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Controlling Wildlife Disease

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Funding Year: 2018

Research Areas: Natural Capital

Regions: North America

Canine distemper virus (CDV) is distributed globally and causes fatal disease in domestic and wild carnivore species. There is no cure, and the mortality rate is 50 percent in adult dogs and 80 percent in pups.


Epidemics of CDV have caused 30 percent declines in Serengeti lions, 45 percent declines in Yellowstone wolves, and 95 percent declines in island foxes. This project will bridge understanding of the genetic variations of the disease with models of how, where, when, who and why the disease can be transmitted to improve CDV control in wildlife, particularly in threatened and reservoir populations.

Learn more about the Environmental Venture Projects grant program and other funded projects.

Principal Investigators:

Dimitri Petrov, Professor of Biology

Elizabeth Hadly, Professor of Biology

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