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 Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon
09.12.2016 | Wildlife Conservation Society

nachricht Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation
04.11.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

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: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>