Unintended consequences of conservation actions: Managing disease in complex ecosystems

Chauvenet, Alienor L. M., Durant, Sarah M., Hilborn, Ray and Pettorelli, Nathalie (2011) Unintended consequences of conservation actions: Managing disease in complex ecosystems. PLoS One, 6 12: e28671-e28671. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0028671

Author Chauvenet, Alienor L. M.
Durant, Sarah M.
Hilborn, Ray
Pettorelli, Nathalie
Title Unintended consequences of conservation actions: Managing disease in complex ecosystems
Journal name PLoS One   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication date 2011-12-07
Year available 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0028671
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 6
Issue 12
Start page e28671
End page e28671
Total pages 8
Place of publication San Francisco, CA United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Language eng
Abstract Infectious diseases are increasingly recognised to be a major threat to biodiversity. Disease management tools such as control of animal movements and vaccination can be used to mitigate the impact and spread of diseases in targeted species. They can reduce the risk of epidemics and in turn the risks of population decline and extinction. However, all species are embedded in communities and interactions between species can be complex, hence increasing the chance of survival of one species can have repercussions on the whole community structure. In this study, we use an example from the Serengeti ecosystem in Tanzania to explore how a vaccination campaign against Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) targeted at conserving the African lion (Panthera leo), could affect the viability of a coexisting threatened species, the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus). Assuming that CDV plays a role in lion regulation, our results suggest that a vaccination programme, if successful, risks destabilising the simple two-species system considered, as simulations show that vaccination interventions could almost double the probability of extinction of an isolated cheetah population over the next 60 years. This work uses a simple example to illustrate how predictive modelling can be a useful tool in examining the consequence of vaccination interventions on non-target species. It also highlights the importance of carefully considering linkages between human-intervention, species viability and community structure when planning species-based conservation actions.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 9 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 11 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 27 Oct 2014, 22:27:01 EST by Alienor L. M. Chauvenet on behalf of School of Biological Sciences