Michael P Ward

University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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Publications (157)360.1 Total impact

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    Salome Dürr, Michael P Ward
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    ABSTRACT: Domestic dog rabies is an endemic disease in large parts of the developing world and also epidemic in previously free regions. For example, it continues to spread in eastern Indonesia and currently threatens adjacent rabies-free regions with high densities of free-roaming dogs, including remote northern Australia. Mathematical and simulation disease models are useful tools to provide insights on the most effective control strategies and to inform policy decisions. Existing rabies models typically focus on long-term control programs in endemic countries. However, simulation models describing the dog rabies incursion scenario in regions where rabies is still exotic are lacking. We here describe such a stochastic, spatially explicit rabies simulation model that is based on individual dog information collected in two remote regions in northern Australia. Illustrative simulations produced plausible results with epidemic characteristics expected for rabies outbreaks in disease free regions (mean R0 1.7, epidemic peak 97 days post-incursion, vaccination as the most effective response strategy). Systematic sensitivity analysis identified that model outcomes were most sensitive to seven of the 30 model parameters tested. This model is suitable for exploring rabies spread and control before an incursion in populations of largely free-roaming dogs that live close together with their owners. It can be used for ad-hoc contingency or response planning prior to and shortly after incursion of dog rabies in previously free regions. One challenge that remains is model parameterisation, particularly how dogs' roaming and contacts and biting behaviours change following a rabies incursion in a previously rabies free population.
    PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 06/2015; 9(6):e0003876. DOI:10.1371/journal.pntd.0003876 · 4.49 Impact Factor
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    John E. Andrews, Jeffrey D. Brawn, Michael P. Ward
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    ABSTRACT: Social cues are often used by birds when selecting breeding habitats, however, little is known about the timing and influence of social cues within or across seasons. The ontogeny of social information within newly available habitat is essentially unknown and potentially relevant to habitat management, as the primary approach of many conservation initiatives is to simply create habitat. We investigated the influence of conspecific attraction via social cues (conspecific playbacks) on newly created grasslands for Grasshopper Sparrows (Ammodramus savannarum) in Central Illinois over a 2-year period. We found that Grasshopper Sparrows quickly locate and settle at newly created grasslands without the need for social cues, however, social cues are used later in the season. At sites where social cues (i.e. conspecific vocalizations) were broadcast the densities of Grasshopper Sparrows were nearly double that of sites without the additional social cues, however, this difference occurred later in the breeding season. We suggest that social cues are more valuable for Grasshopper Sparrows later in the breeding season as a potential cue of the reproductive success of individuals currently at the site, and therefore future reproduction at the site. Grassland birds are experiencing large population declines and the primary conservation approach is to provide additional habitat. By understanding how grassland birds select breeding sites we can better develop and implement conservation plans.
    The Condor 05/2015; 117(2):297-305. DOI:10.1650/CONDOR-14-172.1 · 1.35 Impact Factor
  • PLoS ONE 05/2015; 10(5):e0124092. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0124092 · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • Tamara Rika-Heke, Mark Kelman, Michael P. Ward
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to describe the association between climate, weather and the occurrence of canine tick paralysis, feline tick paralysis and canine parvovirus in Australia. The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) and monthly average rainfall (mm) data were used as indices for climate and weather, respectively. Case data were extracted from a voluntary national companion animal disease surveillance resource. Climate and weather data were obtained from the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology. During the 4-year study period (January 2010-December 2013), a total of 4742 canine parvovirus cases and 8417 tick paralysis cases were reported. No significant (P ≥ 0.05) correlations were found between the SOI and parvovirus, canine tick paralysis or feline tick paralysis. A significant (P < 0.05) positive cross-correlation was found between parvovirus occurrence and rainfall in the same month (0.28), and significant negative cross-correlations (-0.26 to -0.36) between parvovirus occurrence and rainfall 4-6 months previously. Significant (P < 0.05) negative cross-correlations (-0.34 to -0.39) were found between canine tick paralysis occurrence and rainfall 1-3 months previously, and significant positive cross-correlations (0.29-0.47) between canine tick paralysis occurrence and rainfall 7-10 months previously. Significant positive cross-correlations (0.37-0.68) were found between cases of feline tick paralysis and rainfall 6-10 months previously. These findings may offer a useful tool for the management and prevention of tick paralysis and canine parvovirus, by providing an evidence base supporting the recommendations of veterinarians to clients thus reducing the impact of these diseases. