Comparison of Natural and Artificial Odor Lures for Nilgai (Boselaphus tragocamelus) and White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in South Texas: Developing Treatment for Cattle Fever Tick Eradication

Author(s): John A. Goolsby, Nirbhay K. Singh, Alfonso Ortega-S Jr., David G. Hewitt, Tyler A. Campbell, David Wester, Adalberto A. Perez de Leon

Published: May 2017

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Cattle fever ticks (CFT), vectors of bovine babesiosis and anaplasmosis, were eradicated from the United States by 1943, but are frequently reintroduced from neighboring border states of Mexico via stray cattle and wildlife hosts including white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) (WTD) and nilgai antelope (Boselaphus tragocamelus). Nilgai antelope are exotic bovids from India that are hosts of CFT, have large home ranges as compared to WTD, thus have the potential to spread CFT through the landscape. Currently, there are no methods to control CFT on nilgai. Odor lures were evaluated to determine if nilgai could be attracted to a central point for development of control methods. Four treatments, nilgai offal a natural odor lure was used as the positive control; and compared to three artificial odors; screw worm lure, volatile fatty acids, citronella oil. Studies were conducted on a free-ranging population of nilgai at the East Foundation's Santa Rosa Ranch (Kenedy Co., near Riviera, Texas, USA). Game cameras were used to document visitation to the lures. In the ten randomly placed transects, 110 nilgai and 104 WTD were photographed. Offal had significantly more visits by nilgai (71% of total visits) than screwworm (15%), VFA (11%), and citronella (4%). For WTD, there was no significant difference in visitation at the lure treatments.

Suggested Citation

Goolsby, J. A., N. K. Singh, A. Ortega-S. Jr., D. G. Hewitt, T. A. Campbell, D. Wester, and A. A. Pérez de León. 2017. Comparison of natural and artificial odor lures for nilgai (Boselaphus tragocamelus) and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in South Texas: Developing treatment for cattle fever tick eradication. International Journal for Parasitology: Parasites and Wildlife 6:100-107.