Saturday, November 19, 2011

Lions in Chobe- no evidence of distemper related mortality

The Chobe National Park has a large predator population that utilizes the river front area of the park. As the only permanent water resource in the area, both predators and prey concentrate along this interface for much of the year. Previous work has found that canine pathogen exposure (including distemper) is common in these populations (Alexander et al 2010) although with the exception of the loss of wild dogs in 1995 to distemper (First documented report, Alexander and Appel 1994), no other infectious disease mortality has been noted in this population to date with the exception of a possible anthrax case. The results of over a decade of work in this area indicates that canine infectious diseases are found throughout Botswana even in remote parts of the country. Predator management should be directed at identifying underlying sources of predator mortality that may be impacting populations such as human - wildlife conflict.

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