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Friday, December 9, 2011
Siku ya Chanjwa! (Vaccination Day!)
Earlier in the season we joined forces with the Serengeti Health Initiative team to vaccinate dogs for rabies, distemper and parvovirus in Nangale village. The line was long, the sun was hot and there were lots of nervous puppies around. By the end of the day we vaccinated 350 dogs!
Chunde and I helped with registration and vaccinations, all while keeping our eyes open for our study dogs. We marked every vaccinated dog with a green collar so we could later identify who has and who has not been vaccinated. The bright green collars are visible and particularly helpful if vaccination certificates get misplaced.
Vaccination day is a very important aspect of my research because I want to determine if domestic dog survival and life expectancy differs between dogs living in vaccination villages and dogs living in non-vaccination villages. Additionally, I’m interested in looking at differences within the vaccination villages, because not all vaccination village dogs make it to vaccination day. Remember, these dogs are free roaming and therefore sometimes hard to catch…especially if they sense they’re going to get a shot.
Anna Czupryna is a research associate with the Alexander Center for Applied Population Biology. She's currently in the Serengeti studying how the zoo-led vaccination campaign impacts the population dynamics of the regions domestic dogs.
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.
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