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    The Veterinary Journal 03/2015; 205(1). DOI:10.1016/j.tvjl.2015.03.012 · 2.17 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: One Health surveillance describes the systematic collection, validation, analysis, interpretation of data and dissemination of information collected on humans, animals and the environment to inform decisions for more effective, evidence- and system-based health interventions. During the second International Conference on Animal Health Surveillance (ICAHS) in Havana, Cuba, a panel discussion was organised to discuss the relevance of One Health in the context of surveillance. A number of success stories were presented which generally focused on the obvious interfaces between human and veterinary medicine such as zoonoses and food safety. Activities aimed at strengthening inter-sectoral networking through technical collaboration, conferences, workshops and consultations have resulted in recommendations to advance the One Health concept. There are also several One Health educational programmes offered as Masters programmes. Continuing challenges to One Health surveillance were identified at both technical as well as organisational level. It was acknowledged that the public health sector and the environmental sector could be engaged more in One Health activities. Legal issues, hurdles to data sharing, unclear responsibilities and structural barriers between ministries prevent integrated action. Policy makers in the health sector often perceive One Health as a veterinary-driven initiative that is not particularly relevant to their priority problems. Whilst some funding schemes allow for the employment of scientists and technicians for research projects, the development of a sustainable One Health workforce has yet to be broadly demonstrated. Funding opportunities do not explicitly promote the development of One Health surveillance systems. In addition, organisational, legal and administrative barriers may prevent operational implementation. Strategies and communication across sectors need to be aligned. Whilst at the technical or local level the formal separation can be bridged, separate funding sources and budgets can jeopardise the overall strategy, especially if funding cuts are later required. To overcome such challenges, a strong business case for One Health surveillance is needed. This should include the costs and benefits of One Health activities or projects including consequences of different strategies as well as risks. Integrated training should also be further promoted. Future ICAHS conferences should continue to provide a platform for discussing surveillance in the One Health context and to provide a forum for surveillance professionals from all relevant sectors to interact. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Preventive Veterinary Medicine 02/2015; 120(1). DOI:10.1016/j.prevetmed.2015.01.019 · 2.51 Impact Factor
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    Scott Chiavacci, Michael P. Ward, Thomas J. Benson
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    ABSTRACT: Predation represents the primary cause of mortality for both nestling and fledgling birds and is often greatest in the days immediately before and after nest departure. Due to the selective pressures of such high mortality rates, behaviors likely evolved to increase the survival of young. Among altricial species, fledging often occurs in the morning with most nestlings leaving within six hours of sunrise. However, why nestlings tend to fledge in the morning and whether this strategy is a response to predation risk is unknown. We investigated how the time of day when fledging began and how rapidly broodmates fledged were influenced by nest predation rates and nest site features that affect nest predation risk. We video recorded 477 fledging events at 202 nests of 17 species. Nestlings occupying nests with greater predation risk initiated fledging earlier in the day than those at safer nests. Similarly, broodmates in riskier nests fledged over a shorter period of time than broodmates in safer nests. Our findings support the hypothesis that predation risk influences the time of day when fledging occurs. By fledging earlier and more quickly, young in high risk nests presumably decrease their chances of being depredated in the nest, while those occupying safer nests are likely under reduced pressure to fledge as early and quickly as possible. These results indicate that nestlings preparing to fledge likely face more complex situations than currently understood and the timing of nest departure is an important decision made in an effort to maximize fledgling fitness.
