Early models of directly transmitted wildlife disease focused on rabies transmission as a travelling wave, usually in a homogeneous density of wildlife. Such models of epi-enzootic diseases paid little attention to local-scale disease prevalence. Historical data on bovine tuberculosis (Tb) in cattle indicates that very localised areas can suffer from frequent repeat breakdowns, indicating that some environmental factors might be the cause.
The den use of possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) may be density dependent, meaning that individuals change their denning behaviour in response to changes in population density. Increases in den use due to changes in density may result in increases in bovine tuberculosis (Mycobacterium bovis; bTB) transmission among possums, as infection has previously been correlated with den use. In this study, the den use of a possum population was monitored in 2011 before and after a density reduction event. Females increased their den use following density reduction, but males did not.