Les hommes ont oublié cette vérité. Mais tu ne dois pas l'oublier, dit le renard. Tu deviens responsable pour toujours de ce que tu as apprivoisé.
Le Petit Prince, chap. 21

Saturday 25 June 2016

Archeozoology of dogs in fort-village complex at Vindolanda in northern England

Bennett, D., Campbell, G., & Timm, R. M. (2016). The dogs of Roman Vindolanda: Morphometric techniques in differentiating domestic and wild canids. Archaeofauna 25: 79-106

 The Roman-era fort-village complex at Vindolanda in northern England, occupied from about A.D. 50 to A.D. 415, has yielded extensive well-preserved remains of the domestic dog, Canis familiaris. Herein, utilizing a novel combination of biostatistical techniques to identify parameters that best differentiate canids, we test the hypothesis that the inhabitants of Vindolanda selectively bred dogs. We also differentiate dog remains from wolves and foxes, similarly-sized canids that occur throughout Eurasia. The Vindolanda dogs are less morphologically diverse than modern dogs but much more diverse than dogs of the British Neolithic and Iron Age. They are as morphologically diverse as dogs excavated from other Romano–British sites, and only slightly less diverse than the whole known population of Roman-era dogs sampled from across Europe and North Africa. Vindolanda dogs thus underwent greater directional selection than expected from natural environmental forces, suggesting that selective breeding rather than random panmixis maintained diversity. The Vindolanda dog sample will make an ideal subject for DNA analysis, since it contains dogs undergoing incipient diversification from dingo-like ancestors.

Bennett, D., & Timm, R. M. (2016). The dogs of Roman Vindolanda, Part II: Time-stratigraphic occurrence, ethnographic comparisons, and biotype reconstruction. Archaeofauna 25:  107-126

The Roman fort-village complex at Vindolanda in northern England has yielded extensive well-preserved remains of domestic dogs, Canis familiaris. Herein, we pose the questions—did the Romans breed for distinctive dog morphotypes, or were dogs breeding panmictically; and if dogs were bred, was it for functionality.
Biotype reconstructions of the eight dog morphotypes known from Roman Vindolanda
We address these questions utilizing remains that are correlated to age and context; morphometric analysis; dental wear stage; bone pathology; pawprints impressed in tiles, and contemporary written records and artwork. All age classes of dogs are represented. There is no evidence that dogs were butchered for food; survivorship curves suggest the typical U-shaped distribution found in populations at equilibrium. Small, medium-sized, and large dogs are represented with frequency changing over time and corresponding to change in the region of origin of the resident military cohort. Husbandry is confirmed on an individual with healed wounds and with the discovery of a beehive-shaped wattle doghouse. Dogs were used extensively in hunting wild game and bred for that activity. By integrating many diverse kinds of data we are able reconstruct biotypes of Roman dogs, greatly facilitating the interpretation of their functionality.

Thursday 23 June 2016

Domestic dogs are the only population essential for persistence of rabies in Serengeti

Lembo, T., Hampson, K., Haydon, D. T., Craft, M., Dobson, A., Dushoff, J., ... & Mentzel, C. (2008). Exploring reservoir dynamics: a case study of rabies in the Serengeti ecosystem. Journal of Applied Ecology, 45(4), 1246-1257.

  1. Knowledge of infection reservoir dynamics is critical for effective disease control, but identifying reservoirs of multi-host pathogens is challenging. Here, we synthesize several lines of evidence to investigate rabies reservoirs in complex carnivore communities of the Serengeti ecological region in northwest Tanzania, where the disease has been confirmed in 12 carnivore species.
  2. Long-term monitoring data suggest that rabies persists in high-density domestic dog Canis familiaris populations (> 11 dogs/km2) and occurs less frequently in lower-density (< 5 dogs /km2) populations and only sporadically in wild carnivores.
  3. Genetic data show that a single rabies virus variant belonging to the group of southern Africa canid-associated viruses (Africa 1b) circulates among a range of species, with no evidence of species-specific virus–host associations.
  4. Within-species transmission was more frequently inferred from high-resolution epidemiological data than between-species transmission. Incidence patterns indicate that spill-over of rabies from domestic dog populations sometimes initiates short-lived chains of transmission in other carnivores.
  5. Synthesis and applications. The balance of evidence suggests that the reservoir of rabies in the Serengeti ecosystem is a complex multi-host community where domestic dogs are the only population essential for persistence, although other carnivores contribute to the reservoir as non-maintenance populations. Control programmes that target domestic dog populations should therefore have the greatest impact on reducing the risk of infection in all other species including humans, livestock and endangered wildlife populations, but transmission in other species may increase the level of vaccination coverage in domestic dog populations necessary to eliminate rabies.

Vulture declines and increased dog scavenging

Ogada, D. L., Torchin, M. E., Kinnaird, M. F., & Ezenwa, V. O. (2012). Effects of vulture declines on facultative scavengers and potential implications for mammalian disease transmission. Conservation Biology, 26(3), 453-460.

Vultures (Accipitridae and Cathartidae) are the only known obligate scavengers. They feed on rotting carcasses and are the most threatened avian functional group in the world. Possible effects of vulture declines include longer persistence of carcasses and increasing abundance of and contact between facultative scavengers at these carcasses. These changes could increase rates of transmission of infectious diseases, with carcasses serving as hubs of infection. To evaluate these possibilities, we conducted a series of observations and experimental tests of the effects of vulture extirpation on decomposition rates of livestock carcasses and mammalian scavengers in Kenya. We examined whether the absence of vultures changed carcass decomposition time, number of mammalian scavengers visiting carcasses, time spent by mammals at carcasses, and potential for disease transmission at carcasses (measured by changes in intraspecific contact rates). In the absence of vultures, mean carcass decomposition rates nearly tripled. Furthermore, the mean number of mammals at carcasses increased 3-fold (from 1.5 to 4.4 individuals/carcass), and the average time spent by mammals at carcasses increased almost 3-fold (from 55 min to 143 min). There was a nearly 3-fold increase in the mean number of contacts between mammalian scavengers at carcasses without vultures. These results highlight the role of vultures in carcass decomposition and level of contact among mammalian scavengers. In combination, our findings lead us to hypothesize that changes in vulture abundance may affect patterns of disease transmission among mammalian carnivores.


