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Monitoring peccaries in Brazil benefits wildlife, local communities and food security
Date:3/23/2011

ls 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 AmericaGlobal 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 pe
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Contact: John Delaney
jdelaney@wcs.org
718-220-3275
Wildlife Conservation Society
Source:Eurekalert  

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