The Mad Dog Initiative is working to protect and conserve the biodiversity of Madagascar through a targeted feral and domestic dog spay/neuter, vaccination, removal, and adoption program.
In addition to this targeted program, we are conducting photographic sampling (camera trapping) of carnivore populations and lemur transect sampling to evaluate the effectiveness of this dog control program. Further, we are modeling the interactions between feral and domestic dogs and a host of endemic carnivore and lemur species. To address the ultimate causes of why dogs go feral in Madagascar and to improve our understanding of the role of dogs in households and villages across Madagascar, we are conducting expansive household surveys and questionnaires.
Our project consists of a number of collaborations among US, Canadian, and Malagasy researchers, students, and veterinarians. Our research project currently employs:
- two Malagasy veterinarians,
- one Malagasy veterinarian student,
- two Malagasy researchers,
- up to four local guides, and
- one US field technician.
As the result of our success in promoting and developing consideration for the human treatment and conservation of wildlife, we were recently awarded with the Virginia McKenna award from Compassionate Conservation and the Born Free organization.