Los buitres (Accipitridae y Cathartidae) son los únicos carroñeros obligados que se conocen. Se alimentan de cadáveres en descomposición y son el grupo funcional de aves más amenazado del mundo. Los efectos posibles de las declinaciones de buitres incluyen una mayor persistencia de cadáveres y el incremento de la abundancia de y contacto entre carroñeros facultativos en esos cadáveres. Estos cambios podrían incrementar las tasas de transmisión de enfermedades infecciosas, con los cadáveres funcionando como focos de infección. Para evaluar estas posibilidades, realizamos una serie de observaciones y pruebas experimentales de los efectos de la extirpación de buitres sobre las tasas de descomposición de cadáveres de ganado y mamíferos carroñeros en Kenia. Examinamos sí la ausencia de buitres cambiaba el tiempo de descomposición de cadáveres, el número de mamíferos carroñeros visitando los cadáveres, el tiempo utilizado por mamíferos en los cadáveres y la potencial transmisión de enfermedades en los cadáveres (medida por cambios en las tasas de contacto interespecífico). En ausencia de buitres, las tasas medias de descomposición de cadáveres incrementaron 3 veces (de 1.5 a 4.4 individuos/cadáver), y el tiempo promedio invertido por mamíferos en los cadáveres incrementó casi 3 veces (de 55 min a 143 min). Hubo un aumento de casi tres veces en el número promedio de contactos entre mamíferos carroñeros en cadáveres sin buitres. Estos resultados resaltan el papel de los buitres en la descomposición de cadáveres y del nivel de contacto entre mamíferos carroñeros. En combinación, nuestros resultados nos llevaron a plantear la hipótesis de que cambios en la abundancia de buitre pueden afectar los patrones de transmisión de enfermedades entre mamíferos carnívoros.

Tuesday 21 June 2016

Fatal canine distemper virus infection of giant pandas in China

Feng, N., Yu, Y., Wang, T., Wilker, P., Wang, J., Li, Y., ... & Xia, X. (2016). Fatal canine distemper virus infection of giant pandas in China. Scientific Reports, 6, 27518.

We report an outbreak of canine distemper virus (CDV) infection among endangered giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca). Five of six CDV infected giant pandas died. The surviving giant panda was previously vaccinated against CDV. Genomic sequencing of CDV isolated from one of the infected pandas (giant panda/SX/2014) suggests it belongs to the Asia-1 cluster. The hemagglutinin protein of the isolated virus and virus sequenced from lung samples originating from deceased giant pandas all possessed the substitutions V26M, T213A, K281R, S300N, P340Q, and Y549H. The presence of the Y549H substitution is notable as it is found at the signaling lymphocytic activation molecule (SLAM) receptor-binding site and has been implicated in the emergence of highly pathogenic CDV and host switching. These findings demonstrate that giant pandas are susceptible to CDV and suggest that surveillance and vaccination among all captive giant pandas are warranted to support conservation efforts for this endangered species.

Saturday 18 June 2016

Pathogens of domestic carnivores around a National Park

Fiorello, C. V., Deem, S. L., Gompper, M. E., & Dubovi, E. J. (2004). Seroprevalence of pathogens in domestic carnivores on the border of Madidi National Park, Bolivia. Animal Conservation, 7(1), 45-54.

The importance of diseases of domestic animals in the conservation of wildlife is increasingly being recognised. Wild carnivores are susceptible to many of the pathogens carried by domestic dogs and cats and some of these pathogens have caused disease outbreaks and severe population declines in threatened species. The risk of disease spillover from domestic to wild carnivores in South America has not been extensively investigated. This study examined the disease exposure of domestic carnivores living near a protected area in Bolivia. Forty dogs and 14 cats living in three towns on the eastern border of Madidi National Park were sampled. High levels of exposure to canine distemper virus, canine parvovirus, Sarcoptes scabiei and Toxoplasma gondii were found among domestic dogs, with similarly high levels of exposure to feline parvovirus, feline calicivirus and T. gondii being found among domestic cats. If contact occurs between domestic and wild carnivores, disease spillover may represent an important risk for the persistence of wild carnivores in the region. Additional research is therefore necessary to determine if wild carnivores living in proximity to these domestic carnivore populations are being exposed to these pathogens.

Pathogens in domestic dogs around National Park

Bronson, E., Emmons, L. H., Murray, S., Dubovi, E. J., & Deem, S. L. (2008). Serosurvey of pathogens in domestic dogs on the border of Noel Kempff Mercado National Park, Bolivia. Journal of zoo and wildlife medicine, 39(1), 28-36.

The threat of disease transmission from domestic animals to wildlife has become recognized as an increasing concern within the wildlife community in recent years. Domestic dogs pose a significant risk as reservoirs for infectious diseases, especially for wild canids. As part of a multifaceted ecologic study of maned wolves and other canids in the large, remote Noël Kempff Mercado National Park (NKMNP) in northeastern Bolivia, 40 domestic dogs in two villages and at two smaller settlements bordering the national park were sampled for exposure to canine diseases. High levels of exposure were found to canine distemper virus and canine parvovirus, both of which are known to cause mortality in maned wolves and other carnivores. Moderate to high levels of exposure were found to rabies virus, Ehrlichia canis, and Toxoplasma gondii, as well as significant levels of infection with Dirofilaria immitis. This study reports evidence of exposure to several diseases in the domestic dogs bordering the park. Contact between wild carnivores and dogs has been documented in the sampled villages, therefore dogs likely pose a substantial risk to the carnivores within and near NKMNP. Further measures should be undertaken to decrease the risk of spillover infection from domestic animals into the wild species of this region.

Thursday 16 June 2016

First evidence of canine distemper in Brazilian free-ranging felids

Nava, A. F. D., Cullen Jr, L., Sana, D. A., Nardi, M. S., Ramos Filho, J. D., Lima, T. F., ... & Ferreira, F. (2008). First evidence of canine distemper in Brazilian free-ranging felids. Ecohealth, 5(4), 513-518.

Serum samples from 19 jaguars (Panthera onca), nine pumas (Puma concolor), and two ocelots (Leopardus pardalis) were collected between January 1999 and March of 2005 and tested for presence of canine distemper virus (CDV). All cats were free-ranging animals living in two protected areas in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. In addition, 111 domestic dogs from nearby areas were sampled for CDV. Our results show the first evidence of CDV exposure in Brazilian free-ranging felids. From the 30 samples analyzed, six jaguars and one puma were tested seropositive for CDV. All seropositive large felids were from Ivinhema State Park, resulting in 31.5% of the sampled jaguars or 60% of the total jaguar population in Ivinhema State Park, and 11.28% of the sampled pumas. From the total 111 domestic dogs sampled, 45 were tested seropositive for CDV. At Morro do Diabo State Park, 34.6% of the dogs sampled were positive for CDV, and 100% at Ivinhema State Park. Canine distemper virus in wild felids seems to be related with home range use and in close association with domestic dogs living in nearby areas.

