A survey of helminths of polar bears in the Russian Arctic

Authors Name:   

Olga P. Kurnosova, Alexander V. Khrustalev, Natalya A. Illarionova, Irina M. Odoevskaya

Journal: Czech Polar Reports
Issue: 7
Volume: 2
Page Range: 164-168
No. of Pages: 5
Year: 2017


Publishers: muniPress Masaryk University Brno
ISSN:    1805-0689 (Print), 1805-0697 (On-line)
Language: English

The polar bear Ursus maritimus is a circumpolar species classified as vulnerable and included in the IUCN Red List. It is considered to be practically free of helminth parasites with the only species reported being Trichinella spiralis s. l. Samples of feces were collected on Chukotka coast, Wrangel Island and on ice floes in the Kara, Laptev and Chukchi seas in 2013-2015 in different seasons of the year. Coprological diagnostics was carried out using the standard flotation and sedimentation methods. In the samples collected in the snow-free period, a single sample (3.7%) was found to contain eggs of the nematode Toxascaris sp. In three out of 9 samples collected in the winter, eggs of a cestode Diphyllobothrium sp., of unidentified trematodes (presumably Heterophyidae) and of the strongylid nematode Uncinaria stenocephala were found as well as the first stage nematode larvae tentatively identified as Crenosoma sp. Viable Trichinella nativa larvae were recovered from the muscles of a female animal from north of Yakutia.



Ursus maritimus, parasites, coproscopy, helminth eggs, Trichinella, Diphyllobothrium


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Notes: ASSW