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Data from: Does urbanization ameliorate the effect of endoparasite infection in kangaroo rats?

Citation

Mabry, Karen; Hurtado, Gizelle; Mayer, Ghislaine (2022), Data from: Does urbanization ameliorate the effect of endoparasite infection in kangaroo rats?, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.8pk0p2nns

Abstract

Urban development can fragment and degrade remnant habitat. Such habitat alterations can have profound impacts on wildlife, including effects on population density, parasite infection status, parasite prevalence, and body condition. We investigated the influence of urbanization on populations of Merriam’s kangaroo rat (Dipodomys merriami) and their parasites. We predicted that urban development would lead to reduced abundance, increased parasite prevalence in urban populations, increased probability of parasite infection for individual animals, and decreased body condition of kangaroo rats in urban versus wildland areas. We live trapped kangaroo rats at 5 urban and 5 wildland sites in and around Las Cruces, NM, USA from 2013-2015, collected fecal samples from 209 kangaroo rats, and detected endoparasites using fecal flotation and molecular barcoding. Seven parasite species were detected, although only two, parasitic worms Mastophorus dipodomis and Pterygodermatites dipodomis, occurred frequently enough to allow for statistical analysis. We found no effects of urbanization on population density or probability of parasite infection. However, wildland animals infected with P. dipodomis had lower body condition scores than infected animals in urban areas or uninfected animals in either habitat. Our results suggest that urban environments may buffer Merriam’s kangaroo rats from the detrimental impacts to body condition that P. dipodomis infections can cause. 

Usage Notes

README file for “Does urbanization ameliorate the effect of endoparasite infection in kangaroo rats?”

There are three data files associated with this contribution.

 

The file “parasite.csv” includes data about whether individual Merriam’s kangaroo rats (Dipodomys merriami) were infected with any of 7 endoparasites. Column headings are defined as:

Tag: this is the individual ear tag number associated with a sampled kangaroo rat

Month: the month during which sampling occurred

Year: the year during which sampling occurred

Habitat: the habitat type in which sampling occurred, urban (within the city of Las Cruces, NM, USA) or rural (outside of the city on public lands)

Site: which of 10 sites at which sampling occurred. Coordinates of the sites are given in Table 1 of the associated paper.

Pterygodermatites dipodomis: whether a sample was positive for the presence of Pterygodermatites dipodomis (1 = positive, 0 = negative)

Mastophorus dipodomis: whether a sample was positive for the presence of Mastophorus dipodomis (1 = positive, 0 = negative)

Giardia lamblia: whether a sample was positive for the presence of Giardia lamblia (1 = positive, 0 = negative)

Cryptosporidium parvum: whether a sample was positive for the presence of Cryptosporidium parvum (1 = positive, 0 = negative)

Eimeria sp.: whether a sample was positive for the presence of Eimeria sp. (1 = positive, 0 = negative)

Heteromoxyuris sp.: whether a sample was positive for the presence of Heteromoxyuris sp. (1 = positive, 0 = negative)

Catenotaenia sp.: whether a sample was positive for the presence of Catenotaenia sp. (1 = positive, 0 = negative)

Sex: whether the sex of an animal was male (m), female (f), or unknown (NA)

Age: whether an animal was an adult (a), juvenile (j) or unknown (NA)

Mass g: the mass of the animal in grams at the time of sampling

Foot mm: the length of the animal’s right hindfoot in millimeters at the time of sampling

 

The file “Livetrapping.csv” includes data from live-trapping of Merriam’s kangaroo rats (Dipodomys merriami) that were used to estimate population size and density. Column headings are defined as:

Date of capture: this is the date of each capture event.

Site: which of 8 sites at which sampling occurred. Coordinates and abbreviations for the sites are given in Table 1 of the associated paper.

Sex: whether the sex of an animal was male (M), female (F), or unknown (NA)

Age: whether an animal was an adult (A), subadult (S), juvenile (J), or unknown (NA)

Tag: this is the individual ear tag number associated with a sampled kangaroo rat

Mass: the mass of the animal in grams at the time of sampling

Right.hind.foot: the length of the animal’s right hindfoot in millimeters at the time of sampling

Female.nipple.size: This is whether a female kangaroo rat had small (S), medium (M), or large (L) nipples at the time of capture. This column is not relevant for males.

Pregnant: This is whether a female kangaroo rat was pregnant (Y), not pregnant (N), or unknown (NA) at the time of capture. This column is not relevant for males.

Male.scrotal: This is whether a male kangaroo rat had testes that were scrotal (S), not scrotal (N), or unknown (NA) at the time of capture. This column is not relevant for females.

 

The file “vegetation.csv” includes mean percent vegetative cover values for each site.

Site: which of 10 sites at which sampling occurred. Coordinates and abbreviations for the sites are given in Table 1 of the associated paper.

Habitat: the habitat type in which sampling occurred, urban (within the city of Las Cruces, NM, USA) or rural (outside of the city on public lands)

Percent shrub: mean percent cover by shrubs at the site.

Percent forb: mean percent cover by forbs at the site.

Percent grass: mean percent cover by grass at the site.

Percent bare ground: mean percent cover by bare ground at the site.

Percent litter: mean percent cover by leaf and other vegetative litter at the site.

Percent rock: mean percent cover by rocks at the site.

Funding

National Institutes of Health, Award: R25GM061222-16