Leishmaniasis in dogs living around Atlantic Forest fragments

de Almeida Curi, N. H., de Oliveira Paschoal, A. M., Massara, R. L., Marcelino, A. P., Ribeiro, A. A., Passamani, M., ... & Chiarello, A. G. (2014). Factors associated with the seroprevalence of leishmaniasis in dogs living around Atlantic Forest fragments. PloS one, 9(8), e104003.

Canine visceral leishmaniasis is an important zoonosis in Brazil. However, infection patterns are unknown in some scenarios such as rural settlements around Atlantic Forest fragments. Additionally, controversy remains over risk factors, and most identified patterns of infection in dogs have been found in urban areas. We conducted a cross-sectional epidemiological survey to assess the prevalence of leishmaniasis in dogs through three different serological tests, and interviews with owners to assess features of dogs and households around five Atlantic Forest remnants in southeastern Brazil. We used Generalized Linear Mixed Models and Chi-square tests to detect associations between prevalence and variables that might influence Leishmania infection, and a nearest neighbor dispersion analysis to assess clustering in the spatial distribution of seropositive dogs. Our findings showed an average prevalence of 20% (ranging from 10 to 32%) in dogs. Nearly 40% (ranging from 22 to 55%) of households had at least one seropositive dog. Some individual traits of dogs (height, sterilization, long fur, age class) were found to positively influence the prevalence, while some had negative influence (weight, body score, presence of ectoparasites). Environmental and management features (number of cats in the households, dogs with free-ranging behavior) also entered models as negative associations with seropositivity. Strong and consistent negative (protective) influences of the presence of chickens and pigs in dog seropositivity were detected. Spatial clustering of cases was detected in only one of the five study sites. The results showed that different risk factors than those found in urban areas may drive the prevalence of canine leishmaniasis in farm/forest interfaces, and that humans and wildlife risk infection in these areas. Domestic dog population limitation by gonadectomy, legal restriction of dog numbers per household and owner education are of the greatest importance for the control of visceral leishmaniasis in rural zones near forest fragments.

Tuesday 14 June 2016

Dogs vs camera traps: a comparison of techniques for detecting feral cats

Glen, A. S., Anderson, D., Veltman, C. J., Garvey, P. M., & Nichols, M. (2016). Wildlife detector dogs and camera traps: a comparison of techniques for detecting feral cats. New Zealand Journal of Zoology, 1-11.

A major challenge in controlling overabundant wildlife is monitoring their populations, particularly as they decline to very low density. Camera traps and wildlife detector dogs are increasingly being used for this purpose. We compared the costeffectiveness of these two approaches for detecting feral cats (Felis catus) on two pastoral properties in Hawke’s Bay, North Island, New Zealand. One property was subject to intensive pest removal, while the other had no recent history of pest control. Camera traps and wildlife detector dogs detected cats at similar rates at both sites. The operating costs of each method were also comparable. We identify a number of advantages and disadvantages of each technique, and suggest priorities for further research.

An Ecological and Evolutionary Framework for Commensalism in Anthropogenic Environments

Hulme-Beaman, A., Dobney, K., Cucchi, T., & Searle, J. B. (2016). An Ecological and Evolutionary Framework for Commensalism in Anthropogenic Environments. Trends in Ecology & Evolution.

Commensalism within anthropogenic environments has not been extensively discussed, despite its impact on humans, and there is no formal framework for assessing this ecological relationship in its varied forms. Here, we examine commensalism in anthropogenic environments in detail, considering both ecological and evolutionary drivers. The many assumptions about commensalism and the nature of anthropogenic environments are discussed and we highlight dependency as a key attribute of anthropogenic commensals (anthrodependent taxa). We primarily focus on mammalian species in the anthropogenic-commensal niche, but the traits described and selective pressures presented are likely fundamental to many species engaged in intense commensal relationships with humans. Furthermore, we demonstrate that this largely understudied interaction represents an important opportunity to investigate evolutionary processes in rapidly changing environments.

Monday 13 June 2016

Distemper outbreak and its effect on African wild dog conservation

Fatal canine distemper infection in a pack of African wild dogs in the Serengeti

Goller, K. V., Fyumagwa, R. D., Nikolin, V., East, M. L., Kilewo, M., Speck, S., ... & Wibbelt, G. (2010). Fatal canine distemper infection in a pack of African wild dogs in the Serengeti ecosystem, Tanzania. Veterinary microbiology, 146(3), 245-252.

In 2007, disease related mortality occurred in one African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) pack close to the north-eastern boundary of the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. Histopathological examination of tissues from six animals revealed that the main pathologic changes comprised interstitial pneumonia and suppurative to necrotizing bronchopneumonia. Respiratory epithelial cells contained numerous eosinophilic intracytoplasmic inclusion bodies and multiple syncytial cells were found throughout the parenchymal tissue, both reacting clearly positive with antibodies against canine distemper virus (CDV) antigen. Phylogenetic analysis based on a 388 nucleotide (nt) fragment of the CDV phosphoprotein (P) gene revealed that the pack was infected with a CDV variant most closely related to Tanzanian variants, including those obtained in 1994 during a CDV epidemic in the Serengeti National Park and from captive African wild dogs in the Mkomazi Game Reserve in 2000. Phylogenetic analysis of a 335-nt fragment of the fusion (F) gene confirmed that the pack in 2007 was infected with a variant most closely related to one variant from 1994 during the epidemic in the Serengeti National Park from which a comparable fragment is available. Screening of tissue samples for concurrent infections revealed evidence of canine parvovirus, Streptococcus equi subsp. ruminatorum and Hepatozoon sp. No evidence of infection with Babesia sp. or rabies virus was found. Possible implications of concurrent infections are discussed. This is the first molecular characterisation of CDV in free-ranging African wild dogs and only the third confirmed case of fatal CDV infection in a free-ranging pack.

Sunday 12 June 2016

Epidemiology, pathology, and genetic analysis of a canine distemper epidemic in Namibia

Gowtage-Sequeira, S., Banyard, A. C., Barrett, T., Buczkowski, H., Funk, S. M., & Cleaveland, S. (2009). Epidemiology, pathology, and genetic analysis of a canine distemper epidemic in Namibia. Journal of wildlife diseases, 45(4), 1008-1020.

