Trapping small wild carnivores
for medical examination
Data in recent years has confirmed that infectious diseases can seriously impact the populations of rare animal species, including Amur tigers.
As previously reported, Amur tigers were recently exposed to canine distemper virus, a disease common among wild and domestic animals (including dogs) that share habitat with tigers. Therefore, tiger population health depends on controlling the spread of infectious diseases in wild and domesticated animals. To elucidate the role that wild and domestic animals play in the possible infection of Amur tigers and other carnivores, the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Russia Program has undertaken a study involving Russian and foreign veterinarians and zoologists.
The initial step of this project involves a veterinary examination of small wild carnivores that share habitat with tigers. In the Sikhote-Alin Biosphere Reserve, we have organized targeted trapping of carnivorous mammals that are potential carriers of diseases dangerous to tigers. These species include raccoon dogs, red foxes, and Eurasian badgers among others. Animals are trapped live in box traps, after which they are sedated to reduce stress and have blood samples drawn, after which they are released back into the wild. Blood draws are also taken from domestic dogs and cats in human settlements found in tiger habitat.
The trapping season is currently underway at Sikhote-Alin. To date, five badgers have been trapped and sampled.This study will help us understand how to prevent the spread of dangerous infectious diseases and reduce their risk to Amur tigers. Results will have a direct impact on decisions related to the management of the Amur tiger population. They will also serve as a model for the implementation of measures aimed at resolving issues associated with the spread of infectious diseases in tiger populations throughout their global range.
WCS specialists perform veterinary examination of small wild carnivores (badger)
to collect blood samples
Sedated bagder is being released back into the wild
and will recover in an hour or less.