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When to vaccinate a fluctuating wildlife population: Is timing everything?

Abstract

. Tuning wildlife vaccination campaigns to host demography and pathogen traits can substantially increase the effectiveness of a campaign. Our results suggest that, for a fluctuating population, vaccinating at, or shortly after, the end of the birthing season, best protects the population against an invading pathogen. If the pathogen is already endemic, delaying vaccination until after the birthing season is over can help facilitate pathogen elimination. Our results highlight the need to better understand and predict host demography in wildlife populations that are targeted for vaccination.

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