Village Poultry Health
In collaboration with Drs. Graham Crawford and Susan Ostapak (veterinarians from San Francisco) and Dr. Robyn Alders from University of Sydney, we conducted a participatory epidemiological appraisal of poultry health in Makira Natural Park. We found the presence of virulent strains of Newcastle Disease in chickens and Fowl Cholera in ducks. Based on this rural appraisal, we sourced funding to develop a programmatic response to reduce the incidence of Newcastle Disease through preventative steps to avoid infection in villages and through developing a vaccine program. Our foreign collaborators, in addition to our local team led by Dr. Ando Miharifetra at IMVAVET (Institut Malgache des Vaccins Veterinaires), have now fully launched a comprehensive poultry health intervention, including the local development of a thermostable vaccine for Newcastle Disease. We began conducting vaccination efforts in May 2016 and hope that through local prevention and vaccination chicken and egg production will flourish, supporting human food security and nutrition. As a conservation aim, we are seeking to learn whether or not improved animal husbandry techniques and avoided disease deaths will have an impact on local people's reliance on wildlife for food.
Special thanks for financial support from the Rasmussen Family Foundation and the Norvig Family Foundation, and logistical support from Wildlife Conservation Society-Madagascar.