    Behavioral Ecology 01/2015; 26(2). DOI:10.1093/beheco/aru236 · 3.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In Bhutan, Capture-Neuter-Vaccinate-Release (CNVR) programs have been implemented to manage the dog population and control rabies, but no detailed evaluation has been done to assess their coverage and impact. We compared estimates of the dog population using three analytical methods: Lincoln-Petersen index, the Chapman estimate, and the logit-normal mixed effects model, and a varying number of count periods at different times of the day to recommend a protocol for applying the mark-resight framework to estimate free-roaming dog population abundance. We assessed the coverage of the CNVR program by estimating the proportion of dogs that were ear-notched and visually scored the health and skin condition of free-roaming dogs in Gelephu and Phuentsholing towns in south Bhutan, bordering India, in September–October 2012.
    Preventive Veterinary Medicine 01/2015; 118(4). DOI:10.1016/j.prevetmed.2015.01.008 · 2.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pig farming is a common practice among smallholder farmers in Nusa Tenggara Timur province (NTT), eastern Indonesia. To understand their production systems a survey of smallholder pig farmers was conducted. Eighteen villages were randomly selected across West Timor, Flores and Sumba islands, and 289 pig farmers were interviewed. Information on pig management, biosecurity practices, pig movements and knowledge of pig health and disease, specifically classical swine fever was collected. The mean number of pigs per herd was 5.0 (not including piglets) and total marketable herd size (pigs ≥ two months of age) did not differ significantly between islands (P = 0.215). Chickens (71%) and dogs (62%) were the most commonly kept animal species in addition to pigs. Pigs were mainly kept as a secondary income source (69%) and 83% of farmers owned at least one sow. Seventy-four percent (74%) of pigs were housed in a kandang (small bamboo pen) and 25% were tethered. Pig feeds were primarily locally sourced agricultural products (93%). The majority of farmers had no knowledge of classical swine fever (91%) and biosecurity practices were minimal. Forty-five percent (45%) reported to consuming a pig when it died and 74% failed to report cases of sick or dead pigs to appropriate authorities. Sixty-five percent (65%) of farmers reported that a veterinarian or animal health worker had never visited their village. Backyard slaughter was common practice (55%), with meat mainly used for home consumption (89%). Most (73%) farmers purchased pigs in order to raise the animal on their farm with 36% purchasing at least one pig within the last year. Predominantly fattener pigs (34%) were given as gifts for celebratory events, most commonly for funerals (32%), traditional ceremonies (27%) and marriages (10%). For improved productivity of this traditional low-input system, research incorporating farming training and improved knowledge on pig disease and biosecurity needs to be integrated with greater access to extension services.
    Preventive Veterinary Medicine 12/2014; 118(4). DOI:10.1016/j.prevetmed.2014.12.006 · 2.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Knowledge of live animal movement through markets and from farm-to-farm is needed to inform strategies for control of trans-boundary animal diseases (TADs) in south-east Asia, particularly due to consumer preference for fresh meat. In eastern Indonesia a TAD of principal interest for control is classical swine fever (CSF) due to its impacts on smallholder farmers. Pig movement is considered a contributor to failure of current CSF control efforts but pig movement patterns are not well understood. This study investigated movement of live pigs in West Timor, Flores and Sumba islands during 2009-2010, with the aim of informing CSF control policies for Nusa Tenggara Timor province. A market survey of 292 pig sellers and 281 pig buyers across nine live pig markets and a farmer survey across 18 villages with 289 smallholder farmers were conducted and information collected on pig movements. The data obtained was used for social network analysis (SNA) on formal (via a market) and informal (village-to-village) movements using information on trading practices, source and destination locations, and the number of pigs being moved. Both inter- and intra-island movements were identified, however inter-island movement was only observed between Flores and Sumba islands. West Timor and Sumba had highly connected networks where large numbers of villages were directly and indirectly linked through pig movement. Further for West Timor, both formal and informal pig movements linked the capital Kupang, on the eastern end of the island to the western districts bordering East Timor connecting all five districts and demonstrating that informal movement transports pigs over distances similar to formal movement on this island. Sumba had a higher potential for pigs to move to a greater number of sequential locations across the entire island. Flores was found to have a more fragmented network, with pig movements concentrated in its eastern or western regions, influenced by terrain. Markets were confirmed as high-risk locations for the introduction and spread of disease, having over 20 contacts (based on in- and out-degree values) depending on operational day. Villages considered high-risk for CSF spread via informal movements were characterised by higher volume of pig exits and/or linkage to higher numbers of other villages. These findings demonstrate that informal movement (often related to cultural practices) can be extensive and the high level of connectivity dictates that control strategies for CSF and other highly transmissible diseases must be formulated at the provincial level and in collaboration with East Timor. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Preventive Veterinary Medicine 12/2014; 118(4). DOI:10.1016/j.prevetmed.2014.12.002 · 2.51 Impact Factor
