|« Siku ya Chanjwa! (Vaccination Day!)||Meals in the Field »|
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Sensa ya Watu na Mbwa (Human and Dog Census)
“Sasa, hi ni GPS…kama simu.” (Now, this is a GPS…kind of like a cell phone.) Chunde is explaining to the village leaders we’re working with as part of my domestic-dog demography research what a GPS unit is and how to use it.
Many of these villages don’t have maps, so it can be difficult to identify parts of the village where dogs are not vaccinated or where disease outbreaks tend to occur. A new element we’re incorporating this year is the collection of village spatial distribution data?i.e., how households are distributed geographically throughout the village.
We trained village leaders to collect this data with us. While it took some practice, Chunde was an excellent teacher, and we’ve already received several completed censuses. In addition to the GPS coordinates, the leaders are counting the number of people and dogs in each household. They’re also writing down which households have vaccinated dogs. I later type up these data and present them to the village and district leaders.
This is valuable data for me because it gives me an estimate of the total dog population in the villages, and I can track changes from year to year. Moreover, this data has already proven extremely useful for the villages, because they now have an estimate of total people, children and households in their village. Last year, for example, Buyubi village used our census data to obtain mosquito nets from a government anti-malaria campaign!
Serengeti Field Diaries
Lincoln Park Zoo is leading the Serengeti Health Initiative, a collaborative effort to preserve the wildlife of this African ecosystem while benefiting local people. Our Serengeti field diaries feature updates as scientists conduct vaccination efforts, collaborate with Tanzanian partners and encounter the Serengeti’s famed wildlife.
Rachel Santymire, Ph.D.
An endocrinologist in the Davee Center for Epidemiology and Endocrinology, Santymire studies stress and reproduction at the zoo and in the wild.
A graduate student in the department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Anna is studying how rabies vaccination campaigns of domestic dogs in villages around Serengeti National Park affect population dynamics.
Your support helps conserve endangered species around the globe. Give today to make a difference.