CAPYBARAS (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) AND THE PRESENCE OF TICKS (Amblyomma sculptum) AT THE UFSCAR ARARAS CAMPUS, SÃO PAULO
Abstract Capybaras are territorial animals that live in groups social occurring even in anthropized areas. In some regions of Brazil, these animals have shown high rates of tick infestation from the genus Amblyomma, which can be considered as a main biological vector and natural reservoir of the bacteria Rickettsia rickettsii, an agent that causes Brazilian Spotted Fever. At Federal University of São Carlos, Araras campus, the interaction between capybaras, ticks and the community is frequent, occurring especially during the dry season. This study aimed to carry out a population census of capybaras that occurred on campus, identifying their home-range and verifying if these rodents were infested by ticks. The Applied methods included direct observation of capybara, capture-mark-recapture technique using a trap and also collection of ticks from the capybaras and the environment. The census recorded a maximum number of 56 capybaras, with density of 1.50 individuals/ha. The trap captures accounted for 24 animals, 25% males and 75% females, in which 25% were adult animals, 45.8% juveniles and 29.2% infants. The tick species most found both infesting animals and environment was A. sculptum. In conclusion, the group of capybaras studied showed a high number of individuals of resources and due to the presence the absence of predators, and given the high ticks infestation.