Date of Completion

5-5-2012

Embargo Period

4-30-2012

Advisors

James Grady; Shylo Johnson

Field of Study

Public Health

Degree

Master of Public Health

Open Access

Open Access

Abstract

Raccoons (Procyon lotor) serve as a source of infection with various pathogens for people, most notably, rabies. Raccoons are specifically targeted for the control of rabies in the United States, primarily due to the 100% fatality rate in humans and animals. There is no cure or treatment for rabies and vaccines may be administered to people if it is administered promptly. In order to evaluate how successful trapping of raccoons is by using conventional methods, motion sensing cameras were placed on traps in order to captured raccoon behaviors. Pictures were coded based on these behaviors (around the trap but not entering, entering the trap but not being caught, captured, etc) and analyzed. The first hypothesis proposed that raccoons required a period of time to become adjusted to traps placed in their environment; this hypothesis could not be accepted. The second hypothesis suggested that raccoons exhibit a trap-prone behavior, this hypothesis was accepted. These results will help in designing more successful surveillance methods for zoonotic infectious disease programs.

Major Advisor

David Gregorio