Seasonal distribution and abundance of tsetse flies (Glossina spp.) in the Faro and Deo Division of the Adamaoua Plateau in Cameroon

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Abstract

Ten years after the large-scale tsetse control campaigns in the important cattle rearing areas of the Faro and Deo Division of the Adamaoua Plateau in Cameroon, the seasonal distribution and abundance of tsetse flies (Glossina spp.) were determined. During a period of 12 consecutive months (January–December 2005), the tsetse population was monitored along four trap transects consisting of a total of 32 traps and two flyround transects traversing the study area, which comprised the tsetse-infested valley, a buffer zone and the supposedly tsetse-free plateau. Throughout the study period, a total of 2195 Glossina morsitans submorsitans and 23 Glossina tachinoides were captured in the traps and 1007 G. m. submorsitans(78.8% male flies) were captured along the flyround transects. All G. tachinoides and almost all G. m. submorsitans were captured in the valley. Five G. m. submorsitans were captured in traps located in the buffer zone, whereas no flies were captured in traps located on the plateau. The index of apparent abundance (IAA) of G. m. submorsitans was substantially higher in the areas close to game reserves. In the remaining part of the valley, where wildlife is scarce and cattle are present during transhumance (dry season), the IAA of tsetse was substantially lower. In this part of the valley, the abundance of tsetse seemed to be associated with the presence of cattle, with the highest IAA during transhumance when cattle are present and the lowest apparent abundance during the rainy season when cattle have moved to the plateau. It is concluded that the distribution of tsetse in a large part of the valley undergoes substantial seasonal changes depending on the presence or absence of cattle. The repercussions of those findings for the control of tsetse in the valley and the probability of reinvasion of the plateau are discussed.

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