Wildlife & Biodiversity

Global Eco Watch: Many factors may have caused muskrat decline in North America

Down To Earth brings you the top happenings in the world of global ecology

 
By DTE Staff
Last Updated: Sunday 14 June 2020
Muskrats are a semi aquatic rodent species native to North America. Photo: goodfreephotos.com
Muskrats are a semi aquatic rodent species native to North America. Photo: goodfreephotos.com Muskrats are a semi aquatic rodent species native to North America. Photo: goodfreephotos.com

Many factors may have caused the decline of muskrats across North America, a new study by Pennsylvania State University has said.

The muskrat is a species of semiaquatic rodent native to North America and has also been introduced to other continents.

Researchers went through 131 articles that were published from 1915 to 2019 about studies done to find out what muskrats were exposed to in 27 US states and 9 Canadian provinces.

They found that the rodents had died due to a number of factors including pathogens, parasites, environmental contaminants as well as disease.

But the team was not able to pinpoint the exact factors that were leading to declines in muskrat populations in the US and Canada because of many differences in which the information in the articles had been collected.

They, however, said their study was a baseline for understanding the role of pathogens, parasites, contaminants and disease in influencing muskrat population declines.

Tiger found dead in Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary

A tiger was found dead in the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala on June 10, 2020, according to a media report.

The carcass of the tiger, an 11-year-old male was found by forest guards around 50 metres away from the Bathery-Pulpally road, the report said. The spot is located in the sanctuary’s Kurichiad range.

On examination, it was found that the tiger had likely died of infighting. There were also injuries found on its bodies sustained due to porcupine quills.

The tiger was a resident animal of the sanctuary and had been spotted in camera trap surveys from 2012 onwards.

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