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Bovine Tuberculosis

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SAHGCA-UCT
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Unread postby SAHGCA-UCT » Wed Jun 08, 2005 2:48 am

Buffalo are carriers of many diseases life foot and mouth, corridoor fever (Theileriosis) and susceptible to BTB and brucellosis or contagious abortion.

With Foot&mouth the disease increases normal salivation of the buffalo's and they leave behind contagious infected dribbles across the plains and primarily at waterholes, where other animals of the cloven hoof type pick it up. (I understand that this is about BTB but this is abit of background im getting to my 0.02c soon)

Buffalo arent born carrying any disease, during the first month or so of existance calves are completely free of the disease, actually obtaining immunity (carrier status immunity) and antibodies from their mothers milk.

It WAS found that if calves are removed from parents and reared in isolation of wild 'dirty' buffalo then disease-free adults could be obtained. (Collustrum from a TB free Buffalo cow can be given to calves for immunity for the first 48hours and a Jersey cow can be surrogated thereafter)

This is however costly but feesable as most buffalo calves are born in february/march. Which makes them easy to 'harvest'. once they become adults they can start a breeding stock. The problem is you would have to eliminate every single wild buffalo in the area would have to be eliminated. This would ideally be done on a sanctuary by sanctuary basis and managed for maximum production to restock 'emptied' reserves.

In the mid-70's it was initiated in former Rhodesia but with the escalation of the Rhodesia Bush War it was never followed through. Addo National park was found to be disease free and the buffalo within were in great demant from newly created national parks and game farms (pilansberg in the early 80's)

This Pilansberg addo 'disease free' breading stock bred well and was used to restock neighbouring parks.

Removal of the entire wild population of buffalo in kruger (27 000) is a logistic and public relations nightmare, not to mention buffalo arent the only vectors within the park.

So yes there is a disease free breading program and its going along well bwana but its relevance to kruger will be negligible due to the sheer numbers.

The 54 disease free buffalo put in Graspan Nature Reserve from the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park seven years ago contributed 13 of their offspring to Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park late last year. Ithala Game reserve has a disease free breeding program along with Vaalbos (Sanparks I think) There was a program started in Skakuza for regular injections of healthy buffalo but im not sure about its progress.

I was worried about genetic bottlenecking but a thought back to the 18 European starlings brought by our shakespear loving homesick cecil rhodes reminded me that its not so much the number of the initial founders its the size of the eventual population which ensures genetic variation. (natural mutations have shown a comparible genetic variation in european populations, suprising I know...)

literature cited
African Sporting Gazette Volume 10 issue 4 Ron Thomson 'managing the african buffalo' Future Publishing 2005

http://bigfive.jl.co.za/pdf_files/buffalo%20protocol%202%202002.pdf

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Unread postby reinette » Tue Sep 12, 2006 11:03 pm

There was again something on the news about it tonight. From sabcnews.com:
Buffalo population threatened by bovine TB
September 12, 2006, 18:45

A foreign disease which entered through the south of the Kruger National Park in 1960, bovine tuberculosis, has now spread all over the park. Blood samples taken from buffalo right up to the Limpopo River have confirmed this. Initially only buffalo were infected, but now other animals, including lions and leopards are also affected.

It is believed that the bovine TB was introduced to the Kruger Park following contact between domestic cattle and buffalo. The disease spread gradually, and in 2003 it was thought it would take 30 years to reach the north - but now three years later, its already spread.

There is no vaccine or treatment for bovine TB. Infected animals waste away and eventually die years later. The disease has now spread to lions, leopards, hyenas, warthog, kudu, bushbuck and impala. It's also threatening the Trans-frontier park which is being developed by South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

Peter Buzz, a Sanparks veterinary surgeon, says: “At the moment it's difficult for us to do anything specifically in terms of getting rid of the TB. It's unlikely at this stage that we will ever be able to do that. The main reason for the survey is really to monitor the disease and its development so we can understand it a lot better and to try and determine what risk it poses, particularly to our neighbouring countries.”

There are now 33 000 buffalo in the Kruger Park –a figure that has doubled after the drought in 1992-1993. But now the spread of bovine TB is threatening the herds again.

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Unread postby Toddelelfe » Wed Sep 13, 2006 9:31 am

From todays IOL

Kruger Park hit by TB outbreak

September 13 2006 at 07:13AM

The Kruger National Park is suffering an outbreak of bovine tuberculosis, SABC news reported on Wednesday.

Its website said blood samples taken from buffalo near the Limpopo river confirmed the disease had spread around the entire park.

Initially, only buffalo were thought to be infected but other animals, including lions and leopards, were also diagnosed with the disease.

Hyenas, warthog, kudu, bushbuck and impala were reported to be infected as well.

It was believed bovine TB was introduced to the Kruger Park following contact between domestic cattle and buffalo in 1960.

The disease was thought to take 30 years to reach the northern areas of the park, but three years later, it had already spread.

There is no vaccine or treatment for bovine TB.

Infected animals waste away and eventually die after years.

The disease was also threatening the Transfrontier park being developed by South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

Peter Buzz, a Sanparks veterinary surgeon, said it was unlikely that the disease could be treated specifically.

