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Grand Teton National Park Report

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Lungworm of elk, Dictyocaulus hadweni. (syn: D. vivparus) was first designated as Strongylus filaria in elk and red deer, (Blair, 1903) and lungworm was then and in 1905 reported to cause bronchopneumonia in elk. (Blair 1905). Records of lungworm in elk in Yellowstone and the Tetons were rather incomplete until Rush (1932), Mills (1936), Alderson (1951), Murie (1951) and others listed internal parasites found in elk. It is suprising that Mills did not find D. hadweni in 100 elk taken from the Yellowstone herd. It. is interesting to note that a high percentage of the elk in Teton National Park are positive for lungworm in the spring. Fewer elk are infected in the summer and fall when the vegetation is usually sufficiently good to allow the elk an abundance of food and a resultant physiological condition that is excellent. Perhaps e1k serum proteins are somewhat low in the April-May period when the physiological ''low" is reached by the elk. The lack of immunoglobulins may, in part, explain the high prevalence of lungworm infections in elk of the Tetons during early spring months.