Establish populations isolated from disease

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
  • Certainty
  • Harms

Study locations

Key messages

  • One study evaluated the effects on mammals of establishing populations isolated from disease. The study was in sub-Saharan Africa.



  • Condition (1 study): A site comparison study throughout sub-Saharan Africa found that fencing reduced prevalence of canine distemper but not of rabies, coronavirus or canine parvovirus in African wild dogs.


About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. A site comparison study in 1988–2010 of 16 sites throughout sub-Saharan Africa (Prager et al. 2012) found that fencing reduced prevalence of canine distemper but not of rabies, coronavirus or canine parvovirus in African wild dogs Lycaon pictus. Prevalence of canine distemper was lower in fenced protected sites (0.04 seroprevalence) than in unfenced protected sites (0.28) or unfenced and unprotected sites (0.20). However, the prevalence of rabies, coronavirus or parvovirus did not change significantly between fenced protected sites (rabies: 0.02; coronavirus: 0.03; parvovirus: 0.22 seroprevalence), unfenced protected sites (rabies: 0.06; coronavirus: 0.11; parvovirus: 0.19) and unfenced and unprotected sites (rabies: 0.12; coronavirus: 0.18; parvovirus: 0.21). Blood samples were collected from 268 African wild dogs in 1988–2009 across 16 sites representing five unconnected wild dog populations: South Africa (2 unconnected populations; 7 protected-fenced sites, 3 unprotected-unfenced), Zimbabwe, Botswana (1 population; 2 protected-unfenced site, 2 unprotected-unfenced), Tanzania (1 protected-unfenced site) and Kenya (1 unprotected-unfenced site). Protected-fenced sites had game fencing likely to exclude domestic dogs. Seroprevalence (proportion of animals with detectable antibodies against a disease) was determined from blood samples.

    Study and other actions tested
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.

Where has this evidence come from?

List of journals searched by synopsis

All the journals searched for all synopses

Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

Terrestrial Mammal Conservation - Published 2020

Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

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