The effect of protected areas on pathogen exposure in endangered African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) populations

  • Published source details Prager K.C., Mazet J.A.K., Munson L., Cleaveland S., Donnelly C.A., Dubovi E.J., Szykman Gunther M., Lines R., Mills G., Davies-Mostert H.T., Weldon McNutt J., Rasmussen G., Terio K. & Woodroffe R. (2012) The effect of protected areas on pathogen exposure in endangered African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) populations. Biological Conservation, 150, 15-22.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Establish populations isolated from disease

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Establish populations isolated from disease

    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.

    (Summarised by: Ricardo Rocha)

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