Anthrax Epizootics in Wildlife in the Etosha National Park, South west Africa

  • H. Ebedes

Abstract

In recent years, anthrax has assumed great importance in Etosha National Park where it was responsible for an estimated 54% of the total recorded mortality.From January 1966 to June 1974, the disease caused the deaths of at least 1635 animals and affected 10 wildlife species. It was diagnosed in plains zebra, blue wildebeest, springbok, elephant, gemsbok, kudu, ostrich, giraffe, eland and cheetah. Adult male and female plains zebra and blue wildebeest were the most severely affected. The deaths recorded amongst gemsbok and eland were the first records of anthrax in these two species. Most of the animals seem to have a resistance to the disease which is lowered by unknown stress factors. The over-utilized Okaukuejo, Namutoni and Andoni areas are enzootic and contaminated water-holes were the main source of infection. It is doubtful if anthrax could ever be eliminated from the Park. The most effective long term control measures would be the closure of artificial waterholes in the overcrowded and over-utilized enzootic areas.

Keywords

Incubator Area Bush Encroachment Blue Wildebeest Anthrax Outbreak Enzootic Area 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Zusammenfassung

Der M-lzbrand im Etoscha-Nationalpark hat in den letzen Jahren an Wichtigkeit sehr zugenommen, war er doch für schätzungsweise 54% aller registrierter Todesfälle verantwortlich. In der Zeitspanne von Januar 1966 bis Juni 1974 verendeten an der Krankheit mindestens 1635 Tiere aus zehn wild lebenden Arten: Steppenzebra, Gnu, Springbock, Elefant, Oryx, Kudu, Strauss, Giraffe, Elandantilope und Gepard. Am heftigsten befallen wurden erwachsene Männchen sowie Weibchen von Steppenzebra und Gnu. Beim Tod von Oryx und Elandantilope handelt es sich um erste gemeldete Vor-kommen von Milzbrand dieser beiden Arten. Die meisten Tiere scheinen eine Resistenz gegen die Seuche zu besitzen, die durch unbekannte Stressfaktoren herabgesetzt wird. Die Übermässig abgegrasten Gebiete von Okaukuejo, Namutoni und Andoni sind enzootisch, und verseuchte Wasserstellen waren die Hauptansteckungsquellen. Es ist zu bezweifeln, dass der Milzbrand sich jemals im Park ganz ausrotten lässt. Die effektivste Kontrollmassnahme auf lange Sicht wäre die Schliessung der kunstlichen Wasserstellen in den übervölkerten und übermässig abgeweideten enzootischen Gebieten.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Ebedes
    • 1
  1. 1.StellenboschSouth Africa

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