Alien Pathogens on the Horizon: Opportunities for Predicting their Threat to Wildlife

Helen E. Roy, Helen Hesketh, Bethan V. Purse, Jørgen Eilenberg, Alberto Santini, Riccardo Scalera, Grant D. Stentiford, Tim Adriaens, Karolina Bacela-Spychalska, David Bass, Katie M. Beckmann, Paul Bessell, Jamie Bojko, Olaf Booy, Ana Cristina Cardoso, Franz Essl, Quentin Groom, Colin Harrower, Regina Kleespies, Angeliki F. MartinouMonique M. van Oers, Edmund J. Peeler, Jan Pergl, Wolfgang Rabitsch, Alain Roques, Francis Schaffner, Stefan Schindler, Benedikt R. Schmidt, Karsten Schönrogge, Jonathan Smith, Wojciech Solarz, Alan Stewart, Arjan Stroo, Elena Tricarico, Katharine M.A. Turvey, Andrea Vannini, Montserrat Vilà, Stephen Woodward, Anja Amtoft Wynns, Alison M. Dunn

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    According to the Convention on Biological Diversity, by 2020 invasive alien
    species (IAS) should be identified and their impacts assessed, so that species
    can be prioritized for implementation of appropriate control strategies and
    measures put in place to manage invasion pathways. For one quarter of the
    IAS listed as the “100 of the world’s worst” environmental impacts are linked
    to diseases of wildlife (undomesticated plants and animals). Moreover, IAS are
    a significant source of “pathogen pollution” defined as the human-mediated
    introduction of a pathogen to a new host or region. Despite this, little is
    known about the biology of alien pathogens and their biodiversity impacts
    after introduction into new regions. We argue that the threats posed by alien
    pathogens to endangered species, ecosystems, and ecosystem services should
    receive greater attention through legislation, policy, and management. We
    identify 10 key areas for research and action, including those relevant to the
    processes of introduction and establishment of an alien pathogen and to prediction
    of the spread and associated impact of an alien pathogen on native
    biota and ecosystems. The development of interdisciplinary capacity, expertise,
    and coordination to identify and manage threats was seen as critical to
    address knowledge gaps
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalConservation Letters
    Issue number4
    Pages (from-to)477-484
    Publication statusPublished - Jul-2017

    Thematic list

    • Invasive species (species diversity)

    EWI Biomedical sciences

    • B003-ecology
    • B004-botany
    • B005-zoology
    • B007-medicine-human-vertebrates

    Free keywords

    • wildziekten
    • wildlife disease
    • wildlife management


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