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Radio-telemetry and geographical information systems to assess urban deer zoonoses

By Karmen M. Hollis, Christopher L. Anchor, James E. Chelsvig, Dwayne R. Etter, J. P. Dubey

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Urban white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) populations can influence the epidemiology of many zoonotic diseases because they affect the distribution and abundance of pathogens and vectors. The risk of emerging zoonotic pathogens increases with human populations, as people have closer contact with wildlife in urban environments. We used radio-telemetry to study deer behavior and population dynamics in Chicago, IL. We monitored home-range use and habitat patterns for 43 radio-collared deer from 2 study sites, 1995-1999. Deer serology was conducted to test for various zoonotic diseases, such as babesiosis, encephalitis, and toxoplasmosis for 12 study locations. To analyze potential disease exposures for deer, we used Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to compare land cover characteristics for home-ranges and point location patterns for seropositive and seronegative deer. From our preliminary analysis of toxoplasmosis, we conclude that the combined use of epidemiology, radio-telemetry, and GIS tools appears promising for understanding zoonotic patterns and ultimately for predicting and minimizing disease to humans.


Megan Kendall

Purdue University

Date 2000
Publisher Wildlife Damage Management Conferences Proceedings
Date accepted 2000
Language English
Notes This article was found at Digital Commons @ the University of Nebraska-Lincoln:
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal parasitic diseases
  2. Animal roles
  3. Animal welfare
  4. Central nervous system infections
  5. Deer
  6. Encephalitis
  7. Epidemiology
  8. Health
  9. Infections
  10. Infectious diseases
  11. Physical environment
  12. Wild animals
  13. wildlife management