A guide for ecologists: detecting the role of disease in faunal declines and managing population recovery

Preece, Noel D., Abell, Sandra E., Grogan, Laura, Wayne, Adrian, Skerratt, Lee F., Van Oosterzee, Penny, Shima, Amy, Daszak, Peter, Field, Hume, Reiss, Andrea, Berger, Lee, Rymer, Tasmin L., Fisher, Diana O., Lawes, Michael J., Laurance, Susan G., McCallum, Hamish, Esson, Carol, and Epstein, Jon H. (2017) A guide for ecologists: detecting the role of disease in faunal declines and managing population recovery. Biological Conservation, 214. pp. 136-146.

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Abstract

Biodiversity is declining at an alarming rate, especially among vertebrates. Disease is commonly ignored or dismissed in investigations of wildlife declines, partly because there is often little or no obvious clinical evidence of illness. We argue that disease has the potential to cause many species declines and extinctions and that there is mounting evidence that this is a more important cause of declines than has been appreciated. We summarise case studies of diseases that have affected wildlife to the point of extinction and bring together the experiences of wildlife managers, veterinarians, epidemiologists, infectious disease specialists, zoologists and ecologists to provide an investigation framework to help ecologists and wildlife managers address disease as a factor in wildlife declines. Catastrophic declines of wildlife may be the result of single or multiple synergistic causes, and disease should always be one factor under consideration, unless proven otherwise. In a rapidly changing world where emerging infectious diseases have become increasingly common, the need to consider diseases has never been more important.

Item ID: 49960
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: emerging infectious diseases, faunal declines, extinctions
ISSN: 1873-2917
Funders: James Cook University (JCU), One Health Alliance, Australian Research Council (ARC), Taronga Conservation Science Initiative
Projects and Grants: ARC FT110100191, FT100100375, DP120100811 and LP11020024
Date Deposited: 28 Aug 2017 23:30
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060207 Population Ecology @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060208 Terrestrial Ecology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960805 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity at Regional or Larger Scales @ 100%
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