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    Michael P Ward, Marta Hernández-Jover
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    ABSTRACT: The continued spread of rabies in Indonesia poses a risk to human and animal populations in the remaining free islands, as well as the neighbouring rabies-free countries of Timor Leste, Papua New Guinea and Australia. Here we describe the development of a generic risk assessment tool which can be used to rapidly determine the vulnerability of rabies-free islands, so that scarce resources can be targeted to surveillance activities and the sensitivity of surveillance systems increased. The tool was developed by integrating information on the historical spread of rabies, anthropological studies, and the opinions of local animal health experts. The resulting tool is based on eight critical parameters that can be estimated from the literature, expert opinion, observational studies and information generated from routine surveillance. In the case study presented, results generated by this tool were most sensitive to the probability that dogs are present on private and fishing boats and it was predicted that rabies-infection (one infected case) might occur in a rabies-free island (upper 95% prediction interval) with a volume of 1000 boats movements. With 25,000 boat movements, the median of the probability distribution would be equal to one infected case, with an upper 95% prediction interval of six infected cases. This tool could also be used at the national-level to guide control and eradication plans. An initial recommendation from this study is to develop a surveillance programme to determine the likelihood that boats transport dogs, for example by port surveillance or regularly conducted surveys of fisherman and passenger ferries. However, the illegal nature of dog transportation from rabies-infected to rabies-free islands is a challenge for developing such surveillance. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Preventive Veterinary Medicine 11/2014; 120(1). DOI:10.1016/j.prevetmed.2014.11.005 · 2.51 Impact Factor
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    Salome Dürr, Michael P Ward
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    ABSTRACT: Disease transmission parameters are the core of epidemic models, but are difficult to estimate, especially in the absence of outbreak data. Investigation of the roaming behaviour, home range (HR) and utilization distribution (UD) can provide the foundation for such parameter estimation in free-ranging animals. The objectives of this study were to estimate HR and UD of 69 domestic dogs in six Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in northern Australia and to compare four different methods (the minimum convex polygon, MCP; the location-based kernel density estimation, LKDE; the biased random bridge, BRB; and Time Local Convex Hull, T-LoCoH) for investigation of UD and estimating HR sizes. Global positioning system (GPS) collars were attached to community dogs for a period of 1-3 days and positions (fixes) were recorded every minute. Median core HRs (50% isopleth) of the 69 dogs were estimated to range from 0.2 to 0.4ha and the more extended HR (95% isopleth) to range from 2.5 to 5.3ha, depending on the method used. The HR and UD shapes were found to be generally circular around the dog owner's house. However, some individuals were found to roam much more with a HR size of 40-104ha and cover large areas of their community or occasionally beyond. These far roaming dogs are of particular interest for infectious disease transmission. Occasionally, dogs were taken between communities and out of communities for hunting, which enables the contact of dogs between communities and with wildlife (such as dingoes). The BRB and T-LoCoH are the only two methods applied here which integrate the consecutiveness of GPS locations into the analysis, a substantial advantage. The recently developed BRB method produced significantly larger HR estimates than the other two methods; however, the variability of HR sizes was lower compared to the other methods. Advantages of the BRB method include a more realistic analytical approach (kernel density estimation based on movements rather than on locations), possibilities to deal with irregular time periods between consecutive GPS fixes and parameter specification which respects the characteristics of the GPS unit used to collect the data. The BRB method was therefore the most suitable method for UD estimation in this dataset. The results of this study can further be used to contact rates between the dogs within and between communities, a foundation for estimating transmission parameters for canine infectious disease models, such as a rabies spread model in Australia.
