Wildlife visits to farm facilities assessed by camera traps in a bovine tuberculosis-infected area in France
When bovine tuberculosis (bTB) circulates in a multi-host system, it is paramount to characterize the interactions between wildlife and livestock as they may lead to interspecific transmission. To that purpose, we undertook a 1-year survey in 25 farms located in an infected area in the Burgundy region (east central France). We used camera traps deployed on 101 water and food access points located in pastures and farm buildings considered as attractive points for red deer, wild boar, and badgers. For each species, we analyzed the duration of each visit, the number of individuals, their behavior, and the frequency of visits. Wild boar was the most frequent species, with 5.0 visits/100 nights, and their visits occurred most frequently around water sources and in summer. The frequency of visits from red deer was highest at salt licks and in summer. Badger was more frequent in winter and on pasture feed troughs. These results highlight the wide variation in the patterns of contact at the wildlife-cattle interface among the different bTB-susceptible species. Combined with other epidemiological data, these data could be used both to assess the risk of bTB transmission in Burgundy and to implement biosecurity measures.
KeywordsCamera trap Wildlife-livestock interface Multi-host system Bovine tuberculosis
The study was financially supported by the Ministère de l’Agriculture de l’Agroalimentaire et de la Forêt, the Conseil Régional de Bourgogne, the Conseil Général de la Côte d’Or, the Fédération Départementale des Chasseurs de Côte d’Or, the Groupement de Défense Sanitaire de Côte d’Or, the Fédération Nationale des Chasseurs and the Office National de la Chasse et de la Faune Sauvage. The authors warmly thank the field assistants from the Fédération Départementale des Chasseurs de Côte d’Or, Julien Philippe, Jonathan Fligny, as well as Lucille Millet for their technical help. We would also like to thank Annie Buchwalter, Amy Welty-Bernard, and Gregory Payne for their help with proofreading the manuscript and Christophe Ferrier for his help with the figures. We are also grateful to the farmers who allowed us to carry out surveys on their farm.
Compliance with ethical standards
Experiments comply with the current French laws.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
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