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20 September 2010

Fecundity and longevity of roaming dogs in Jaipur, India

Background: Estimates of demographic parameters, such as age-specific survival and fecundity, age at first pregnancy and litter size, are required for roaming dogs (i.e. dogs that are neither confined nor restricted) to assess the likely effect of proposed methods of population control. Data resulting from individual identification of dogs spayed as part of an Animal Birth Control (ABC) programme in Jaipur, India, are used to derive such parameters for the roaming dog population of that city. Results: The percentage of females becoming pregnant in any given year was estimated by inspection of over 25,000 females caught for spaying from 1995 to 2006. The point estimate is 47.5% with a 95% confidence interval from 44% to 51%. Adult annual survival of spayed females was estimated by recapture of 62 spayed females from 2002 to 2006. The point estimate is 0.70 (95% confidence interval from 0.62 to 0.78), corresponding to an expected total lifespan of 3.8 years for a spayed female at one year old. Conclusion: Recording the pregnancy status of dogs collected for spaying and individual marking of dogs released following spaying can provide estimates of some of the demographic parameters essential for predicting the future effectiveness of an ABC programme. Further, we suggest that recording the number and location of spayed and unspayed dogs encountered by the catching teams could be the most effective way to monitor the size and composition of the roaming dog population. BMC Veterinary Research 2008, 4:6 doi:10.1186/1746-6148-4-6
Author/Organization: Reece, J.F., Chawla, S.K., Hiby, L.F. and Hiby, L.R.
Year: 2008
Where: India
Topics: dog population management, stray dogs