Severe population declines have resulted from the spillover of canine distemper virus (CDV) into susceptible wildlife, with both domestic and wild canids being involved in the maintenance and transmission of the virus. This study (March 2001 to October 2003) collated case data, serologic, pathologic, and molecular data to describe the spillover of CDV from domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) to black-backed jackals (Canis mesomelas) during an epidemic on the Namibian coast. Antibody prevalence in jackals peaked at 74.1%, and the clinical signs and histopathologic observations closely resembled those observed in domestic dog cases. Viral RNA was isolated from the brain of a domestic dog from the outbreak area. Sequence data from the phosphoprotein (P) gene and the hemagglutinin (H) genes were used for phylogenetic analyses. The P gene sequence from the domestic dog shared 98% identity with the sequence data available for other CDV isolates of African carnivores. For the H gene, the two sequences available from the outbreak that decimated the lion population in Tanzania in 1994 were the closest match with the Namibian sample, being 94% identical across 1,122 base pairs (bp). Phylogenetic analyses based on this region clustered the Namibian sample with the CDV that is within the morbilliviruses. This is the first description of an epidemic involving black-backed jackals in Namibia, demonstrating that this species has the capacity for rapid and large-scale dissemination of CDV. This work highlights the threat posed to endangered wildlife in Namibia by the spillover of CDV from domestic dog populations. Very few sequence data are currently available for CDV isolates from African carnivores, and this work provides the first sequence data from a Namibian CDV isolate.

Saturday 11 June 2016

Occurrence of pathogens in Brazilian wild carnivores and its implications for conservation and public health

Jorge, R. S., Rocha, F. L., May-Júnior, A. J., & Morato, R. G. (2010). Ocorrência de patógenos em carnívoros selvagens brasileiros e suas implicações para a conservação e saúde pública. Oecologia Australis, 14(3), 686-710.

Several outbreaks caused by pathogens caused declines in wild carnivore populations in the last decades. In addition to the negative impact to wild populations, there is a concern about the transmission of some of these agents to humans and domestic animals. In fact, environmental alterations have resulted in changes in the pathogen-host relation. Therefore, monitoring health of wild animals is considered an important component in programs for control or eradication of diseases and in the public and animal health politics and for the management and conservation of wild species. Considering the role of mammals of the order Carnivora in the trophic chain, they might be used as “sentinels”, working as strategic targets in programs of surveillance of important pathogens for public and animal health. We review in this paper case-studies of the main pathogens that occur in wild carnivores, emphasizing species of the Brazilian fauna. We also discuss laboratorial methods used in studies of exposure of Brazilian wild carnivores to pathogens, as well as strategies to minimize the impacts in these populations caused by that exposure, and methods for controlling the occurrence of zoonotic pathogens in wild carnivores.

Diversos surtos epidêmicos causados por agentes patogênicos provocaram severo declínio em populações de carnívoros selvagens nas últimas décadas. Além deste impacto às populações silvestres, há a preocupação da transmissão de alguns destes agentes à população humana e de animais domésticos. De fato, as alterações ambientais têm provocado mudanças na relação patógeno-hospedeiro. Desta forma, o monitoramento da saúde de animais silvestres é importante componente no estabelecimento de programas de controle e erradicação de doenças e na elaboração de políticas de saúde pública e animal e de manejo e conservação de espécies selvagens. Considerando o papel dos mamíferos da ordem Carnivora na cadeia trófica, estes podem ser usados como “sentinelas”, sendo alvos estratégicos em programas de vigilância para detecção de patógenos. Neste artigo serão revisados estudos de caso dos principais patógenos que acometem carnívoros selvagens, com ênfase nas espécies da fauna brasileira. Os métodos laboratoriais utilizados nos estudos de exposição dos carnívoros brasileiros a patógenos serão discutidos e considerações sobre estratégias para minimizar seus impactos sobre a fauna silvestre, bem como os possíveis métodos para controle de patógenos causadores de zoonoses em carnívoros.

Friday 10 June 2016

Pathogens of wild maned wolves in Brazil

Curi, N. H. D. A., Coelho, C. M., Malta, M. D. C. C., Magni, E. M. V., Sábato, M. A. L., Araújo, A. S., ... & Souza, S. L. P. D. (2012). Pathogens of wild maned wolves (Chrysocyon brachyurus) in Brazil. Journal of wildlife diseases, 48(4), 1052-1056.

The maned wolf, Chrysocyon brachyurus, is an endangered Neotropical canid that survives at low population densities. Diseases are a potential threat for its conservation but to date have been poorly studied. We performed clinical evaluations and investigated the presence of infectious diseases through serology and coprologic tests on maned wolves from Galheiro Natural Private Reserve, Perdizes City, Minas Gerais State, southeastern Brazil. Fifteen wolves were captured between 2003 and 2008. We found high prevalences of antibody to canine distemper virus (CDV; 13/14), canine
parvovirus (CPV; 4/14), canine adenovirus type 2 (13/14), canine coronavirus (5/11), canine parainfluenza virus (5/5), and Toxoplasma gondii (6/8), along with Ancylostomidae eggs in all feces
samples. Antibodies against Leishmania sp. were found in one of 10 maned wolves, and all samples were negative for Neospora caninum. Evidence of high exposure to these viral agents was also observed in unvaccinated domestic dogs from neighboring farms. High prevalence of viral agents and parasites such as CDV, CPV, and Ancylostomidae indicates that this population faces considerable risk of outbreaks and chronic debilitating parasites. This is the first report of exposure to canine parainfluenza virus in Neotropical free-ranging wild canids. Our findings highlight that canine pathogens pose a serious hazard to the viability of maned wolves and other wild carnivore populations in the area and emphasize the need for monitoring and protecting wildlife health in remaining fragments of the Cerrado biome.

Leishmania in wild and domestic canids around a Brazilian National Park

Curi, N. H. D. A., Miranda, I., & Talamoni, S. A. (2006). Serologic evidence of Leishmania infection in free-ranging wild and domestic canids around a Brazilian National Park. Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, 101(1), 99-101.

Transmission of disease between wildlife, domestic animals, and humans is of great concern to conservation issues and public health. Here we report on the prevalence of anti-Leishmania sp. antibodies in 21 wild canids (7 Chrysocyon brachyurus, 12 Cerdocyon thous, and 2 Lycalopex vetulus) and 74 free domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) sampled around the Serra do Cipó National Park. In dogs, the apparent prevalence was 8.1% and in wild canids it was 19% (2 crab-eating foxes, C. thous, and 2 maned wolves, C. brachyurus). Management of the domestic dog population with evaluation of incidence changes in humans and wildlife, and enlightenment on the role of wild reservoirs are essential issues for future action and research.

