It sounds like something out of a badly made 1970s horror film, and it would appear the practice of “vampiricide” is proving just about as effective as one would expect if it actually were a big screen offering.
Vampiricide involves applying a poisonous paste to captured vampire bats, which then spread it to others through mutual grooming back in the roost.
However, researchers working in Latin America now believe that the effort not only does not reduce rabies’ prevalence in vampire bat colonies in the region; it may, in fact, increase it, according to Agence France-Presse.
“We detected something that is a little bit worrying,” University of Georgia researcher Daniel Streicker said Wednesday.
The study was conducted in Peru from July 2007 to October 2010 by a team from the United States and Peru.
“In areas that were sporadically culled during the course of the study, we saw an increase in the proportion of bats exposed to rabies,” he said.
Colonies that were never culled had the lowest prevalence, the researchers reported.