What is it about?

How animals use the landscape and interact with other species is very important for biologists and land managers to understand. These interactions can shape biological communities and understanding these relationships can inform how we manage species. A great example is how mesocarnivores, medium-sized mammals with a carnivorous diet (ex: skunks, foxes), interact with each other and the impacts these relationships have for rabies management, a highly contagious and deadly disease that can easily spread from wildlife to humans.

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Why is it important?

Understanding what factors in the environment can influence how species interact on the landscape is critical for informed management decisions. This is especially important for disease management and can help develop more reliable early-warning systems for viral outbreaks of zoonotic diseases.


The best part about observational studies like this, where we can observe natural animal behavior, is our ability to draw inferences for bigger picture concerns such as human health.

Amanda Dutt
Sul Ross State University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Occurrence of mesocarnivores in montane sky islands: How spatial and temporal overlap informs rabies management in a regional hotspot, PLoS ONE, November 2021, PLOS,
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0259260.
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