Glossary of Terms – Healthy Wildlife

Term Meaning
Adapters wildlife that are able to adapt to the urban environment and still use natural resources.
Anchor worm a parasite of goldfish and carp that can be spread to native freshwater fish.
Definitive host a host in which the parasite reaches maturity and, if possible, reproduces.
Echinococcus granulosus a tapeworm parasite, the larval form of which causes hydatid disease in people and also a wide range of other mammals.
Fishes multiple species of fish
Giardia a common zoonotic parasite of mammals, including humans, as well as birds and other vertebrates. It causes acute diarrhoea (think ‘Bali Belly’) or chronic nutritional disorders, resulting in weight loss and tiredness.
Giardiasis a disease caused by Giardia
Host an organism that parasites live on or in to obtain food.
Host competency the probability of successful transmission of a parasite to the next host.
Hydatid disease a disease that causes large parasite cysts to develop in internal organs, mainly in the liver and lungs, and occasionally the brain.
Intermediate host a host that harbours a parasite for a short time, during the parasite’s development stage.
Lernaeosis a disease of freshwater fishes caused by the anchor worm parasite.
Oocysts a hardy, thick-walled stage of the life cycle of single celled parasites. This is the stage that is shed in the faeces of animals infected with parasites.
Parasite an organism that lives in or on another organism.
Primary Host a host in which the parasite reaches maturity and, if possible, reproduces.
Reservoir host/ population a host/ population that carries parasites without injury to itself and serves as a source from which other individuals can be infected.
Spill-back spread of parasitic disease back to people and/or domestic animals from a reservoir population.
Spill-over spread of parasitic disease from a reservoir population to a novel host population.


wildlife that have the ability to adjust to people in the urban environment (e.g. magpies).
Tapeworm long flat segmented worms that attach to intestines.
Toxoplasma gondii a common parasite of mammals, including humans, and birds.
Toxoplasmosis a disease caused by toxoplasma parasite.
Zoonoses/ Zoonotic disease a disease that can be spread between animals and people and vice versa.







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