    Preventive Veterinary Medicine 07/2014; 117(2). DOI:10.1016/j.prevetmed.2014.07.008 · 2.51 Impact Factor
  • Isabel Brazier, Mark Kelman, Michael P Ward
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to describe the association between landscape and climate factors and the occurrence of tick paralysis cases in dogs and cats reported by veterinarians in Australia. Data were collated based on postcode of residence of the animal and the corresponding landscape (landcover and elevation) and climate (precipitation, temperature) information was derived. During the study period (October 2010-December 2012), a total of 5560 cases (4235 [76%] canine and 1325 [24%] feline cases) were reported from 341 postcodes, mostly along the eastern seaboard of Australia and from the states of New South Wales and Queensland. Significantly more cases were reported from postcodes which contained areas of broadleaved, evergreen tree coverage (P=0.0019); broadleaved, deciduous open tree coverage (P=0.0416); and water bodies (P=0.0394). Significantly fewer tick paralysis cases were reported from postcodes which contained areas of sparse herbaceous or sparse shrub coverage (P=0.0297) and areas that were cultivated and managed (P=0.0005). No significant (P=0.6998) correlation between number of tick paralysis cases reported per postcode and elevation was found. Strong positive correlations were found between number of cases reported per postcode and the annual minimum (rSP=0.9552, P<0.0001) and maximum (rSP=0.9075; P=0.0001) precipitation. Correlations between reported tick paralysis cases and temperature variables were much weaker than for precipitation, rSP<0.23. For maximum temperature, the strongest correlation between cases was found in winter (rSP=0.1877; P=0.0005) and for minimum temperature in autumn (rSP=0.2289: P<0.0001). Study findings suggest that tick paralysis cases are more likely to occur and be reported in certain eco-climatic zones, such as those with higher rainfall and containing tree cover and areas of water. Veterinarians and pet owners in these zones should be particularly alert for tick paralysis cases to maximize the benefits of early treatment, and to be vigilant to use chemical prophylaxis to reduce the risk of tick parasitism.
    Veterinary Parasitology 05/2014; 204(3-4). DOI:10.1016/j.vetpar.2014.05.018 · 2.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Estimates of time spent at migratory stopovers are often used to develop habitat conservation objectives for a variety of avian species, namely waterfowl. Because of limited previous research and a need for accurate conservation planning objectives, we estimated stopover duration and factors influencing stay of mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) in Illinois using radio telemetry during autumns 2009 and 2010. Total stopover duration of migrating mallards was approximately 68 days and was approximately twice that of previous studies which could have significant implications on habitat needs used for conservation planning purposes. Duration of stay post-capture did not vary by sex, body condition, year, or age but was inversely related to capture date. Our results suggest that wetland conservation objectives could increase 16.2% if our contemporary estimates were included in current planning models of the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Region Joint Venture. © 2014 The Wildlife Society.
    Journal of Wildlife Management 05/2014; 78(4). DOI:10.1002/jwmg.708 · 1.61 Impact Factor
  • Michael P. Ward
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    ABSTRACT: Rabies continues to spread through the Indonesian archipelago. During the past 20 years, several islands – including Flores, Ambon and Bali – that had historically been free of rabies have become infected. However, the Dutch East Indies (a Dutch colony that became modern Indonesia following World War II) had been infected since the 1880s. The spread of rabies is a lesson in the emergence of an infectious disease. Reports of human cases treated for rabies and livestock rabies cases from the 1880s to 1917 were compiled. The spatial and temporal distribution of these cases was analysed using maps, spatial statistics and time-series techniques. The first confirmed case of rabies was reported in 1889 from the Batavia [Jakarta] district (although disease suspicion was reported as early as 1884). During the 1890s rabies was already commonly reported from Java and the east coast of Sumatra, and by the late 1890s, from Celebes [Sulawesi]. Between 1900 and 1916, cases were reported from other parts of Java, Sumatra and Sulawesi, and from Borneo, the Moluccas and other outlying islands. Between 1897 and 1916, a total of 8,826 human cases treated for rabies were reported and between 1908 