This page is intended to serve as a convenient source to access reports and publications from the Wildlife Investigations Lab and partners.


FOLEY, J. E., P. SWIFT, K.A. FLEER, S. G. TORRES, Y. A. GIRARD, and C. K. JOHNSON. 2013. Risk factors for exposure to feline pathogens in California mountain lions (Puma concolor). Journal of Wildlife Disease. April 2013 49:279-293; doi:10.7589/2012-08-206.

  • The primary challenge to mountain lion population viability in California is habitat loss and fragmentation. These habitat impacts could enhance disease risk by increasing contact with domestic animals and by altering patterns of exposure to other wild felids. We performed a serologic survey for feline pathogens in California mountain lions (Puma concolor) using 490 samples from 45 counties collected from 1990 to 2008.

STEPHENSON, N., P. SWIFT, R.B. MOELLER, S.J. WORTH, J. FOLEY. 2013.Feline Infectious Peritonitis in a Mountain Lion (Puma Concolor): A Case Report.  Journal of Wildlife Diseases. April 2013 49:408-412; doi:10.7589/2012-08-210

  • Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is a fatal immune-mediated vasculitis of felids caused by a mutant form of a common feline enteric virus, feline enteric coronavirus. The virus can attack many organ systems and causes a broad range of signs, commonly including weight loss and fever. Regardless of presentation, FIP is ultimately fatal and often presents a diagnostic challenge. In May 2010, a malnourished young adult male mountain lion (Puma concolor) from Kern County, California, USA was euthanized because of concern for public safety, and a postmortem examination was performed. A PCR for coronavirus performed on kidney tissue was positive, confirming a diagnosis of FIP. Although coronavirus infection has been documented in mountain lions by serology, this is the first confirmed report of FIP.

STEPHENSON, N., D.L. CLIFFORD, S.J. WORTH, L.E.K. SERIEYS, AND J. E. FOLEY. 2013. Development and validation of a fecal PCR assay for Notoedres cati and application to notoedric mange cases in bobcats (Lynx rufus) from northern California. Journal of Wildlife Diseases. April 2013 49:303-311; doi:10.7589/2012-05-136

  • Notoedric mange in felids is a devastating disease caused by a hypersensitivity reaction to the mite Notoedres cati. The burrowing of the mite causes intense pruritis resulting in self-mutilation, secondary bacterial infection, and often death of affected felids if left untreated. To create a noninvasive diagnostic test, we developed and validated a novel PCR assay to detect N. cati DNA in fecal samples of bobcats (Lynx rufus) and used this assay to investigate a recent outbreak of mange in northern California, United States.

GABRIEL, M.W., G. WENGERT, J. HIGLEY, S.KROGAN, W. SARGENT, D.L.CLIFFORD. 2013. The Wildlife Society, The Wildlife Professional, Spring 2013, pg. 46-50.


ROUG, A., P. SWIFT, S. G. TORRES, K. JONES, C. K. JOHNSON. 2012. Serosurveillance for Livestock Pathogens in Free-Ranging Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus). PLoS ONE 7(11): e50600. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0050600

  • Routine disease surveillance has been conducted for decades in mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) in California for pathogens shared between wildlife and domestic ruminants that may have implications for the animal production industry and wildlife health.

GABRIEL, M.W., L.W. WOODS, R. POPPENGA, R.A. SWEITZER, C. THOMPSON, S.M. MATTHEWS, J.M. HIGLEY, S.M. KELLER, K. PURCELL, R.H. BARRET, G.M. WENGERT, B.N. SACKS and D.L.CLIFFORD. 2012. Anticoagulant rodenticides on our public and community lands: spatial distribution of exposure and poisoning of a rare forest carnivore. PLoS ONE 7(7): e40163. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0040163

  • Anticoagulant rodenticide (AR) poisoning has emerged as a significant concern for conservation and management of non-target wildlife. The purpose for these toxicants is to suppress pest populations in agricultural or urban settings. The potential of direct and indirect exposures and illicit use of ARs on public and community forest lands have recently raised concern for fishers (Martes pennanti), a candidate for listing under the federal Endangered Species Act in the Pacific states.


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