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Contact networks in a wild Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) population: using social network analysis to reveal seasonal variability in social behaviour and its implications for transmission of devil facial tumour disease

Citation

Hamede Ross, RK and Bashford, JD and McCallum, HI and Jones, Menna, Contact networks in a wild Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) population: using social network analysis to reveal seasonal variability in social behaviour and its implications for transmission of devil facial tumour disease, Ecology Letters, 12, (11) pp. 1147-1157. ISSN 1461-023X (2009) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1461-0248.2009.01370.x

Abstract

The structure of the contact network between individuals has a profound effect on the transmission of infectious disease. Using a novel technology - proximity sensing radio collars - we described the contact network in a population of Tasmanian devils. This largest surviving marsupial carnivore is threatened by a novel infectious cancer. All devils were connected in a single giant component, which would permit disease to spread throughout the network from any single infected individual. Unlike the contact networks for many human diseases, the degree distribution was not highly aggregated. Nevertheless, the empirically derived networks differed from random networks. Contact networks differed between the mating and non-mating seasons, with more extended male-female associations in the mating season and a greater frequency of female-female associations outside the mating season. Our results suggest that there is limited potential to control the disease by targeting highly connected age or sex classes. © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Physiology
Research Field:Animal Physiology - Biophysics
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species
Objective Field:Control of Animal Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species in Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Environments
Author:Hamede Ross, RK (Dr Rodrigo Hamede Ross)
Author:Bashford, JD (Dr James Bashford)
Author:McCallum, HI (Professor Hamish McCallum)
Author:Jones, Menna (Associate Professor Menna Jones)
ID Code:58216
Year Published:2009
Web of Science® Times Cited:147
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2009-09-18
Last Modified:2011-07-27
Downloads:0

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