Mark W Cunningham

Mark W Cunningham
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission | ffwcc · Fish and Wildlife Research Institute

About

64
Publications
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Publications

Publications (64)
Article
Full-text available
In 1995, eight female pumas from Texas (Puma concolor stanleyana) were introduced into five areas in South Florida to remediate morphological and biomedical correlates of inbreeding depression that threatened the long-term survival of Florida panthers (P. c. coryi). Initial analysis of the results of this genetic introgression initiative has highli...
Article
Full-text available
Pathogen management strategies in wildlife are typically accompanied by an array of uncertainties such as the efficacy of vaccines or potential unintended consequences of interventions. In the context of such uncertainties, models of disease transmission can provide critical insight for optimizing pathogen management, especially for species of cons...
Article
Feral swine (Sus scrofa), an important prey species for the endangered Florida panther (Puma concolor coryi), is the natural host for pseudorabies virus (PRV). Prior to this study, PRV had been detected in just three panthers. To determine the effect of PRV on the panther population, we prospectively necropsied 199 panthers and retrospectively revi...
Preprint
Management of pathogen transmission is often hindered by uncertainties in the efficacy of and interactions between intervention strategies, sometimes resulting in unintended negative consequences. Yet outbreaks of infectious disease can have serious consequences for wildlife population health, especially species of conservation concern. The endange...
Preprint
Identifying drivers of transmission prior to an epidemic - especially of an emerging pathogen - is a formidable challenge for proactive disease management efforts. We tested a novel approach in the Florida panther, hypothesizing that apathogenic feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) transmission could predict transmission dynamics for pathogenic feli...
Chapter
Mercury in Everglades food webs poses human health and ecological risks most notably to anglers, hunters and fish-eating wildlife. These risks vary spatial and temporally across the Everglades landscape. The purpose of this chapter is to present an evaluation of temporal trends in mercury bioaccumulation within specific links in Everglades food web...
Chapter
Since mercury (Hg) exposure in wild vertebrates is primarily through food consumption, and since methylmercury is highly bioaccumulative, food web analysis can be especially important to understanding exposure in wild fauna. Here, we summarize extensive and intensive studies of food habits and Hg exposure for four well-researched groups of vertebra...
Article
Wildlife translocations are a commonly used strategy in endangered species recovery programmes. Although translocations require detailed assessment of risk, their impact on parasite distribution has not been thoroughly assessed. This is despite the observation that actions that alter host-parasite distributions can drive evolution or introduce new...
Article
Full-text available
Determining parameters that govern pathogen transmission (such as the force of infection, FOI), and pathogen impacts on morbidity and mortality, is exceptionally challenging for wildlife. Vital parameters can vary, for example across host populations, between sexes and within an individual's lifetime. Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is a lentiv...
Article
Once on the brink of extinction, the Florida panther (Puma concolor coryi) has reoccupied parts of its extirpated range in southern Florida, USA over the past 20 years, which has largely been attributed to genetic restoration efforts initiated in 1995 to combat inbreeding depression and subsequent deleterious traits. Concurrent to the resurgence, a...
Article
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Feline foamy virus (FFV) is a retrovirus that has been detected in multiple feline species, including domestic cats (Felis catus) and pumas (Puma concolor). FFV results in persistent infection but is generally thought to be apathogenic. Sero-prevalence in domestic cat populations has been documented in several countries, but the extent of viral inf...
Article
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The endangered Florida panther (Puma concolor coryi) had an outbreak of infection with feline leukemia virus (FeLV) in the early 2000s that resulted in the deaths of 3 animals. A vaccination campaign was instituted during 2003–2007 and no additional cases were recorded until 2010. During 2010–2016, six additional FeLV cases were documented. We char...
Article
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Three Florida pumas (Puma concolor coryi) that had spent time in captivity prior to being released in the wild were found exhibiting respiratory signs and reluctance to move. All 3 pumas died shortly after immobilization, despite supportive veterinary care. Significant autopsy findings included necrotizing interstitial pneumonia, with pulmonary ede...
Article
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Movement patterns can influence an animal's ability to secure food, find mates, and avoid enemies, potentially affecting individual fitness. We studied movement patterns of 10 male and 3 female endangered Florida panthers (Puma concolor coryi) using location data collected from a long-Term (2005-2012) GPS collar study. Males traveled faster and cov...
