Landscape risk factors for attacks of vampire bats on cattle in Sao Paulo, Brazil.Prev Vet Med. 2010 Feb 01; 93(2-3):139-46.PV
Vampire-bat (Desmodus rotundus) attacks on cattle are a major concern for cattle-raising area. Blood loss and paralytic rabies due to bat bites can impose severe losses on the livestock. We took four municipalities inside the Sao Joao da Boa Vista veterinary district (Sao Paulo, Brazil) as a study area and tested a set of landscape features for spatial correlation with distance to areas in which vampire-bat attacks on cattle were documented. Bat- and cattle-related data from the Sao Paulo State Rabies Control Program were used. Landscape data (first-order rivers and their tributaries, main roads, railways and urban areas) were obtained from official cartographic agencies; forest, sugarcane and pasture data were acquired from remote-sensing mappings. The study area was taken as a grid split into 178 cells. Each 4kmx4km cell was filled with bat, cattle and landscape data. Our analysis detected that grid cells that were closer to areas of bat attacks on cattle had higher cattle density and a greater percentage of the land committed to sugarcane cropping, and were close to forest fragments. These results shed light on the need for rethink the Rabies Control Program strategies for defining the surveillance of vampire-bat populations and rabies control in the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil.