The Correlation Between Landscape Fragmentation and Parasite Prevalence

Type of Submission


Campus Venue

Dixon Ministry Center, Alumni Hall


Cedarville, OH

Start Date

4-10-2013 1:00 PM

End Date

4-10-2013 5:00 PM



Raccoons {Procyon Iotar) are the final host for raccoon roundworms (Baylisascaris procyonis) (Page et al., 2005). Raccoon roundworm is the leading cause of a dangerous neurological disease known as larva migrans encephalopathy (Blizzard et al., 2010). Land fragmentation occurs when natural environments are broken up by urban or agricultural landscapes. Raccoons thrive in urban environments (Randa & Yunger, 2006). Furthermore, raccoons in agricultural settings forage over larger areas than do raccoons in urban settings. Page et al. (2005) demonstrated that land fragmentation affects concentrations of Baylisascaris procyon is parasites in intermediate hosts. We calculated the prevalence of raccoon roundworm in 10 townships of Greene and Clark Counties by necropsying 226 raccoon intestines. We measured prevalence as the number of raccoons infected with roundworm divided by the total number of raccoons sampled. Using ArcGIS and Fragstats, we developed a method of quantifying the fragmentation in each township. We ran a linear regression model to determine whether or not fragmentation is a valuable factor to predict and estimate parasite prevalence. We determined that the degree of fragmentation varied between the sampled townships, and that some of the variation in parasite prevalence was accounted for by the variation in fragmentation. These results will help us shape management and conservation strategies for the raccoon and roundworm.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


Apr 10th, 1:00 PM Apr 10th, 5:00 PM

The Correlation Between Landscape Fragmentation and Parasite Prevalence

Cedarville, OH