Thursday 9 June 2016

Contact between wild and domestic canids and virus transmision

Courtenay, O., Quinnell, R. J., & Chalmers, W. S. K. (2001). Contact rates between wild and domestic canids: no evidence of parvovirus or canine distemper virus in crab-eating foxes. Veterinary Microbiology, 81(1), 9-19.

Evaluating the risk of disease spill-over from domestic dogs to wildlife depends on knowledge of inter-specific contact rates and/or exposure to aetiological agents in dog environments. Here, contact rates of crab-eating foxes (Cerdocyon thous) with sympatric domestic dog populations were measured over 25 months in Amazon Brazil. Foxes and dogs were serologically and clinically monitored for exposure to canine parvovirus (CPV-2) and canine distemper virus (CDV), pathogens known to have caused wildlife population declines elsewhere. Twenty-two of 24 (92%) tagged foxes visited one or more houses in a median 2 (range 1–3) villages per night where dog densities ranged from 7.2 to 15.4 per km2 (mean 9.5 per km2). Foxes spent an average 6.4% (0–40.3%) of their 10 h nocturnal activity period in villages, the equivalent of 38 m (range 0–242) per night. The rate of potential exposure to disease agents was thus high, though varied by 3 orders of magnitude for individual foxes. Overall, 46% of the fox population was responsible for 80% of all contacts. None of the 37 monitored foxes however showed serological or clinical evidence of infection with CPV-2 or CDV. Seroprevalences for CPV-2 and CDV antibodies in the local domestic dog population were 13% (3/23) and 9% (2/23), respectively, and 89% of 97 monitored pups born during the study presented clinical signs consistent with active CPV-2 infection (haemorrhagic diarrhoea, vomiting, rapid morbidity and emaciation). Although there was no evidence for infection with either virus in foxes, the high level of contact of foxes with peridomestic habitats suggests that the probability of potential spill-over infections from dogs to foxes is high.

Genetics of CDV in East African carnivores

Carpenter, M. A., Appel, M. J., Roelke-Parker, M. E., Munson, L., Hofer, H., East, M., & O'Brien, S. J. (1998). Genetic characterization of canine distemper virus in Serengeti carnivores. Veterinary immunology and immunopathology, 65(2), 259-266.

The lion (Panthera leo) population in the Serengeti ecosystem was recently afflicted by a fatal epidemic involving neurological disease, encephalitis and pneumonia. The cause was identified as canine distemper virus (CDV). Several other species in the Serengeti were also affected. This report presents CDV H and P gene sequences isolated from Serengeti lions (Panthera leo), spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta), bat-eared fox (Otocyon megalotis) and domestic dog (Canis familiaris). Sequence analyses demonstrated that the four Serengeti species carry closely related CDV isolates which are genetically distinct from other CDV isolates from various species and locations. The results are consistent with the conclusions that: (1) a particularly virulent strain of CDV emerged among Serengeti carnivores within the last few years; (2) that strain has recognizable shared-derived (synapomorphic) genetic differences in both H and P genes when compared to CDV from other parts of the world; and (3) that the CDV strain has frequently crossed host species among Serengeti carnivores.

Wednesday 8 June 2016

Stray dog bite menace

Dhiman, A. K., Mazta, S. R. & Thakur, A. (2016) Stray dog bite menace: an open invitation to rabies in Shimla city, Himachal Pradesh, India. Int J Community Med Public Health, 3 (6), 1683-1684. doi:10.18203/2394-6040.ijcmph20161651

Shimla is the capital city of Himachal Pradesh. Shimla acts as a hub for India's tourism sector. It is among the top 10 preferred entrepreneurial locations in India. City is grappling with the problem of stray dog menace. Stray dogs have established their habitats around the restaurants, hotels, hostels, hospitals and clubs here. There are around 3500-4000 stray dogs in Shimla City. In localities like the Mall Road, the Ridge, Jakhu and Summer Hill etc. the free roaming dogs are seen barking on the people.

Tuesday 7 June 2016

Invasive stray and feral dogs limit endangered fossa populations in Madagascar

Barcala O. 2009. Invasive stray and feral dogs limit fosa (Cryptoprocta ferox) populations
in Ankarafantsika National Park, Madagascar. Duke University (M.Sc. thesis),
Durham, North Carolina, U.S.A. 

The fosa (Cryptoprocta ferox) is a medium sized carnivore of the family Eupleridae which is endemic to the island of Madagascar. Recent publications have shown that the fosa is under significant pressure from deforestation and fragmentation, leading to its classification as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act. A trap study was conducted from 1999 to 2008 in Ankarafantsika National Park, Madagascar, to ascertain the health of a population and measure additional threats to its survival. Feral dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) appeared in the park in 2004 and a comparison of trap rates of the two species shows an inverse relationship between the presence of dogs and the presence of fosa. In this paper I discuss reasons for this relationship, the effect of the continued presence of dogs, and implications for the management of the park.

Feral cats and dogs the most abundant carnivores in endangered Fossa habitat

Mann, G. K. H., & Hawkins, F. 2015. First record of Fossa Cryptoprocta ferox in Mariarano forest, Madagascar. Small Carnivore Conservation 52 & 53: 45–55

We surveyed the carnivore community in two patches of forest around Mariarano village in north-western Madagascar using camera traps. Cameras were set along trails in the forest and were active for a total of 517 trap nights. We recorded the presence of two indigenous carnivore species, Fossa Cryptoprocta ferox and Western Falanouc Eupleres major, and three introduced carnivore species; Small Indian Civet Viverricula indica, domestic dogs Canis familiaris and domestic cats Felis catus. This is the first record of C. ferox in the Mariarano forest area. We discuss the significance of this
finding, as well as a potential extirpation of E. major in the Matsedroy forest patch.

Monday 6 June 2016

Stray dogs life in Quetta city of Balochistan

Taj, M. K., Taj, I., Mustafa, M. Z., Hassani, T. M., Samad, A., Asadullah, A. A., ... & Samreen, Z. Stray dogs life in Quetta city of Balochistan. HFSP Journal - HFSP Publishing, 9 (7), 36-40.

Different life style aspects of the stray dog population were investigated in Quetta city (Balochistan/Pakistan). The living of stray dogs is influenced by the cultural and eating habits of the human population. In residential area garbage stack provide leftover food, while in commercial area hotels, bakeries, fast food points contribute to stray dog feeding. City poultry retailers and local slaughter houses also play an important role in feeding stray dogs. Stray dogs live in groups that are basically one family units. Group size in stray dogs varies greatly, ranging from 3-6 individuals per group. Behavioral observations revealed forming occasional groups with hierarchical dominance for communal defense of a territory and development of long-term affiliative bonds among group members. In groups stray dogs cause extensive damage once they begin attack livestock. The most common diseases found in stray dogs are fleas, ear mites, mange, worms and rabies. Stray dogs breed twice a year and all the mating recorded in this study took place between August and December with a peak in late monsoon months (September to November) showing a prolonged mating period.

