Managing prairie dogs by managing plague: a vaccine for the future?

By: , and 



The Black-footed Ferret Recovery Implementation Team Executive Committee is conducting a project to develop,
and (hopefully) eventually implement, a plague vaccination program for prairie dogs. The project is a component of the Western
Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Grasslands Conservation Initiative. An effective, field-worthy vaccine against plague
could be the biggest breakthrough in recovery efforts for the black-footed ferret since the 1981 rediscovery of wild ferrets near
Meeteetse, Wyoming. If proven efficacious, the vaccine could help agencies and stakeholder cooperators maintain specific
populations of prairie dogs at robust levels, thus enhancing range-wide conservation of those species, as well recovery of the ferret,
while enabling control of other prairie dog populations to resolve site-specific agricultural and human health concerns. The results
of laboratory and field-testing in the early stages of developing this vaccine are preliminary but mostly encouraging. A plan for
broad-scale application is being developed for possible use when testing has been completed and (if warranted) the vaccine is
registered for governmental use. An overview of all aspects of the project is discussed.

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title Managing prairie dogs by managing plague: a vaccine for the future?
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher University of California, Davis
Contributing office(s) National Wildlife Health Center
Description 4 p.
Larger Work Type Conference Paper
Larger Work Subtype Conference Paper
Larger Work Title Proceedings of the 26th Vertebrate Pest Conference
First page 331
Last page 334
Conference Title 26th Vertebrate Pest Conference
Conference Location Waikoloa, HI
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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