Changes in the distribution of cattle and of bovine trypanosomiasis associated with the spread of tsetseflics (Glossina) in south-west Uganda.

Published online
22 May 1969
Content type
Journal article
Journal title
Journal of Applied Ecology

Ford, J. & Clifford, H. R.

Publication language
Africa South of Sahara & Australia & East Africa & Uganda & Victoria


This paper describes the apparent distribution and incidence of bovine trypanosomiasis associated with the northward spread of G. morsitans in eastern Ankole, and the regrowth of the Ankole cattle population after the high mortality of the 1890-91 pandemic and the 1919-20 local epidemic of rinderpest. The recovery took place in the continuously narrowing corridor between the two fly-belts. G. morsitans morsitans entered Ankole in 1907. Its northward spread in the region west of Lake Victoria has been under observation since 1914. Apart from one recession after the epidemic of 1919-20, the spread has been continuous, at rates varying between 20 and over 300 square miles a year, until 1960 when it was halted by the use of insecticides and the control of wild animals. An existing population of G. pallidipes, G. fuscipleuris and perhaps G. fuscipes fuscipes in north-west Ankole expanded during the same period. The combined total of the cattle populations of Ankole and the neighbouring district of Masuka is used as a measure of the trend. Recovery from the 1919-20 epidemic was rapid until 1927, after which growth ceased until 1950. Theileria parva infection has a greater direct control over the rate of growth of the Ankole cattle population than trypanosomiasis. The principal effect of the latter is to limit the area available for grazing. The cattle population increased after 1950, when comprehensive drug inoculation programmes against trypanosome infection, tick control measures, and the provision of water supplies were begun. The relative frequency of the two principal trypanosomes is zoned, as elsewhere, T. congolense being more common in areas of heavy infection and T. vivax in areas of lighter infection.

Key words