and 1917, 1,033 livestock cases were reported. Most (97.5%) human cases treated were attributed to rabid dogs. Increasing numbers of reports were observed during the period. Between 1908 and 1916 the correlation between human and livestock case reports was 64.2%, and at the district level it was 75.9%. Moderate correlations (>40%) were found between human cases and livestock cases reported up to six months previously. Based on year of first report from each district, human cases were strongly clustered (Moran's autocorrelation 0.47, P = 0.005). The mostly likely spatio-temporal cluster of reported cases of humans treated for rabies originated from the west coast of Sumatra between 1899–1905, and other clusters were identified in west Java (1898–1899), the district of Batavia and in east Java (1910–1911), east Java (1910–1911), Nusa Tengarra Barat (1912), Borneo (1914) and the east coast of Sumatra (1903–1906). Rabies was probably first introduced to the colonial capital of the Dutch Indies, Batavia [Jakarta] in the 1880s. It then spread rapidly throughout most of archipelago during the next two to three decades because of the movement of dogs via the military forces, for trade and as pets, despite government regulations designed to control the epidemic. Such a history suggests that further emergence and reemergence of rabies in rabies-free islands will occur based on an island's location and position within the complex social, trade and transport network that represents the Indonesian archipelago. Targeted surveillance and enforcement of quarantine regulations remain critical, to prevent history repeating itself.
    Preventive Veterinary Medicine 04/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.prevetmed.2014.01.009 · 2.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nesting success and avian communities were compared between tilled and no-till soybean fields in Illinois. No-till had greater densities of birds than tilled fields, and the overall community in no-till was of greater conservation value due to more grassland birds using no-till compared with tilled fields. Nesting density was greater in no-till (4.5 nests/100 ha) than in tilled (1.6) fields. The most common nesting species were American robins, vesper sparrows, and mourning doves. Nest success, as estimated from daily survival rates, was 19.4% in no-till and 9.4% in tilled fields. Predation was the main cause of nest failure, but 24.4% of failures were caused by farm machinery. The authors propose that the previous year's crop residue and greater abundance of weedy plants in no-till resulted in increased nesting and foraging activity in no-till and greater nest success because of increased opportunity to conceal nests in no-till compared to tilled fields. No-till provides greater benefits to birds than tilled fields, and the large amount of acreage in row crops dictates that we understand the contribution of no-till fields to grassland bird populations.
    Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment 03/2014; 185:59–64. DOI:10.1016/j.agee.2013.12.007 · 3.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Stopover locations represent critical habitat in the life cycle of migratory birds and the alteration of this habitat can profoundly influence a population. American Golden-Plovers (Pluvialis dominica) migrate though the Midwestern United States each spring, where most natural habitat has been converted to row crop agriculture. We investigated the stopover ecology of the golden-plover in the agricultural matrix of east-central Illinois and west-central Indiana between 2008 and 2012. We found that golden-plovers remained in the region for ~45 days and individuals spent on average 24 days in the area before departing to the northwest. During a period of peak migration, golden-plovers preferred fields with standing water and, to a lesser extent, soybean fields. Over the 45-day stopover duration, golden-plovers moved extensively (shown by a dynamic occupancy model and area used estimation), with some evidence for tilled fields becoming unoccupied at greater rates than untilled fields. The tendency to use fields with standing water and the movement of individuals from tilled fields suggests that food accessibility, rather than food abundance, is likely a critical factor associated with the prolonged stay, movement, and field type selection of golden-plovers. Food accessibility is important to the golden-plover because they undergo molt into breeding plumage in the region and must refuel for the next leg of their migration. The Midwest is a key stopover location for American Golden-Plovers and promoting foraging conditions by manipulating the drainage of agricultural fields, via the temporary blockage of drain tiles, should be a management focus.