Article
The clinical outcomes of six free-ranging Florida panthers ( Puma concolor coryi) that underwent surgical stabilization of appendicular long-bone fractures (three femoral fractures, one tibial and one tibial and fibular fracture and two radial and ulnar fractures) were evaluated. These panthers presented to the University of Florida from 2000-2014....
Article
Importance: Cross-species transmission episodes can be singular, dead-end events or can result in viral replication and spread in the new species. The factors that determine which outcome will occur are complex, and the risk of new virus emergence is therefore difficult to predict. Here we use molecular techniques to evaluate transmission, fitness...
Article
We detected heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) in 37.2% of 212 coyotes ( Canis latrans ) collected from 28 counties in Florida, USA, between February 2010 and April 2014. Adult coyotes had a higher prevalence (45.6% of 103) than juveniles (29% of 80), and there was no significant difference in prevalence between adult male and female coyotes. Adults d...
Article
Amblyomma americanum (L.), the lone star tick, is an aggressive tick that is expanding its geographic range within the United States. This tick is the vector for the human and veterinary pathogens Ehrlichia chaffeensis and Ehrlichia ewingii and is associated with other microbes of unspecified pathogenicity including Rickettsia amblyommii, Panola Mo...
Article
Understanding how landscape, host, and pathogen traits contribute to disease exposure requires systematic evaluations of pathogens within and among host species and geographic regions. The relative importance of these attributes is critical for management of wildlife and mitigating domestic animal and human disease, particularly given rapid ecologi...
Article
Understanding how landscape, host, and pathogen traits contribute to disease exposure requires systematic evaluations of pathogens within and among host species and geographic regions. The relative importance of these attributes is critical for management of wildlife and mitigating domestic animal and human disease, particularly given rapid ecologi...
Article
Full-text available
To address the ongoing debate over the impact of invasive species on native terrestrial wildlife, we conducted a large-scale experiment to test the hypothesis that invasive Burmese pythons (Python molurus bivittatus) were a cause of the precipitous decline of mammals in Everglades National Park (ENP). Evidence linking pythons to mammal declines has...
Article
Background Parasites of the genus Trichinella are zoonotic nematodes common in carnivores throughout the world. We determined the prevalence and species of Trichinella infections in Florida panthers (Puma concolor coryi).Methods Tongues from Florida panthers were collected at necropsy and examined by pepsin-HCl artificial digestion for infection wi...
Article
Full-text available
Unlabelled: Gammaherpesviruses (GHVs) are a diverse and rapidly expanding group of viruses associated with a variety of disease conditions in humans and animals. To identify felid GHVs, we screened domestic cat (Felis catus), bobcat (Lynx rufus), and puma (Puma concolor) blood cell DNA samples from California, Colorado, and Florida using a degener...
Data
##Assembly-Data-START## Sequencing Technology :: Sanger dideoxy sequencing ##Assembly-Data-END##
Data
##Assembly-Data-START## Sequencing Technology :: Sanger dideoxy sequencing ##Assembly-Data-END##
Data
##Assembly-Data-START## Sequencing Technology :: Sanger dideoxy sequencing ##Assembly-Data-END##
Article
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The epizootiology of anatid herpesvirus 1 (AHV-1) infection in waterfowl is poorly understood but apparently involves persistence of the virus in latently infected birds. Epornitics have often occurred in captive waterfowl or semiwild ducks in parklike settings, and many wildlife professionals conclude that such ducks may be the source of infection...
Article
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Demodex mites, although usually nonpathogenic, can cause a wide range of dermatological lesions ranging from mild skin irritation and alopecia to severe furunculosis. Recently, a case of demodicosis from a white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) revealed a Demodex species morphologically distinct from Demodex odocoilei. All life cycle stages wer...
Article
Full-text available
Increased anthropogenic loading of mercury (Hg) has caused elevated levels in biota. Tissue samples were collected from Apalachicola in 1995 and Chassahowitzka in 1997 and analyzed by Florida Department of Environmental Protection for total mercury. Hair collected from four individuals within the Chassahowitizka subpopulation had a mean mercury con...
Article
Cytauxzoon felis, a tick-borne protozoan parasite, is the causative agent of cytauxzoonosis in domestic cats in the United States. The natural reservoir for this parasite is the bobcat (Lynx rufus), which typically does not develop clinical signs. Although not likely important reservoirs, C. felis has also been detected in pumas (Puma concolor) in...
