identified 20,041 fleas from 6,542 individual prairie dogs of four different species over a 4-year period along a latitudinal gradient from Texas to Montana. We assessed local climate and other factors associated with flea prevalence and abundance, as well as the incidence of plague outbreaks. Oropsylla hirsuta, a prairie dog specialist flea, and Pulex simulans, a generalist flea species, were the most common fleas found on our pairs. High elevation pairs in Wyoming and Utah had distinct flea communities compared with the rest of the study pairs. The incidence of prairie dogs with Yersinia pestis detections in fleas was low (n = 64 prairie dogs with positive fleas out of 5,024 samples from 4,218 individual prairie dogs). The results of our regression models indicate that many factors are associated with the presence of fleas. In general, flea abundance (number of fleas on hosts) is higher during plague outbreaks, lower when prairie dogs are more abundant, and reaches peak levels when climate and weather variables are at intermediate levels. Changing climate conditions will likely affect aspects of both flea and host communities, including population densities and species composition, which may lead to changes in plague dynamics. Our results support the hypothesis that local conditions, including host, vector, and environmental factors, influence the likelihood of plague outbreaks, and that predicting changes to plague dynamics under climate change scenarios will have to consider both host and vector responses to local factors.
Read more: Fleas
The following study investigates louse parasitism of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus (Ord, Rodentia: Sciuridae)) on 20 plots at 13 colonies in the short-grass prairie of New Mexico, USA, June-August, 2011-2012. Among 124 lice collected from 537 prairie dogs during 1,207 sampling events in which anesthetized animals were combed for ectoparasites, all of the lice were identified as Linognathoides cynomyis (Kim, Phthiraptera: Polyplacidae). Data were analyzed under an information-theoretic approach to identify factors predicting louse parasitism. Lice were most prevalent on plots with high densities of prairie dogs. At the scale of hosts, lice were most abundant on prairie dogs in poor body condition (with low mass:foot ratios) and prairie dogs harboring large numbers of fleas (Siphonaptera, mostly Oropsylla hirsuta (Baker, Siphonaptera: Ceratophyllidae) and Pulex simulans (Baker,Siphonaptera: Pulicidae)). Lice have been implicated as supplemental vectors of the primarily flea-borne bacterium Yersinia pestis (Yersin, Enterobacteriales: Yersiniaceae), a re-emerging pathogen that causes sylvatic plague in prairie dog populations. Coparasitism by lice and fleas, as found herein, might enhance plague transmission. L. cynomyis deserves attention in this context.
Read more: Parasite