3 years ago

First study on domestic dog ecology, demographic structure and dynamics in Bamako, Mali

For the planning of an effective dog mass vaccination campaign against rabies in Africa, it is crucial to know more about the dog population. In this paper we describe for the first time the dog ecology, demographic structure and population dynamics of a domestic dog population in Bamako, Mali. In 2010 and 2011, we visited 2956 randomly selected compounds. Questionnaire data was collected on the compound and household level and on each dog individually. Dog-owning households were followed every six months during one (dog-owning households identified in 2011) or two years (dog-owning households identified in 2010) for the successive collection of dog demography data. Results We recorded 379 dogs in 279 compounds. The dog human ratio was estimated at 1:121, and the extrapolation of the domestic dog population in Bamako results in an estimate of 14 906 dogs (95% CI 13 041–17 037). The female male ratio was 1:2.8. A high proportion of young dogs was found as a result of a high turnover rate in the population. Mortality within the first year of life was high, and dogs had a life expectancy at birth of 2.5 years. Using a Leslie matrix, we estimated the annual dog population growth to be 20%. Christians were more likely to be dog owners than Muslims. Another factor favouring dog ownership was belonging to the ethnic group of Bobo or Malinke. Dogs were mainly used as watchdogs and fed with household leftovers and garbage. They were most often obtained and given away without remuneration. Conclusions This work contributes vital information towards planning effective and sustainable dog rabies control programmes for the district of Bamako. Due to the high turnover rate, we recommend repeated mass-vaccination campaigns of at least 70% of the owned dogs at yearly intervals. In addition, dog-owners need to be educated on good dog management.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0167587716303701

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