Toxoplasma gondii is a protozoan parasite for which cats (wild and domestic) are the definitive host. Humans and wildlife can acquire T. gondii by accidental consumption of cat feces infected with T. gondii, or by consumption of undercooked meat infected with the cyst form of the parasite.
Our research looks to determine the association of free ranging cats and Toxoplasma gondii infection in medium size mammals in a natural area. Live trapping, scent stations and motion camera data have been used to determine the distribution of feral, free-roaming and domestic cats aroun55d rural natural areas, in close proximity to urban developments or buildings. Also, a survey to determine occurrence of medium size mammals in a natural area is being conducted. All this information will help us to better understand how toxoplasmosis is affecting wildlife, and the correlation between an increase in the occurrence of cats and an increase of the risk factor for T. gondii infection in wildlife in the area.