    The Condor 02/2014; 116(2):162-172. DOI:10.1650/CONDOR-13-114.1 · 1.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Most birds are socially monogamous, diurnally active and have small home ranges. These birds occasionally undertake extraterritorial forays, presumably to seek extrapair copulations. We used automated radiotelemetry to examine nocturnal forays and activity of a diurnal, socially monogamous passerine, the yellow-breasted chat, Icterina virens. Males and females forayed during both day and night, but night forays were more common. In addition to varying between day and night, there were sex- and breeding-stage-specific differences in foraying behaviour. Males forayed more than females and more frequently when their female was not fertile. Conversely, females primarily forayed when fertile. We suggest that females foray at night to avoid detection, because their mate's knowledge of potential extrapair copulations may result in harassment or decreased parental care. Both sexes were nocturnally active; however, the activity of males peaked when their mates were fertile, probably to prevent their mates from foraying and guarding them from foraying males. The nocturnal behaviour of chats suggest that extraterritorial forays may be more common than previously thought and that nocturnal behaviours may be crucial for understanding the strategies males and females use to acquire extrapair copulations.
    Animal Behaviour 02/2014; 88:175–184. DOI:10.1016/j.anbehav.2013.11.024 · 3.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Since the global spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 during 2005–2006, control programs have been successfully implemented in most affected countries. HPAI H5N1 was first reported in Bangladesh in 2007, and since then 546 outbreaks have been reported to the OIE. The disease has apparently become endemic in Bangladesh. Spatio-temporal information on 177 outbreaks of HPAI H5N1 occurring between February 2010 and April 2011 in Bangladesh, and 37 of these outbreaks in which isolated H5N1 viruses were phylogenetically characterized to clade, were analyzed. Three clades were identified, 2.2 (21 cases), 2.3.4 (2 cases) and 2.3.2.1 (14 cases). Clade 2.2 was identified throughout the time period and was widely distributed in a southeast–northwest orientation. Clade 2.3.2.1 appeared later and was generally confined to central Bangladesh in a north–south orientation. Based on a direction test, clade 2.2 viruses spread in a southeast-to-northwest direction, whereas clade 2.3.2.1 spread west-to-east. The magnitude of spread of clade 2.3.2.1 was greater relative to clade 2.2 (angular concentration 0.2765 versus 0.1860). In both cases, the first outbreak(s) were identified as early outliers, but in addition, early outbreaks (one each) of clade 2.2 were also identified in central Bangladesh and in northwest Bangladesh, a considerable distance apart. The spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 in Bangladesh is characterized by reported long-distance translocation events. This poses a challenge to disease control efforts. Increased enforcement of biosecurity and stronger control of movements between affected farms and susceptible farms, and better surveillance and reporting, is needed. Although the movement of poultry and equipment appears to be a more likely explanation for the patterns identified, the relative contribution of trade and the market chain versus wild birds in spreading the disease needs further investigation.
    Preventive Veterinary Medicine 01/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.prevetmed.2014.01.010 · 2.51 Impact Factor
  • Preventive Veterinary Medicine 01/2014; 114(1). DOI:10.1016/j.prevetmed.2014.01.007 · 2.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Australia experienced its first ever outbreak of equine influenza in August 2007. Horses on 9359 premises were infected over a period of 5 months before the disease was successfully eradicated through the combination of horse movement controls, on-farm biosecurity and vaccination. In a previous premises-level case-control study of the 2007 equine influenza outbreak in Australia, the protective effect of several variables representing on-farm biosecurity practices were identified. Separately, factors associated with horse managers’ perceptions of the effectiveness of biosecurity measures have been identified.
    Preventive Veterinary Medicine 12/2013; 116(3). DOI:10.1016/j.prevetmed.2013.11.015 · 2.51 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
360.10 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2008–2015
    • University of Sydney
      • Faculty of Veterinary Science
      Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • 2005–2015
    • University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
      • • Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
      • • Prairie Research Institute
      • • Department of Animal Biology
      Urbana, Illinois, United States
  • 2012
    • Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Bhutan
      Thimbu, Thimphu, Bhutan
  • 2007–2010
    • University of Minnesota Morris
      • College of Veterinary Medicine
      Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States
  • 2005–2010
    • Texas A&M University
      • • Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences
      • • College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
      • • Department of Veterinary Pathobiology
      College Station, Texas, United States
  • 2003
    • Purdue University
      • Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences (VCS)
      West Lafayette, Indiana, United States