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Research Project: Integrated Pest Management of Cattle Fever Ticks

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Title: Nilgai (Boselaphus tragocamelus) mortality levels in South Texas after historic freeze event

Author
item Goolsby, John
item Saelao, Perot
item May, Melinda
item GOLDSMITH, BARRY - Department Of Commerce

Submitted to: Subtropical Agriculture and Environments
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/5/2021
Publication Date: 6/28/2021
Citation: Goolsby, J., Saelao, P., May, M.A., Goldsmith, B. 2021. Nilgai (Boselaphus tragocamelus) mortality levels in South Texas after historic freeze event. Subtropical Agriculture and Environments. 72:7-11.

Interpretive Summary: Nilgai antelope are exotic wildlife from India that are hosts of invasive cattle fever ticks and are implicated in the spread of the southern cattle fever tick, Rhipicephalus microplus through the landscape of South Texas. Recent historic cold temperatures caused significant mortality to nilgai, especially in parts of South Texas including northern Hidalgo and Kenedy Counties that experienced more than 10 consecutive hours below 27 degrees. Mortality was minimal in Cameron Co., and northeastern Tamaulipas, Mexico which recorded only 5 and 6 hours below -27degrees respectively. Extreme cold weather events are expected to limit the final distribution of nilgai in South Texas.

Technical Abstract: Nilgai antelope, Boselaphus tragocamelus are exotic bovids from India that are hosts of cattle fever ticks and are implicated in the spread of the southern cattle fever tick, Rhipicephalus microplus through the landscape of South Texas. Recent historic cold temperatures caused significant mortality to nilgai, especially in parts of South Texas including northern Hidalgo and Kenedy Counties that experienced more than 10 consecutive hours below -3C. Mortality was minimal in Cameron Co., and northeastern Tamaulipas, Mexico which recorded only 5 and 6 hours below -3C respectively. Extreme cold weather events are expected to limit the final distribution of nilgai in South Texas.