Factors affecting flea densities in prairie dog colonies: implications for the maintenance and spread of plague
Plague is a re-emerging, rodent-associated disease caused by the primarily flea-borne bacterium Yersinia pestis. The bacterium likely originated 1,500-20,000 years ago in Asia but has been transported by humans to multiple additional continents and islands where it degrades populations of a wide array of rodents. In the western United States, there is an urgent need to acquire a deeper understanding of plague because over half the rodent species of conservation concern occur within its introduced range. This dissertation describes research on fleas in colonies of black-tailed prairie dogs ...
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