Sakurai Y., Uraguchi K., Kouguchi H., Oshida T. 2021. Consumption of anthelmintic fox baits by target and non-target mammals in Japan // Russian J. Theriol. Vol.20. No.2. P.183–187 [in English].

Yuna Sakurai [] & Tatsuo Oshida [], Laboratory of Wildlife Biology, Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Inada, Obihiro 080-8555, Japan; Kohji Uraguchi [ura@iph.pref.] & Hirokazu Kouguchi [], Department of Infectious Disease, Hokkaido Institute of Public Health, Sapporo 060-0819, Japan.

doi: 10.15298/rusjtheriol.20.2.07

ABSTRACT. Echinococcosis is a zoonosis caused by the tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis, which uses red fox (Vulpes vulpes) as a principle definitive host. To decrease E. multilocularis prevalence in red foxes, feeding the “fox bait” containing anthelmintic praziquantel to red foxes is effective. However, a previous investigation conducted in Hokkaido, Japan showed that raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes viverrinus albus), raccoons (Procyon lotor), domestic cats (Felis catus), and murids frequently consumed fox baits without the anthelmintic praziquantel, suggesting they compete with red foxes for the bait. On the other hand, anthelmintic praziquantel has a bitter taste and unpleasant odor to dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) and cats. The inclusion of anthelmintic praziquantel in the bait may deter the consumption of fox baits by non- target mammals. Therefore, by using camera traps, we examined the seasonal consumption of fox baits with the anthelmintic praziquantel by mammals in Memuro, Tokachi District, Hokkaido, Japan, from May to October, 2019. We found that red foxes, raccoons, raccoon dogs, murids, and Eurasian red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) frequently consumed fox baits. Therefore, the bitterness and smell of the bait do not efficiently work to prevent consumption by non-target mammals. Of those, raccoon dogs were most frequent consumers of the fox bait. Raccoons and Eurasian red squirrels also frequently consumed the fox bait, especially in spring and in autumn, respectively. These results show competition for fox baits by non-target mammals. This should be considered for planning of the baiting campaign.

KEY WORDS: anthelmintic praziquantel, echinococcosis, red fox, Vulpes vulpes.

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