Sunday 5 June 2016

Exposure of free-ranging maned wolves to infectious and parasitic disease agents

Deem, S. L., & Emmons, L. H. (2005). Exposure of free-ranging maned wolves (Chrysocyon brachyurus) to infectious and parasitic disease agents in the Noel Kempff Mercado National Park, Bolivia. Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, 36(2), 192-197.

Maned wolves (Chrysocyon brachyurus) are neotropic mammals, listed as a CITES Appendix II species, with a distribution south of the Amazon forest from Bolivia, through northern Argentina and Paraguay and into eastern Brazil and northern Uruguay. Primary threats to the survival of free-ranging maned wolves include habitat loss, road kills, and shooting by farmers. An additional threat to the conservation of maned wolves is the risk of morbidity and mortality due to infectious and parasitic diseases. Captive maned wolves are susceptible to, and die from, common infectious diseases of domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) including canine distemper virus (CDV), canine parvovirus (CPV), rabies virus, and canine adenovirus (CAV). Results from this study show that free-ranging maned wolves in a remote area of Bolivia have been exposed to multiple infectious and parasitic agents of domestic carnivores, including CAV, CDV, CPV, canine coronavirus, rabies virus, Leptospira interrogans spp., Toxoplasma gondii, and Dirofilaria immitis, and may be at increased risk for disease due to these agents.

Modelling the population control of the domestic cat from an island

Lessa, I. C. M., & Bergallo, H. G. (2012). Modelling the population control of the domestic cat: an example from an island in Brazil. Brazilian Journal of Biology, 72(3), 445-452.

The domestic cat is an invasive species that often causes great impacts where introduced due to its high predatory and reproductive potential, especially on islands. In this study, carried out on Ilha Grande (RJ, Brazil), we aimed to: i) estimate the population density of domestic cats, ii) calculate the number of animals preyed upon annually by domestic cats, and iii) evaluate the efficiency of methods to control the cat population. We used the Vortex program to project the population growth of domestic cats in fifty years, and simulated different scenarios of population control (without control, castration, spay and harvest). Population density of owned cats was 662 cats/km2. The annual predation rate was 1.97 prey animals/cat which is an average of 1497.96 prey/year. The population would only be reduced if 70% of females were spayed or removed annually. Measures to control the domestic cat population must be undertaken urgently, since uncontrolled growth of this predator has the potential to seriously impact the biodiversity of Ilha Grande.


O gato doméstico é uma espécie invasora que frequentemente causa grandes impactos onde é introduzido, em razão do seu alto potencial predatório e reprodutivo, especialmente em ilhas. Com este estudo realizado na Ilha Grande-RJ, Brasil, tivemos como objetivos: i) estimar a densidade populacional de gatos domésticos; ii) calcular o número de animais predados anualmente por gatos domésticos, e iii) estimar a eficiência de métodos para o controle da população de gatos. Nós utilizamos o programa Vortex para projetar o crescimento da população de gatos em 50 anos e simulamos diferentes cenários de controle populacional: sem controle, castração, esterilização de fêmeas e remoção de indivíduos. A densidade populacional de gatos que possuem donos foi de 662 gatos/km2. A taxa anual de predação foi de 1,97 animais predados/gato, ou seja, uma média de 1497,96 presas/ano. A população de gatos pode ser reduzida apenas se no mínimo 70% das fêmeas forem esterilizadas ou removidas anualmente. Medidas para o controle populacional de gatos domésticos devem ser tomadas com urgência, uma vez que o crescimento descontrolado da população desse predador tem o potencial de causar graves impactos à biodiversidade da Ilha Grande.

A CDV epidemic in Serengeti

Roelke-Parker, M. E., Munson, L., Packer, C., Kock, R., Cleaveland, S., Carpenter, M., ... & Mwamengele, G. L. (1996). A canine distemper virus epidemic in Serengeti lions (Panthera leo). Nature, 379(6564), 441-445.

CANINE distemper virus (CDV) is thought to have caused several fatal epidemics in canids within the Serengeti–Mara ecosystem of East Africa, affecting silver-backed jackals (Canis mesomelas) and bat-eared foxes (Otocyon megalotis) in 1978 (ref. 1), and African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) in 1991 (refs 2, 3). The large, closely monitored Serengeti lion population4,5 was not affected in these epidemics. However, an epidemic caused by a morbillivirus closely related to CDV emerged abruptly in the lion population of the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, in early 1994, resulting in fatal neurological disease characterized by grand mal seizures and myoclonus; the lions that died had encephalitis and pneumonia. Here we report the identification of CDV from these lions, and the close phylogenetic relationship between CDV isolates from lions and domestic dogs. By August 1994, 85% of the Serengeti lion population had anti-CDV antibodies, and the epidemic spread north to lions in the Maasai Mara National reserve, Kenya, and uncounted hyaenas, bat-eared foxes, and leopards were also affected.

Disease and endangered species

Thorne, E., & Williams, E. S. (1988). Disease and endangered species: the black‐footed ferret as a recent example. Conservation Biology, 2(1), 66-74.

Diseases may play major roles in the conservation of endangered species. Although the threat of disease received extensive consideration and influenced research and management activities governing the endangered black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) in Wyoming, a canine distemper epizootic in 1985 severely affected a captive breeding program and led to extirpation of the species from the wild. This recent example of the catastrophic effect of epizootic disease in an endangered species is described in an historical context. In addition, examples are given of disease further endangering other rare species, including Mauritius pink pigeon, Père David's deer, cranes, maned wolves, native Hawaiian birak, cheetahs, and others.


Las enfermedades pueden jugar un papel importante en la conservación de especies en peligro de extinción. Aunque la amenaza de enfermedad recibió gran consideratión e influyó en la investigación y las actividades de manejo del hurón de patas-negras (Mustela nigripes), especie en peligro de extinción en Wyoming en 1985 el moquillo canino epizoótico impactó severamente un programa de crianza en cautiverio y condujo a la extinción de esta especie en su ambiente silvestre. Este reciente ejemplo del efecto catastrófico de una enfermedad epizoótica sobre una especie en peligro de extinción es descrito en un contexto histórico. Además, se dan ejemplos de enfermedades que amenazan aun más a otras especies raras, incluyendo la paloma rosada de Mauricio, el ciervo de David, el lobo de crin, el guepardo, diversas grullas, varias aves de las islas de Hawaii, entre otros.

