Anthrax outbreaks in white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus, are frequent in west Texas, USA, particularly across the Edwards Plateau. However, the outbreak severity varies among years. We summarize the outbreak history in white-tailed deer at a ranch north of Del Rio, Texas, from 2001 to 2010 and compare mortality rates to remotely sensed vegetation indices derived from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer satellite data. It has long been posited that the occurrence of mid- to high-latitude epizootics is associated with hot, dry summer conditions preceded by a wet spring, with cases occurring after summer rain events. Here we employed vegetation green-up indices as a proxy for such environmental conditions. Annual trajectories of vegetation indices identified a clear pattern of early green springs with dry summers in severe outbreak years. In contrast, later, less intense spring green-up with greener summers were associated with enzootic mortality years, when few cases occurred. There was a statistically significant difference in the annual timing and intensity of spring green-up from vegetation indices for epizootic and enzootic years. Years with epizootics have early, intense spring conditions, whereas enzootic years have low-intensity green-up. These results suggest that early green-up signatures may be useful in identifying epizootic climatic conditions ahead of the summer anthrax period. Such analyses are required to ultimately develop an early warning system for wildlife managers and veterinary public health officials.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 49 • No. 3