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One of the most controversial wildlife issues in the UK today is the role of badgers in the transmission of bovine tuberculosis (bTB). A cross-disciplinary Oxford research team (led by David Macdonald and Adrian Smith) have identified badger-specific features of the immune response that may underpin badger susceptibility to bTB. Some of the results of this study also identify avenues that may be useful to boost the response to vacating badgers.

April 18, 2017

Attempts to control the spread of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in cattle cost the UK taxpayer c. £99 m/annum (2013–14), yet the problem continues to worsen. The benefits of culling badgers have been disputed and hope has turned to vaccinating them (Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) has been promising when injected at tenfold the dose used on people). Indeed, ... Read full story


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From the perspective of smaller predators, larger predators are a very mixed blessing, writes David Macdonald

April 6, 2017

Within the predatory guild, medium-sized jacks-of-all trades, like jackals, can benefit hugely from scraps from the bountiful tables of their larger carnivorous cousins, but in recent years repeated discoveries have revealed the mortal risks of intra-guild hostility where larger carnivores bully and, given the chance, kill smaller ones. I had these thoughts in mind when ... Read full story


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Ruaha Carnivore Project Update Feb-Mar 2017

March 28, 2017

The latest update from our Ruaha Carnivore Project, run by WildCRU's Dr Amy Dickman is now available. RCP Report Feb-Mar 2017 (PDF, 2MB)


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WildCRU researcher features in Oxford Sparks new podcast on wildlife tourism

April 12, 2017

"Should I take a selfie with a wild animal?" It's a question that you may have asked yourself on holiday. Tourist attractions that offer interactions with wild animals can have great benefits: they provide jobs, educate tourists, and benefit species conservation and animals' welfare. But many have negative impacts, on individual animals, and on their ... Read full story


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The Oxford Format: Outbreeding Ideas for Conservation Success

March 29, 2017

Following the success of the Cecil Summit, David Macdonald and Guillaume Chapron have borrowed from diplomatic language to emphasise the power of Oxford Format meetings. A particular style of meetings, dubbed The Normandy Format, was originally fashioned to tackle the crisis facing Ukraine. The Oxford Format, involving enforced inter-disciplinarity, appears to be a fruitful ... Read full story


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There was a time when leopards were thought to be irrepressibly resilient to anything that people could inflict upon them, from remorseless persecution to urbanisation, writes David Macdonald

March 27, 2017

True, one of the most expansive mammalian geographic ranges is a testament to adaptability and we might expect it to yield fascinating extremes of intra-specific variation. True, also that leopards occur from stony desert to tropical and urban jungles, and sometimes still at functionally important densities. But the reason that we at the WildCRU are increasingly ... Read full story



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