Research output

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

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-article


  • Helen E. Roy
  • Helen Hesketh
  • Bethan V. Purse
  • Jørgen Eilenberg
  • Alberto Santini
  • Riccardo Scalera
  • Grant D. Stentiford
  • 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. Martinou
  • Monique 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

External Organisations

  • CEH - Centre for Ecology and Hydrology


Original languageEnglish
JournalConservation Letters
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)477-484
Publication statusPublished - Jul-2017


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

Free keywords

  • wildziekten, wildlife disease, wildlife management
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