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dc.contributor.advisorHenke, Scott E.
dc.contributor.advisorSilvy, Nova J.
dc.creatorRuffino, Denise Marie
dc.date.accessioned2010-01-15T00:03:56Z
dc.date.accessioned2010-01-16T00:30:20Z
dc.date.available2010-01-15T00:03:56Z
dc.date.available2010-01-16T00:30:20Z
dc.date.created2008-12
dc.date.issued2009-05-15
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1969.1/ETD-TAMU-2374
dc.description.abstractStriped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) are a rabies vector in Texas and efforts are underway to develop an oral rabies vaccination program for skunks. To better understand some of the components necessary, I studied the habitat preferences and home range of skunks, an alternative skunk capture method, and surveyed the knowledge base of medical providers practicing across the state. I radiocollared 99 skunks from the Houston, Texas metropolitan area and monitored skunk movements from March 2004–June 2006. To accelerate progress of this study, I captured 93 of 99 skunks using a dip net. Dip netting allowed for an effective collection alternative to cage trapping. Movement data indicated a strong preference for short grass areas (82%), however, habitat use changed to remote, brushy areas when temperatures were ≤7C. Habitat use during the year was different (P = 0.001), with December 2004, January 2005, and February 2005 significantly (P = 0.001) different from one another. Additionally, habitat use during December 2005, February 2006, and March 2006 were significantly different (P = 0.045, P =0.098, and P =0.003, respectively). Data from 20 skunks, covering multiple seasons, were analyzed for home range use. I found male home range use averaged 255 ha (217–345), while females averaged 126 ha (60–218). Male range use was significantly larger than females (P = 0.005). No significant seasonal movements were observed. Lastly, I conducted a survey of 297 Texas primary care medical providers to assess their knowledge of rabies vaccine procedures and their experience with rabies vaccines. Small town providers within the oral rabies vaccination baiting zone were more aware of rabies prophylaxis (P < 0.03), however, most providers (>95% of 297) rarely saw patients for rabies prophylaxis. Survey data indicated providers have minimal, if any, experience with acquiring and administering rabies prophylaxis. My data suggests that an effective oral rabies vaccination program could be established within urban areas by using short grass area baiting strategies during the fall season, using dip net capturing for faster surveillance collection, and by initiating a rabies education program targeted at Texas’ primary care physicians and their staff.en
dc.format.mediumelectronicen
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen_US
dc.subjectskunk. rabiesen
dc.subjectORVen
dc.titleBehavioral ecology of striped skunk: factors influencing urban rabies managementen
dc.typeBooken
dc.typeThesisen
thesis.degree.departmentWildlife and Fisheries Sciencesen
thesis.degree.disciplineWildlife and Fisheries Sciencesen
thesis.degree.grantorTexas A&M Universityen
thesis.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophyen
thesis.degree.levelDoctoralen
dc.contributor.committeeMemberCathey, James C.
dc.contributor.committeeMemberDavis, Donald S.
dc.type.genreElectronic Dissertationen
dc.type.materialtexten
dc.format.digitalOriginborn digitalen


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