Friday 3 June 2016

Genetic signatures underlying feline biology and domestication

Little is known about the genetic changes that distinguish domestic cat populations from their wild progenitors. Here we describe a high-quality domestic cat reference genome assembly and comparative inferences made with other cat breeds, wildcats, and other mammals. Based upon these comparisons, we identified positively selected genes enriched for genes involved in lipid metabolism that underpin adaptations to a hypercarnivorous diet. 
We also found positive selection signals within genes underlying sensory processes, especially those affecting vision and hearing in the carnivore lineage. We observed an evolutionary tradeoff between functional olfactory and vomeronasal receptor gene repertoires in the cat and dog genomes, with an expansion of the feline chemosensory system for detecting pheromones at the expense of odorant detection. Genomic regions harboring signatures of natural selection that distinguish domestic cats from their wild congeners are enriched in neural crest-related genes associated with behavior and reward in mouse models, as predicted by the domestication syndrome hypothesis. Our description of a previously unidentified allele for the gloving pigmentation pattern found in the Birman breed supports the hypothesis that cat breeds experienced strong selection on specific mutations drawn from random bred populations. Collectively, these findings provide insight into how the process of domestication altered the ancestral wildcat genome and build a resource for future disease mapping and phylogenomic studies across all members of the Felidae.

Exposure of wild carnivores to Leptospira

Jorge, R. S. P., Ferreira, F., Ferreira Neto, J. S., Vasconcellos, S. D. A., Lima, E. D. S., Morais, Z. M. D., & Souza, G. O. D. (2011). Exposure of free-ranging wild carnivores, horses and domestic dogs to Leptospira spp in the northern Pantanal, Brazil. Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, 106(4), 441-444.

Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease affecting most mammals and is distributed throughout the world. Several species of domestic and wild animals may act as reservoirs for this disease. The purpose of this study was to assess the exposure of free-ranging wild carnivores, horses and domestic dogs on a private reserve located in the northern Pantanal (Brazil) and the surrounding areas to Leptospira spp from 2002-2006, 75 free-ranging wild carnivores were captured in the Pantanal and serum samples were collected. In addition, samples from 103 domestic dogs and 23 horses in the region were collected. Serum samples were tested for the presence of Leptospira antibodies using the microscopic agglutination test. Thirty-two wild carnivores (42.7%) were considered positive with titres > 100, and 18 domestic dogs (17.5%) and 20 horses (74.1%) were also found to be positive. Our study showed that horses, dogs and several species of free-ranging wild carnivores have been exposed to Leptospira spp in the Pantanal, suggesting that the peculiar characteristics of this biome, such as high temperatures and an extended period of flooding, may favour bacterial persistence and transmission. In this region, wild carnivores and horses seem to be important hosts for the epidemiology of Leptospira species.

Evidence for domestic dogs as a source of canine distemper virus infection for Serengeti wildlife

Cleaveland, S., Appel, M. G. J., Chalmers, W. S. K., Chillingworth, C., Kaare, M., & Dye, C. (2000). Serological and demographic evidence for domestic dogs as a source of canine distemper virus infection for Serengeti wildlife. Veterinary microbiology, 72(3), 217-227.

Following an epidemic of canine distemper virus (CDV) in Serengeti lions in 1994, the role of domestic dogs in the epidemiology of the disease was investigated by serological and demographic analyses. From 1992 to 1994, data were collected from two domestic dog populations bordering the Serengeti National Park. Several lines of evidence indicated that patterns of CDV infection differed significantly between higher-density dog populations of Serengeti District to the west of the park and lower-density populations of Ngorongoro District to the south-east: (a) CDV age-seroprevalence patterns differed significantly between years in Ngorongoro District populations but not in Serengeti District populations; (b) CDV seropositive pups (<12 months of age) were detected in Ngorongoro District only in 1994, whereas a proportion of pups in Serengeti District were seropositive in each year of the study; (c) in Ngorongoro District, the proportion of deaths attributed to disease was significantly higher in 1994 than in 1993, whereas in Serengeti District, there was no significant difference in disease-related mortality between years; (d) in Ngorongoro District, significantly more CDV seronegative dogs than seropositive dogs died in 1994, whereas there was no difference in survival of CDV seropositives and seronegatives between years in Serengeti District. We concluded that, between 1992 and 1994, CDV persisted in higher-density dog populations of Serengeti District, but occurred only sporadically in lower-density Ngorongoro District populations. Data from Ngorongoro District are consistent with exposure of dogs to CDV in 1991 and 1994, but not in 1992 and 1993. These findings suggest that higher-density domestic dog populations to the west of the Serengeti National Park were a more likely source of CDV infection for wildlife during 1994 than lower-density pastoralist dogs to the south and east of the park.

Dual origin for domestic dog

Frantz, L.A. F., V. E. Mullin, M. Pionnier-Capitan, O. Lebrasseur, M. Ollivier, A. Perri, A. Linderholm, V. Mattiangeli, M. D. Teasdale, E. A. Dimopoulos, A. Tresset, M. Duffraisse, F. McCormick, L. Bartosiewicz, E. Gál, E. A. Nyerges, M. V. Sablin, S. Bréhard, M. Mashkour, A. Bălăşescu,B. Gillet, S. Hughes, O. Chassaing, C. Hitte, J.-D. Vigne, K. Dobney, C. Hänni, D. G. Bradley, & G. Larson. 2016. Genomic and archaeological evidence suggest a dual origin of domestic dogs. Science, 352 (6290) 1228-1231

The geographic and temporal origins of dogs remain controversial. We generated genetic sequences from 59 ancient dogs and a complete (28x) genome of a late Neolithic dog (dated to ~4800 calendar years before the present) from Ireland. Our analyses revealed a deep split separating modern East Asian and Western Eurasian dogs. Surprisingly, the date of this . divergence (~14,000 to 6400 years ago) occurs commensurate with, or several millennia after, the first appearance of dogs in Europe and East Asia. Additional analyses of ancient and modern mitochondrial DNA revealed a sharp discontinuity in haplotype frequencies in Europe. Combined, these results suggest that dogs may have been domesticated independently in Eastern and Western Eurasia from distinct wolf populations. East Eurasian dogs were then possibly transported to Europe with people, where they partially replaced European Paleolithic dogs.

Thursday 2 June 2016

Canine distemper in endangered Ethiopian wolves

Gordon, C. H., Banyard, A. C., Hussein, A., Laurenson, M. K., Malcolm, J. R., Marino, J., ... & Sillero-Zubiri, C. (2015). Canine distemper in endangered Ethiopian wolves. Emerging infectious diseases, 21(5), 824.