Article
Full-text available
Eurasian collared doves (Streptopelia decaocto) have expanded their range across the United States since their introduction several decades ago. Recent mortality events in Eurasian collared doves in Arizona and Montana, USA, during the winter of 2009-2010 were the result of pigeon paramyxovirus (PPMV), a novel disease agent. The first instance of m...
Article
Decisions regarding landscape management, restoration and land acquisition typically depend on land managers' interpretation of how wildlife selects habitat. Such assessments are particularly important for umbrella species like the endangered Florida panther Puma concolor coryi, whose survival requires vast wildlands. Some interpretations of habita...
Article
Full-text available
The rediscovery of remnant Florida panthers (Puma concolor coryi) in southern Florida swamplands prompted a program to protect and stabilize the population. In 1995, conservation managers translocated eight female pumas (P. c. stanleyana) from Texas to increase depleted genetic diversity, improve population numbers, and reverse indications of inbre...
Article
Full-text available
Four free-ranging mink, Neovison vison, collected between June and September 2004 in the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park (FSPSP, Florida, USA), were examined for canine distemper virus (CDV) infection. Microscopic lesions and viral inclusions consistent with CDV infection were observed in three mink. Virus isolation and reverse transcription...
Article
Full-text available
Hematologic and serum chemistry values were determined for 25 free-ranging Florida panther (Puma concolor couguar) neonates from southern Florida sampled from January 2001 to April 2007. The kittens were < or = 25 days old, belonging to 12 litters, from 11 different dams. Forty-one blood samples also were collected from 32 free-ranging adult panthe...
Article
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During 1995–2006 research projects in Florida and Kentucky, USA, we captured 191 (72 F119 M) American black bears (Ursus americanus) 251 times using modified Aldrich spring-activated snares. In our modification, the swivel at the base of the foot loop was attached to 2 cables that ran in opposite directions and were anchored to trees. Shortening th...
Article
The Greater Chassahowitzka Ecosystem (GCE) in west central Florida supports one of the smallest black bear (Ursus americanus floridanus) populations (< 20 adults) in North America. Females were markedly older (8.9 years) than those in other bear populations and recruitment appears infrequent. Mean annual home ranges (male: X̄ = 105 km2; female: X̄...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Florida panther (Puma concolor coryi) historically ranged over southeastern North America but by the late 20 th Century had been reduced to a single remnant population occupying the remote regions of South Florida. Several management actions beginning in the early 1980s, including genetic restoration, 6 increased law enforcement, highway underp...
Article
Full-text available
Two freshly-dead female Florida panther (FP) neonates, Puma concolor couguar (=Puma concolor coryi), an 11-day-old and a 17-day-old, were collected in the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge (26 degrees 14'N, 81 degrees 36'W), Collier County, Florida. The 2 neonates were siblings and had presumably fed only on milk from the dam since birth. A...
Article
Full-text available
Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) was not detected in Florida pumas (Puma concolor coryi) in almost 20 yr of surveillance; however, the finding of two FeLV antigen-positive pumas during the 2002-2003 capture season led to an investigation of FeLV in the population. Between January 1990 and April 2007, the proportion of pumas testing FeLV antibody positi...
Article
Full-text available
From 2002 through 2005, an outbreak of feline leukemia virus (FeLV) occurred in Florida panthers (Puma concolor coryi). Clinical signs included lymphadenopathy, anemia, septicemia, and weight loss; 5 panthers died. Not associated with FeLV outcome were the genetic heritage of the panthers (pure Florida vs. Texas/Florida crosses) and co-infection wi...
Data
Full-text available
Proviral PCR screening, 61 puma samples, 1988–2006*
Article
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Five free-ranging mink, Neovison vison mink, from in or near the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park, Collier County, Florida (26 degrees 00'N, 81 degrees 25'W), were examined for parasitic helminths. Nine species of helminths were identified (2 trematodes, 5 nematodes, and 2 acanthocephalans). The most prevalent parasites were Molineus patens (...
Article
Full-text available
A free-ranging, adult male Florida panther (Puma concolor coryi) was immobilized and evaluated for hematuria following routine capture. Prior to anesthetic recovery, the panther was fitted with a telemetry collar. After an initially quiet recovery, the panther began thrashing in the transport cage, and was again immobilized. Pink foam was evident f...
Article
Full-text available
Habitat loss and fragmentation can influence the genetic structure of biological populations. We studied the genetic consequences of habitat fragmentation in Florida black bear (Ursus americanus floridanus) populations. Genetic samples were collected from 339 bears, representing nine populations. Bears were genotyped for 12 microsatellite loci to e...
