Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Monitoring peccaries in Brazil benefits wildlife, local communities and food security

24.03.2011
Veterinarians from the Wildlife Conservation Society and the State Institute of Animal Health (IAGRO) in Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil have conducted one of the first health assessments of white-lipped peccaries (medium-sized pig-like animals) in Brazil's Pantanal. The study was an effort to gauge the impact of Leptospirosis—a zoonotic bacteria that affects a wide range of animals as well as humans—on wildlife and livestock.

The study—conducted between 2003 and 2005 in a region of the Pantanal undergoing increasing land-use change and habitat fragmentation —has shed light on the prevalence of Leptospirosis in free-ranging populations of white-lipped peccaries, an important step in understanding the risks to wildlife and livestock.

The study appears in a recent issue of Tropical Animal Health and Production. The authors include: Tatiana P. Tavares de Freitas, Alexine Keuroghlian, Donald P. Eaton, Flavia Miranda, and José Virgilio B. Lima of the Wildlife Conservation Society; L. Nakazato, and V. Dutra of Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso; E.B. de Freitas, A. Figueiredo, J.M. de Oliveira, R.C.S. Paes, L.A.R.C. Monteiro, and A.A. da C. Neto of Agencia Estadual de Defesa Sanitaria Animal e Vegetal de Mato Grosso do Sul (IAGRO); and J.C. de Freitas of Departmento de Medicina Veterinaria Preventiva, Universidade Estadual de Londrina.

Transmission of Leptospirosis and other diseases from wild to domestic animals can threaten the integrity of food safety and human health. Conversely, the movement of pathogens from domestic animals to wildlife such as peccaries may adversely impact the health of that species and the ecosystem it shapes. In cattle, the disease can cause miscarriages, reduce milk output, induce weight loss, and cause death. Humans can also contract the disease through water contaminated by the urine of infected animals.

Researchers found that 55 white-lipped peccaries (70 percent of the animals in the study) tested positive for Leptospirosis. Among older animals, 80 to 100 percent tested positive, and additional analyses showed that they were exposed to a greater variety (called serovars) of Leptospirosis infections.

"The detection of Leptospirosis antibodies in white-lipped peccaries points to the need for further studies on how diseases move between livestock and wildlife, which creates risk for local economics as well as ecological health," said Dr. Marcela Uhart, WCS veterinarian and Associate Director for Latin America—Global Health Program.

The ongoing white-lipped peccary project is now one of several health projects supported by a $1.5 million gift from Cargill, an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial, and industrial products and services. "We partnered with WCS because we believe the health of wildlife and livestock are interconnected," said Mike Robach, Cargill vice president of corporate food safety and regulatory affairs. "Food safety and security are top priorities at Cargill, and findings WCS is generating from research such as this helps to develop safer and more secure food systems."

WCS's peccary health project also includes a public awareness effort that combines conservation education with sponsorship of a local women's soccer team in the village of Taboco. Soccer is the most popular sport in the region, so by attending games and providing team uniforms, project team members have opportunities to teach local residents, school children, and neighboring communities about the role peccaries play in shaping forest environments. The program has been carried out in partnership with Cargill, a local grassroots NGO called "Quinta do Sol", and the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund.

Describing the public awareness effort, WCS conservation biologist, Alexine Keuroghlian, said: "Team members teach local residents about the important role that peccaries play in maintaining regional biodiversity, for example as seed dispersers, forest engineers, and as prey of jaguar and mountain lions. We strongly discourage hunting of the animals and show how losses of local peccary populations degrade forest environments and cause declines of other forest species."

"As an encouraging sign of the success of the outreach program, we have received several reports from community members of peccary sightings in forest fragments," added Keuroghlian. "By educating young community members, like the soccer players, we're hoping that kids will influence their parents and grandparents, and pass on a conservation ethic that will help maintain wildlife populations in the region."

Cargill has contributed to a number of WCS's health initiatives in Latin America and Asia over the past three years, including in Brazil: a project focused on detecting diseases such as Newcastle and avian influenza in wild birds near commercial poultry farms; a study assessing zoonotic disease in indigenous communities; and an evaluation of wildlife reservoirs of tick-borne diseases.

John Delaney | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wcs.org

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht How does the loss of species alter ecosystems?
18.05.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

nachricht Excess diesel emissions bring global health & environmental impacts
16.05.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>