Area-Wide Integrated Management of a Glossina palpalis gambiensis Population from the Niayes Area Of Senegal: A review of operational research in support of a phased conditional approach

M. J. B. Vreysen, M. T. Seck, B. Sall, A. G. Mbaye, M. Bassene, A. G. Fall, M. Lo and J. Bouyer,  AREA-WIDE INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT:,  2021.

In 2005, the Government of Senegal initiated a project entitled “Projet de lutte contre les glossines dans les Niayes” (Tsetse control project in the Niayes) with the aim of creating a zone free of Glossina palpalis gambiensis in that area. The project received technical and financial support from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Centre de Cooperation Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Developpement (CIRAD) and the US Department of State through the Peaceful Uses Initiative (PUI). It was implemented in the context of the Pan African Tsetse and Trypanosomosis Eradication Campaign (PATTEC) following a phased conditional approach (PCA) that entails implementation in distinct phases, in which support to the next phase is conditional upon completion of all (or at least the majority of) activities in the previous phase. In the case of the tsetse project in Senegal, the PCA consisted of 4 phases: (1) commitment of all stakeholders and training, (2) baseline data collection, feasibility studies and strategy development, (3) preparatory pre-operational activities and (4) operational activities. This paper provides an overview of the main activities that were carried out within each phase, with emphasis on the operational research carried out in phases 2 and 3, that was instrumental in guiding the project’s decision-making. Activities of phase 2 focused on the collection of entomological, veterinary, socio-economic and environmental baseline data, and a population genetics study that proved the isolated character of the G. p. gambiensis population of the Niayes. These data enabled the tsetse-infested area to be delimited to 1000 km(2), the impact of animal trypanosomosis on the farmers’ welfare to be quantified (annual benefits of 2 million Euro in the tsetse-infested zone), and the formulation of an area-wide integrated pest management (AW-IPM) strategy that included a sterile insect (SIT) component to eradicate the isolated tsetse populations from the Niayes. In view of the extreme fragmentation of the remaining favourable habitat of the Niayes and the high human population density (peri-urban area), which excluded the possibility of using the Sequential Aerosol Technique, the IPM strategy that was selected comprised the suppression of the tsetse population with insecticide-impregnated traps/targets and the use of “pour-on” for cattle, followed by the release of sterile males to eliminate the remaining relic pockets. During phase 3, the pre-operational phase, a series of activities were carried out that were needed to implement the operational phase. These included the establishment of a colony of tsetse originating from the target area in Senegal, competitiveness studies between the sterile flies and those from the target area, development of transport methods for long-distance shipments of sterile male pupae, competitiveness of the sterile male flies after release in the target area, development of aerial release methods (including a new chilled adult release system) and development of a Maxent-based distribution model to guide the suppression, sterile male releases and monitoring of the eradication campaign. To be able to properly manage the eradication campaign in different phases, the entire target area was divided into 3 operational blocks. This paper demonstrates how, during the operational phase, scientific principles continued to guide the implementation process. The results to date are encouraging, i.e. the deployment of 269 insecticide-impregnated Vavoua traps in favourable habitat of Block 1 reduced the apparent density of the G. p. gambiensis population significantly (from 0.42 (SD 0.39) to 0.04 (SD 0.11) flies/trap/day). This was followed by the aerial release of sterile males that reduced the apparent density to zero after six months of releases. The last wild fly was trapped on August 9, 2012 in Block 1. In Block 2, during the suppression, the apparent fly density dropped from 1.24 (SD 1.23) to 0.005 (SD 0.017) flies/trap/day. Sterile male releases were initiated in February 2014 and expanded to cover the entire Block 2 in January 2015. The apparent fly density has so far been reduced to < 0.001 fly per trap per day until the end of 2018 and releases are still ongoing. The results of the campaign are discussed with respect to the “adaptive management approach” used, which was deemed critical for the success of the campaign.

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