The dynamics and impacts of sarcoptic mange on Yellowstone’s wolves
Research contact: Emily Almberg
Sarcoptes scabiei, the mite that causes the skin infection known as sarcoptic mange, was introduced to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem as a biological control agent aimed at eliminating wolves during the predator control era in the early 1900s.
Although the mite is globally distributed and was at least present throughout parts of Canada in the early 1900s, to date, we have no evidence that it was locally present prior to its release by state veterinarians.
Following the eradication of wolves from the ecosystem in the 1930s, mange is thought to have persisted within the regional furbearer populations (coyotes, foxes, etc.) To read more from Yellowstone Wolf: Project Citizen Science click HERE. To read more from: Effects of Sarcoptic Mange on Gray Wolves in Yellowstone National Park click HERE
Wolves were reintroduced in 1995 and 1996 to Yellowstone National Park, and mange began appearing in wolves outside of Yellowstone in 2002. By the early winter of 2007, mange had invaded the park’s wolves (Fig 1 & 2).