Wildlife pathogens and invasive alien species: Strengthening capacity for risk analysis

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper/Powerpoint/Abstract

    Abstract

    The Convention on Biological Diversity wants priority invasive alien species (IAS)
    identified, pathways controlled and management strategies deployed. The new EU
    IAS Regulation provides a framework to protect biodiversity from IAS. For a
    number of listed species, and more generally at least one quarter of the “world’s
    worst IAS”, invasion and associated impacts are linked to wildlife diseases.
    Pathogens may be left behind in the native range, affording enemy release to their
    host, or they may be introduced and represent a source of pathogen pollution. Risk
    analysis is used to evaluate the risk associated with species introductions and their
    pathogens. However, interactions between vectors, hosts, pathogens and the
    environment are complex. We address gaps constraining our ability to undertake
    risk assessments and identify risk management options for pathogens of concern.
    Pathogens need to be better covered in international (IAS) databases and data on
    prevalence, pathogenicity, virulence and transmission dynamics are needed to
    assess their risk. Assessing the exposure of native wildlife to novel pathogens is
    constrained by lack of data on the distribution and likelihood of introduction.
    Despite their role in mediating invasions, wildlife pathogens are excluded from the
    IAS Regulation. In contrast with policies on diseases of humans or livestock, policy
    on pathogens of wildlife is fragmented and characterized by a lack of international
    cooperation. There is a need to address pathways by increased controls, health
    surveillance of wildlife imports and wildlife populations, as well as increased
    biosecurity awareness among all actors in the field. To identify and manage the
    threats associated with alien pathogens and their vectors, the development of
    interdisciplinary capacity, expertise and coordination is critical.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages38
    Publication statusPublished - 7-Oct-2016

    Thematic list

    • Invasive species (nature management)
    • Invasive species (fauna management)
    • Invasive species (management)
    • Invasive species (species diversity)

    EWI Biomedical sciences

    • B003-ecology

    Free keywords

    • invasive alien species
    • wildlife disease
    • pathogens

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