Does the presence of livestock in protected areas pose a risk of gastrointestinal parasite transmission to wild ungulates? A study from Bani Wildlife Sanctuary, Western Himalayas


  • Iyaz Quyoom Wani Department of Zoology, University of Kashmir, Srinagar-190006
  • Bilal A. Bhat Department of Zoology, University of Kashmir, Srinagar-190006
  • Jigmet Zazay Department of Zoology, University of Kashmir, Srinagar-190006
  • Syed Tanveer Department of Zoology, University of Kashmir, Srinagar-190006



Pathogens, prevalence, Threats, wildlife, cross-transmission


The burgeoning population of livestock within protected areas exacerbates the transmission risk of parasitic diseases among vulnerable wild ungulates. This study, conducted in the Bani Wildlife Sanctuary nestled in the western Himalayas, focused on the peak periods of livestock grazing (June-October) in 2021 and 2022 to assess the prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites in domestic sheep and goats. A comprehensive examination involved the collection of 230 faecal samples (125 from goats and 105 from sheep) from various locations within the sanctuary, followed by analysis using established sedimentation and floatation techniques. Our findings revealed the presence of 10 distinct parasite taxa, encompassing one coccidian cyst, one cestode, two trematodes, and six nematodes. Comparative analysis with documented parasites infecting wild ungulates underscores the considerable potential for cross-transmission via the faecal-oral route. Notably, the prevalence of gastrointestinal parasite taxa stood at 83.72% in goats and 74.35% in sheep, indicating their heightened susceptibility and potential contribution to pasture infectivity, surpassing that of wild ungulates. These findings suggest a significantly elevated risk of gastrointestinal parasitic transmission from domestic animals to their wild counterparts. Consistent with comparable studies, evidence suggests a correlation between parasite infection in livestock and sympatric wild ungulates, suggesting the perpetuation of these infections within the shared ecosystem. To mitigate this risk, we advocate for the regulation of anthelmintic treatment for domestic livestock and the implementation of grazing zonation strategies to curtail parasite transmission.


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How to Cite

Wani, I. Q., Bhat, B. A. ., Zazay, J., & Syed Tanveer. (2024). Does the presence of livestock in protected areas pose a risk of gastrointestinal parasite transmission to wild ungulates? A study from Bani Wildlife Sanctuary, Western Himalayas. Journal of Wildlife and Biodiversity, 8(2), 246–259.