There are some 33 000 buffalo in the Kruger Park. - Sapa

:cry:
:hmz: Thinking about the next trip :hmz:
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Unread postby reinette » Wed Sep 13, 2006 11:52 am

christo wrote:Luckily disease free calves raised with Jersey cows, has created a viable population of the Kruger gene pool in the old Vaalbos. This herd is (I stand to be corrected) already more than 250 strong.

As far as I know they are doing their best to stop the calfs to get TB in KNP as well. Unfortunately I don't have enough knowledge, thus I can't give you any facts. This is a hard battle to fight.

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Unread postby christo » Thu Sep 14, 2006 8:16 am

Peter Betts wrote:Thats great news about Vaalbos... keep us informed Christo


If a guru can help out, I'll be glad, but to the best of my knowledge the scenario is as follows:

Sanparks was wide awake and saw the possible effect of bovine TB and other diseases in Kruger buffalo. They started a breeding program many years ago where they used Kruger genes and raised disease free calves from them. Only calves that proved to be 100% disease free were added to the Vaalbos herd. Care were taken to use different genes to ensure the genepool is not limited and inbreeding will not be a problem.

Since the deproclamation of Vaalbos, these animals are being moved (Possibly to more than one location). There are now a few 100 healthy Kruger buffalo living outside Kruger and these okes can be used to stock parks in future.
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Unread postby Loams » Thu Sep 14, 2006 9:20 am

The buffs in Addo are also disease free. I am not sure if they came from the same genes as the KNP buff, but I know they are disease free. When Lions were introduced there, the buff did not know how to deter them, and were easy pickings, but after a while the buff's instinct kicked in, and they "remembered" how to deter Lions.

The buff in Addo are valued at about R 160 000 (Approx $23 000)
Quite an expensive meal when one is taken down.
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Unread postby christo » Thu Sep 14, 2006 10:10 am

In regional game reserves in the FS there are a number of disease free herds. From which genepool they stem, I am not sure. The Vaalbos group has Kruger genes & the Addo buffalo is a group on their own. The diversity in the genepool of the species is such that the cape buffalo in general is in no real danger.

The way forward with the BTB infested herds of Kruger is a question that the scientists are working on. The research will take many years to complete and is very costly.
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Unread postby mihto » Fri Apr 18, 2008 7:29 pm

Oopppss.
Just went through old threads and discovered the topic discussed extensively, accurately and in great detail in 2004- 2007. Suppose nothing much has changed since then. Just shows what a gold mine of information this website contains. If there has been any new developments since then I'm certainly interested.
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Re: lion management in kruger

Unread postby Boorgatspook » Fri May 08, 2009 4:12 pm

Reply received from HQ:

Estimating lion population variables: Prey and disease effects in Kruger National Park, South Africa

Sam M. Ferreira and Paul J. Funston

Abstract: Lion (Panthera leo) populations experience a range of ecological and human influences that affect their demography. Few lion populations have reliable estimates of population size, trends in these, or demographic profiles. We developed a statistically robust approach to estimate selected population variables and evaluated the perceived threat of bovine tuberculosis (BTb) in landscapes of varying prey biomass in the Kruger National Park. Lion population size was stable, but long intervals between present and historical estimates limit this conclusion. Density and survival rates associated positively with prey biomass. Some variation in survival rates associated with prevalence of BTb - survival was higher in areas that had high prevalence of BTb. Male survival was lower than that of females disregarding the effects of prey biomass or BTb prevalence. Body condition of lions was high with scores lower at low to medium prey density. The effect of an exotic disease on the Kruger lion population may be negligible at present. Intra-specific competition in areas where lions live in high densities affects survival rate. However, droughts could disrupt the hierarchical influences of prey biomass and BTb prevalence on lion densities and survival. To evaluate the effect of an exotic disease on lion demography, population surveys should include age- and sex-structure assessments complemented by focal studies of fecundity.

Dr Sam Ferreira

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Re: Bovine Tuberculosis

Unread postby gmlsmit » Sat Sep 26, 2009 9:22 am

Had a recent disccussion with the Manager of Conservation Services.

He stated that there is currently a decline observed in affected animals in the KNP, certain Buffalo herds had an infection rate of up to 60%, it is now down to 30% infection rate in the Southern Area of the Park, with even much less in the Northern Areas; the number of infected Lions is also reducing, indicating that a resistance against Bovine TB is now being formed - again Mother Nature is taking care - the SURVIVAL of the FITTEST.
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Re: Bovine Tuberculosis

Unread postby salamanda » Wed Jun 16, 2010 2:22 pm

Can anyone tell me if the T-shaped mark that I have seen on the flanks of buffalo and lion in KNP is an indicator that they have been tested for BTB? Or that they have BTB? Or that they are BTB-free?

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Re: Bovine Tuberculosis

Unread postby salamanda » Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:40 pm

I think it was first identified in buffalo in Kruger about 20 years ago. It is possible that it was picked up from domestic cattle on a boundary somewhere. The bacterium can survive in soil for up to several months so I guess it could be picked up by grazing animals Because buffalo are an important food source for lions the disease can be passed along the food chain; an entire pride can come into contact with the bacterium when feeding on a buffalo carcass.


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