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Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Treat mammals to reduce conflict caused by disease transmission to humans Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

Key messages

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  • One study evaluated the effects of treating mammals to reduce conflict caused by disease transmission to humans. This study was in Germany.





  • Human-wildlife conflict (1 study): A controlled, before-and-after study in Germany found that following a worming programme, proportions of red foxes infested with small fox tapeworm fell.

Supporting evidence from individual studies


A controlled, before-and-after study from 2005–2007 in rural and urban areas in Starnberg, Germany (König et al. 2008) found that following a worming programme, proportions of red foxes Vulpes vulpes infested with small fox tapeworm Echinococcus multicularis decreased. From four to 15 months after worming, a lower proportion of foxes (0.8%) was infested with tapeworms than was infested in untreated areas (33%). Before worming, the proportion infested was similar in areas to be treated (35%) and not treated (43%). From December 2005–March 2007, fox baits (Droncit®) laced with 50 mg of praziquantel were distributed by air in agricultural and recreational areas and by hand in towns and villages. Baits were distributed once every four weeks, over a 213-km2 area, at a density of 50 baits/km2. Additional bait was left around 100 den sites in January–February and June–August. No bait was distributed in a 238-km2 control area. Tapeworm infestation levels were diagnosed in dissected foxes killed by hunters (133 before baiting and 123 after baiting). Small fox tapeworm causes alveolar echinococcosis in humans.

Referenced papers

Please cite as:

Littlewood, N.A., Rocha, R., Smith, R.K., Martin, P.A., Lockhart, S.L., Schoonover, R.F., Wilman, E., Bladon, A.J., Sainsbury, K.A., Pimm S. and Sutherland, W.J. (2020) Terrestrial Mammal Conservation: Global Evidence for the Effects of Interventions for terrestrial mammals excluding bats and primates. Synopses of Conservation Evidence Series. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.