A survey on wild ruminants’ health status of any South African preserves was attempted, assessing body condition score (BCS) through tele-diagnosis. The wildlife BCS was linked to the presence of gastrointestinal parasites that should be recognized, counted and statistically evaluated. For this purpose, we examined 103 faecal samples of wild ruminants from 6 South African preserves. For practical reasons, the animals were divided into two macro-categories: small and large ruminants. The results obtained showed a prevalence of 78.1 and 15.6% in large ruminants for gastrointestinal strongyles (GIS) and coccidian, respectively, while small ruminants showed 92.3% due to GIS and 30.8% for coccidia. No statistically significant difference in the prevalence among the preserves was detected; on the other hand, a low value of BCS corresponds to a greater presence of parasites with statistics difference in the macro-categories (small ruminant x2=5.238; P=0.020; large ruminant x2= 15.215; P<0.001) and sex classes (male x2=5.409; P=0.020; female x2 =17.350; P<0.001). For these reasons, our results provide a practical feedback for the management preserves. The present paper is fully part of the limited experiences of telediagnosis in a conservation perspective. Based on the results obtained, we decided to organize a project that could limit and assess the risk factors in the management of these activities in the South African context.
Key words: Wild ruminants, telediagnosis, parasites, body condition scores, South African preserves.
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