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Patterns of interactions and disease transmission between domestic and wild carnivores of Madagascar

Health evaluation of endemic carnivores of Madagascar and assessment of disease transmission between species

Humans and their introduced domestic animals may affect the abundance and distribution of endemic species even within natural habitats and protected areas. The reason for this correlation may be any, or a combination, of interspecific competition, predation and diseases. In fact, diseases may be a factor of apparent competition and are increasingly recognized as threats to endangered populations of wildlife. With this project, we aim to evaluate the impact of domestic animals on endemic wildlife and more specifically, the potential for disease transmission between introduced and endemic carnivore species in the Betampona Natural Reserve, Madagascar. We describe and analyze the spatio-temporal interactions between species, identify risk factors of exposure to selected pathogens in introduced domestic and peridomestic animal species in villages as well as endemic mammals within the protected area. Finally, using microbial genetics and tracking methods we aim to uncover the ecology of a potential pathogen and identify individuals or species that may act as super spreaders of diseases in the ecosystem of Betampona.

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