Navigation Links
Europe's largest badger study finds rare long-distance movements
Date:3/7/2014

Animal movement is a key part of population ecology, helping us understand how species use their environment and maintain viable populations. In many territorial species, most movements occur within a home range. Occasionally, however, individuals make long-distance movements.

Long-distance movements are important: they ensure that populations mix and do not inbreed, but they can also spread infection between populations. They are also rare, so long-distance movements are difficult to study and require large, long-term studies.

Because of their importance as a reservoir for bTB, badgers are a well-studied species. While we know a great deal about how badgers move in and around their home territories, very little is known about rare long-distance movements and nothing about how often badgers travel these long distances.

To answer these questions, scientists from Ireland and Canada studied badger movements for four years across a 755km2 area of County Kilkenny in the Republic of Ireland the largest spatial-scale badger study of its type ever conducted in Europe.

Dr Andrew Byrne of University College Dublin, who led the research while at University College Cork, said: "To study these longer distance movements, a correspondingly large study area is required. And because very long-distance movements occur infrequently, a large sampling effort is required to pick up such events."

Between 2008 and 2012, the team tagged and tattooed 963 badgers at their setts, measuring how far these badgers had travelled when they were next trapped. Although on average the badgers only dispersed 2.6km from their setts, five per cent of these movements were over 7.5km, and the longest recorded distance a badger travelled was 22.1km.

"These long-distance movements may be important for 'seeding' infection, if an infected animal moves to a TB-free location. Overall, long-distance dispersal of infected badgers may allow TB bacteria, Mycobacterium bovis, to survive and persist by finding new hosts despite disease control efforts," he explains.

The findings are important because better understanding of badger movements is essential when trying to model how infection is maintained and spread within badger populations. It is also essential when trying to design policies to tackle tuberculosis within cattle populations.

"These data could be used during the design of intervention strategies aimed at stopping the spatial spread of infection across badger populations. One approach could be to vaccinate badgers across a strip creating a 'cordon sanitaire' or a biological barrier to infected badgers immigrating into a disease-free area. Our data could be used to estimate an appropriate effective width for such a barrier," says Dr Byrne.

The authors recognised that population density could be an important factor affecting movement lengths. Looking at studies from across Europe, the authors found that study area size could have limited the ability to record rare long-distance movements, but there was tendency for shorter movements reported in high-density populations.

The movement study is part of a larger project investigating the impact of orally administered vaccination on bTB levels, funded by the Republic of Ireland Department of Agriculture. The study is now looking at the bTB status of the badgers that make long-distance movements.

"We now want to find out if badgers that make long-distance movements in this population are also those with a greater probability of being TB positive. If so, even though these events are rare, they could have a disproportionate effect on the spread of infection," he says.


'/>"/>

Contact: Becky Allen
beckyallen@ntlworld.com
44-012-235-70016
Wiley
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. NYBG launches Amazon Forest Program to help conserve Earths largest intact forest
2. Researchers create largest evolutionary timetree of land plants to investigate traits that permit survival in cold climates
3. Archaeologists discover largest, oldest wine cellar in Near East
4. Largest lake in Britain and Ireland has lost three-quarters of winter water birds
5. Baylor, DNAnexus, Amazon Web Services collaboration enables largest-ever cloud-based analysis of genomic data
6. Largest therapy trial worldwide: Psychotherapy treats anorexia effectively
7. UCSF establishes largest endowed program for Ph.D. education in history of UC
8. Worlds largest event for bone, muscle, and joint research and practice to be held in Spain
9. ChipCares handheld analyzer attracts one of Canadas largest-ever healthcare angel investments
10. Renaissance in new drugs for rare diseases: Report in worlds largest scientific socity magazine
11. Worlds largest meeting dedicated to osteoporosis and osteoarthritis opens in Rome
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/31/2016)... R.I. , March 31, 2016  Genomics firm ... of founding CEO, Barrett Bready , M.D., who ... members of the original technical leadership team, including Chief ... President of Product Development, Steve Nurnberg and Vice President ... returned to the company. Dr. Bready served ...
(Date:3/23/2016)... , March 23, 2016 ... erhöhter Sicherheit Gesichts- und Stimmerkennung mit Passwörtern ... (NASDAQ: MESG ), ein führender ... das Unternehmen mit SpeechPro zusammenarbeitet, um erstmals ... Finanzdienstleistungsbranche, wird die Möglichkeit angeboten, im Rahmen ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... PROVO and SANDY, ... Screening Ontario (NSO), which operates the highest sample volume ... testing, and Tute Genomics and UNIConnect, leaders in clinical ... today announced the launch of a project to establish ... testing panel. NSO has been contracted ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016  Regular discussions on a ... take place between the two entities said Poloz. ... Ottawa , he pointed to the country,s ... the federal government. ... said, "Both institutions have common economic goals, why not sit ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... While the majority of commercial spectrophotometers and fluorometers use the z-dimension of 8.5 ... end machines that use the more unconventional z-dimension of 20mm. Z-dimension or ... the cuvette holder. , FireflySci has developed several Agilent flow cell product lines ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Mosio, a leader in clinical research patient ... and Retention Tips.” Partnering with experienced clinical research professionals, Mosio revisits the hurdle ... and strategies for clinical researchers. , “The landscape of how patients receive and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016   Boston Biomedical ... novel compounds designed to target cancer stemness pathways, ... been granted Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. ... of gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. ... designed to inhibit cancer stemness pathways by targeting ...
Breaking Biology Technology: