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Parasite burdens in lesser snow geese (Chen caerulescens caerulescens) and Ross’s geese (Chen rossii) migrating through central Illinois were determined and compared to documented parasite burdens on the breeding grounds in northern Canada and the wintering grounds in southern Texas. The digestive tracts of 48 snow geese (38 lesser snow geese and 10 Ross’s geese) were collected from 4 February to 3 March, 2012, in Raymond, Illinois. Eight helminth taxa (two species of Trematoda, four species of Nematoda, and two species of Cestoda) were recovered. Five of the eight helminth taxa were common in both species of host, while Hymenolepis species "B," Zygocotyle lunata, and Echinostoma revolutum were only found in lesser snow geese. Prevalence of the eight helminth taxa ranged from 2.1% in Zygocotyle lunata to 97.7% in Epomidiostomum sp. and mean intensities ranged from 1.00 in Echinostoma revolutum to 22.89 in Trichostrongylus tenuis. Helminthes with direct life cycles had higher prevalences than helminthes with indirect life cycles. Trichostrongylus tenuis infections expressed higher prevalence and mean intensity in Ross’s geese than lesser snow geese and higher mean intensity in juvenile than adult Ross’s geese. The prevalence of Heterakis dispar was higher in adult birds than juveniles in pooled hosts. Amidostomum sp., and Epomidiostomum sp. were seen to mimic documented burdens on the wintering and breeding grounds, while Heterakis dispar and Trichostrongylus tenuis seemed to fluctuate throughout the migration.

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