Tag Archives: rabies vaccination campaigns

Second rabies vaccination campaign

Hi folks,

The District Veterinary Office from Chiredzi District recently carried out another rabies vaccination campaign in and around the southern half of the Save Valley Conservancy, and further south.  We were able to help them out by providing fuel for their staff to get to the vaccination sites.  The turn out of dogs was good, and in total 2009 dogs were vaccinated inside and in areas immediately bordering the conservancy.

vaccination scene

This is about half the number of dogs on the total census, so we still have a way to go, but nonetheless a 50% turnout is a great effort.

dog being vaccinated

We still need to work on getting vaccination campaigns underway around the northern half of the SVC, which falls under a different District Veterinary Office.  We also plan to utilise these campaigns for education and feedback and general community liaison opportunities in future.

vaccination time

vaccination scene2

Every dog vaccinated against rabies reduces the risk of this terrible and highly infections disease getting into the endangered African wild dog population, so we will continue our efforts to increase coverage and turnout of the campaigns.  A great start so far for 2011 though.

2010 Plans for Zimbabwe Wild Dogs

Happy New Year to all our readers and supporters.  I would like to start this post by thanking all those who have supported us during 2009.  Your donations have really helped to get us through some sticky financial patches and have made a very real difference to the conservation of the wild dogs.  We couldn’t have done what we have without you.

I also want to welcome those relatively new to this blog; thank you for your interest and I hope you continue to enjoy the site over 2010.

We have very exciting plans for 2010 – ambitious and challenging, but with your support and the continued dedication of the team in Zimbabwe we believe we can meet our goals.  We plan to focus on three main branches of conservation this year; environmental education, vaccination campaigns in domestic dogs to prevent the spread of rabies and canine distemper to the wild dogs, and increased investment in anti-poaching.

Education

We aim to expand our current environmental education efforts signifcantly this year, with more schools being included in our program, teacher training workshops planned and the hiring of a local environmental education officer.  We believe environmental education is crucial to any long term conservation initiatives and that well designed, long-term and sustainable education programs are extremely important.

A primary school in Zimbabwe’s south-east lowveld

Vaccination Campaigns

Together with vets from the Aware Trust, we plan to carry out vaccination campaigns in the domestic dogs surrounding key wildlife areas in the south-east lowveld of Zimbabwe where we work.  Not only will this considerably reduce the threat to the wildlife from diseases such as rabies and canine distemper, it also has significant health benefits for the domestic dog and human populations.  We also plan to vaccinate as many wild dogs as possible against rabies over the forthcoming year (thanks again to those who donated funds to help buy the vaccines).

African wild dog immobilised for snare removal and rabies vaccination

Anti-poaching

Snaring is one of the major causes of death for wild dogs in Zimbabwe.  In 2009, over 80% of recorded wild dog mortality was due to snaring.  Many other dogs did not immediately die from the snares, but carried them around their necks or legs, suffering from horrific injuries.  And it is by no means just wild dogs; animals of all species are killed in a terrible way by these indiscriminate snares, in unsustainable numbers.  We plan to help support and expand current anti-poaching efforts, and specifically to focus on keeping wild dog home ranges and den site areas free from snares.  This is the sort of thing we are trying to prevent…

African wild dog puppy with a wound from a snare wire around his neck

We will also be working more in Gonarezhou National Park next year, with the aim of trying to understand why the wild dog population (and the lion population) is so low there.

I hope you will stick with us during 2010 and I will do my best to keep you updated with our progress in these and other areas.

With best wishes from all of us at the Zimbabwe Wild Dog Project for a peaceful and happy 2010.