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Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Village One Done!!
We have wrapped up dog data collection in our first village, Buyubi Village! Chunde, my field assistant, and I have been here for about a month rechecking dogs we marked in 2010 and 2011. We’re studying these dogs because dogs in rural Tanzania can transmit diseases such as rabies to people and wildlife. Lincoln Park Zoo has been coordinating a successful dog rabies vaccination program, and we need to know now whether the dog population is increasing due to the vaccinations.
To do this, we’re following individual dogs to compare survival, reproduction and life expectancy in villages with the annual rabies vaccination program and those without. It’s almost like a doggie version of the TV show “Survivor”…although sometimes I think it’s me who has to “survive” catching dogs, identifying them, extreme heat, dust, mud, fleas, ticks, mosquitos, scorpions and extended power outages!
Of course we would not have been able to revisit 114 households, check-up on 396 dogs and collect thousands of data pictures without the help of the dog owners and our Buyubi Village Team!
A research associate in the zoo’s Alexander Center for Applied Population Biology, Anna Czupryna studies domestic dog population dynamics near Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park. Her work is one part of a zoo-led vaccination campaign that protects the region’s people, pets and predators.
Follow Anna’s field updates on Twitter.
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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