A lot of the statistical math is over my head, but I get just enough to question if the writer is applying the epidemiology of diseases which are transmitted in ways other than a penetrating bite, don't have a highly variable incubation period ( 2 weeks to 6 mo in dogs, 2 weeks to a year in humans), may abort the infection (self-vaccinate) or if do become infected, (domestic species ) are only 'contagious' for 10-14 days before they die.
If an area has 100 unvaccinated dogs, may have more than one at a time developed clinical rabies, and those with "furious" rabies may expose other dogs and people for the 10 days before they die, but that exposed / infected dog or human may live for 4-6 months or longer before developing rabies, if they do. Some of the dogs (and humans) bitten, will never show rabies - the virus will abort, and in effect, the 'victim' will be vaccinated. Killing dogs showing obvious signs is easy and you don't need night lights. 'Mad dogs and Englishmen stay out the noonday sun' because -- there are no ups and downs in rabies, just a fairly rapid, progressive encephalitis. Normally nocturnal, shy wildlife being out in the day, showing no fear or recognition of humans is a cardinal sign.
"....the same mechanism that cause animal species to go extinct is also reducing the actual number of rabid animals near human population centers".
That might be true for bats, or mongoose, but increased human density, if anything, increases domestic dog density -both feral and semi-owned, and opportunity for exposure. Cats can truly become feral and very shym but n for domestic dogs; freeloading on humans was the major driver of dog domestication. The denser the population,n the more garbage - the more dogs.
That I know of rabies was in wildlife reservoirs, has ever had had rabies "die out". I may be wrong there might be some island that only had one species with rabies and they all died out (vs were eliminated). Controlling or eliminating the canine strain of rabies in dogs - (which we are relatively susceptible to ) which live in close proximity to us, where it has been effective, (US and Canada and (maybe all of ) Mexico), was accomplished by vaccination, +/- culling. The latter alone would never have worked much less trying to 'take out' rabid dogs 1 by 1 - that already happens).
We have to be vigilant because, well, humans are irresponsible
idiots ( 30% say they wouldn't take a Corona vaccine - it should not be surprising although legally required in 49 states dog vaccination rates are depressingly low). The biggest threat to rabies control in dogs in the US is the importation of pet dogs from Russia and India. What saves us, is rabies vaccine are HIGHLY effective - FAR better than measles. And, species strains are perpetuated most effectively in those species, only. When a strain crosses species, most cases dead- end.
I was trying to make two points - until we accept or prove which animals can only effectively pass their rabies strain (which is most), we will continue to waste hundreds of millions of dollars of PEP unnecessarily treating people in developed countries, while it is unavailable to those truly at risk in poor countries with dog rabies. In the US, with no native dogs with canine strain since 2004, the dog that contracts rabies from a skunk almost certainly cannot infect a person,. but because of the fear of the disease and "because we can" there maybe 50 people who "weren't even 'in the room where it happened'" given PEP. (Actually, the biggest waste concerns PEP and domestic cats). Again I am not sure of the numbers but I would guess a rabid dog in India exposes by biting, a max of 10 people before it dies. Of which, 20%-30% may develop the disease, and without PEP -die
Point 2 -- I don't think WHO numbers were ever anything more than a guess, and they still are. Not even addressing suspect vs proven, or if reportable in every country. What we are told are "yearly flu deaths" in the US -- are retrospective estimates. I don't believe there are any exponential or intricate epidemiological shifts going on. If the numbers 50 years ago were true, between population explosion, recent few decades of social upheaval crippling public health in poor countries, the numbers should have risen. WHO numbers have ping-ponged for 50 years between 35,000 and 75,000. almost certainly because - they were and are, made up.