Article
Full-text available
Piroplasms, morphologically indistinguishable from Cytauxzoon felis, previously were detected in 36% of cougars in Florida. We utilized a nested 18S rRNA assay, which amplifies DNA from all piroplasms, to screen blood samples collected from 41 cougars from Florida (39 native Florida panthers [Puma concolor coryi] and two translocated Texas cougars...
Article
Ectoparasites were collected from seven puma (Puma concolor) and seven jaguar (Panthera onca) live-captures (each representing six different animals) in the Paraguayan Chaco from 2002 to 2004. The same five species of ectoparasites were recovered from both host species: the flea, Pulex simulans (total on both hosts combined=30 male, 49 female), and...
Article
Full-text available
This study documents the seroprevalence of feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and puma lentivirus (PLV) in free-ranging and captive Florida panthers (Puma concolor coryi) (n = 51) and translocated Texas cougars (P. concolor stanleyana) (n = 10) from 1985 to 1998. The sera were tested for anti-FIV antibodies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (EL...
Article
Full-text available
Thirty-five Florida panthers (Puma concolor coryi [Bangs, 1899]) collected from six counties in southern Florida between 1978 and 2003 were examined at necropsy for gastrointestinal helminths. The panthers were placed into two groups: 1) treated with anthelmintics (n = 17), and 2) untreated (n = 18). Nine species of helminths (one trematode, six ne...
Article
Full-text available
Twenty-two Florida black bear (Ursus americanus floridanus) cubs (< or = 12 mo old) from Florida were examined for endoparasites between 1998 and 2003. Eleven species of helminths were found (8 nematodes, 2 trematodes, and 1 acanthocephalan). The most prevalent helminths were Ancylostoma caninum (64%), Macracanthorhynchus ingens (36%), Strongyloide...
Article
Sections of muscle from Florida black bears (Ursus americanus floridanus) collected in the state of Florida were observed for the presence of Sarcocystis sp. sarcocysts. Two of 132 (1.5%) black bears had muscle sections containing sarcocysts. One sarcocyst was observed per muscle section. The sarcocysts averaged 181.5 x 99.0 microm by light microsc...
Article
We found trombiculid mite (Trombiculidae) infestations in 32 of 101 (32%) freeranging Florida black bears (Ursus americanus floridanus) live-captured or necropsied in Florida from January 1999 to April 2000. Prevalence of chigger infestation was greatest in June with no infestations seen October to March. Chigger infestations were recognized as acc...
Article
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Ostium secundum atrial septal defects (ASDs) were observed in six (3 M, 3 F) of 33 (20 M, 13 F) (18%) Florida panthers (Puma concolor coryi) necropsied by veterinary pathologists between 1985 and 1998. A seventh ASD was found in a female panther necropsied in the field and is included in the pathological description but not the prevalence of ASDs i...
Article
Many of the anomalies and clinical signs afflicting the Florida panther (Felis concolor coryi) are suggestive of vitamin A deficiency. Our objectives in this study were to determine if a vitamin A deficiency exists in the free-ranging panther population and to determine if there are differences in vitamin A levels among various subgroups of free-ra...
Article
Sera obtained from 66 free-ranging Florida black bears (Ursus americanus floridanus) from three geographic areas of Florida (USA) between November 1993 and August 1995 were tested for antibodies to 13 disease agents. Antibody prevalences were 3 positive of 37 tested (8%) Coxiella burnetti, 37 of 66 (56%) Toxoplasma gondii, 3 of 61 (5%) bluetongue v...
Article
Retained testes were found in 11 (16%) of 71 black bears (Ursus americanus) examined over a 3-year period in Florida (USA). Four of the 11 bears were older than one year and weighed more than 32 kg; therefore, they were considered to be cryptorchid. The remaining seven bears may have had delayed testicular descent due to their apparent normal immat...
Article
We evaluated clinical signs and administered anthelmintic treatment to a wild-caught, captive Florida panther (Felis concolor coryi) kitten from Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida (USA) infected with the hookworm, Ancylostoma pluridentatum. Clinical signs observed included poor body condition, lethargy, and below normal red blood cell numbers,...
Article
Full-text available
As a highly toxic form of mercury that bioaccumulates in food chains, methylmercury (MeHg) is a risk to wildlife and humans that consume Everglades fish. Sulfur in the form of sulfate increases the rate of MeHg production and may promote phosphate releases from sediments; sulfur in the form of sulfide is toxic to aquatic plants and animals. Regiona...

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