The Ethiopian wolf (Canis simensis) is the world’s rarest canid; ≈500 wolves remain. The largest population is found within the Bale Mountains National Park (BMNP) in southeastern Ethiopia, where conservation efforts have demonstrated the negative effect of rabies virus on wolf populations. We describe previously unreported infections with canine distemper virus (CDV) among these wolves during 2005–2006 and 2010. Death rates ranged from 43% to 68% in affected subpopulations and were higher for subadult than adult wolves (83%–87% vs. 34%–39%). The 2010 CDV outbreak started 20 months after a rabies outbreak, before the population had fully recovered, and led to the eradication of several focal packs in BMNP’s Web Valley. The combined effect of rabies and CDV increases the chance of pack extinction, exacerbating the typically slow recovery of wolf populations, and represents a key extinction threat to populations of this highly endangered carnivore.
Adult and subadult Ethiopian wolf population in Sanetti Plateau, Ethiopia, 2002–2013. Dots indicate wolf population estimates at different time points; arrows indicate canine distemper virus outbreaks in this study.

Density of adult and subadult Ethiopian wolf population in Web Valley, Ethiopia, 2002–2013. Dots indicate wolf population estimates at different time points; arrows indicate known rabies epizootics and canine distemper virus outbreaks in this study. Of 7 wolf packs in Web Valley, 4 went extinct after the 2010 canine distemper virus outbreak; in 2011, two new packs formed in the area.

Wednesday 1 June 2016

Ancient DNA supports lineage replacement in European dog gene pool

Deguilloux, M. F., Moquel, J., Pemonge, M. H., & Colombeau, G. (2009). Ancient DNA supports lineage replacement in European dog gene pool: insight into Neolithic southeast France. Journal of Archaeological Science, 36(2), 513-519.

We report palaeogenetic analysis of domesticated dog (Canis familiaris) remains excavated from three archaeological sites from southeast France and dating from Middle Neolithic. Ancient DNA analysis was attempted on teeth and bone samples taken from 11 dogs. Three 266-base-pair fragments of the mitochondrial genome Hypervariable Region I (HVR-I) could be retrieved and revealed two haplotypes belonging to HVR-I lineage C. These three sequences were compared to the sequences of Swedish and Italian Neolithic dogs and permitted to confirm that clade C was largely represented all over Western Europe during this period. One haplotype defined in Neolithic French dog was observed for the first time in Canis mtDNA, underlining the loss of mitochondrial diversity in Europe since the Neolithic. Finally, these results point out mitochondrial lineage replacement in Europe, since lineage C represents only 5% of extant European dogs. Altogether, these results support the proposition that palaeogenetic studies are essential for the reconstruction of the past demographic history and the domestication process of dogs. 

Feral dog impact on a urban fragment of Atlantic forest in Brazil

Galetti, M. & I. Sazima. 2006 . Impacto de cães ferais em um fragmento urbano de Floresta Atlântica no sudeste do Brasil.  Natureza & Conservação 4 (1): 58-63

Os cães ferais domésticos são um dos principais predadores da vida selvagem nativa em áreas
protegidas em todo o mundo. Entretanto, o número de presas caçadas por cães ferais não é registrado
de maneira precisa. Foram encontradas, em um fragmento urbano de 250 hectares de Floresta
Atlântica na Região Sudeste do Brasil, 46 carcaças de no mínimo 12 espécies de vertebrados, caçadas
pelos cães ao longo de 44 meses. Os cães ferais não demonstraram qualquer seleção aparente em
relação às diferentes espécies de presa, matando desde veados a pequenos sapos. Os mamíferos
foram a presa mais freqüentemente encontrada (75%). Nossos dados indicam que os cães ferais têm
um grande impacto sobre a vida selvagem da Floresta Atlântica, especialmente em áreas onde os
animais silvestres precisam mover-se entre os fragmentos florestais. Os programas de erradicação,
embora controversos, são a única maneira de reduzir a predação da vida selvagem por cães ferais.

Feral dogs are one of the main predators of native wildlife inside protected areas all around the world. Nevertheless, the number of preys hunted by feral dogs has not been precisely recorded. In a 250 hectares Atlantic forest fragment in Southeast Brazil, 46 carcasses have been found from at least 12 vertebrate species, hunted by feral dogs along 44 months. Feral dogs didn't have any apparent selection related to their different preys, killing from deer to small toads. Mammals were the most frequently found preys (75%). Our data show that feral dogs have a great impact on wildlife in the Atlantic forest, especially in areas where wild animals have to move between forest fragments. Eradication programs, even if controversial, are the only way to reduce predation of wildlife by feral dogs.

Predation of domestic dogs on capuchin monkey

Oliveira, V.B. de; A. M. Linares; G.L. C. Corrêa & A. G. Chiarello 2008. Predation on the black capuchin monkey Cebus nigritus (Primates: Cebidae) by domestic dogs Canis lupus familiaris (Carnivora: Canidae), in the Parque Estadual Serra do Brigadeiro, Minas Gerais, Brazil.Rev. Bras. Zool., 25 (2)  

Predation on an adult male black capuchin monkey, Cebus nigritus (Goldfuss, 1809) by two domestic dogs was observed in the Parque Estadual Serra do Brigadeiro, in the Atlantic Forest of southeastern Minas Gerais. Predation occurred in an area of well preserved native forest 800 m from the nearest forest edge. This is the first confirmed record of predation by domestic dogs in this reserve, yet data from a study in the same area indicates that the domestic dog is the most frequently recorded mammal species, which suggests that it is common in the area. The few published reports indicate that this problem occurs in other conservation units in Brazil and should, therefore, be treated with more rigor by the environmental agencies.
A predação de um macho adulto de macaco-prego, Cebus nigritus (Goldfuss, 1809) por dois cães-domésticos é relatada no interior do Parque Estadual da Serra do Brigadeiro, localizado na Mata Atlântica do sudeste de Minas Gerais. A observação foi registrada em local de mata nativa bem preservada, a cerca de 800 m da borda mais próxima da reserva. Embora este seja o primeiro registro confirmado de predação por cão doméstico nesta unidade de conservação, dados de um estudo sobre a mastofauna local, usando parcelas de pegadas, indicam que o cão-doméstico é a espécie de mamífero mais freqüentemente registrada, sugerindo que sua presença é constante e amplamente distribuída na área. Os poucos relatos existentes na literatura indicam que este problema está presente em outras unidades de conservação e deveria, portanto, ser tratado com maior rigor pelas agências ambientais.
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