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Sutherland W.J.,University of Cambridge | Clout M.,University of Auckland | Cote I.M.,Simon Fraser University | Daszak P.,Wildlife Trust | And 19 more authors.
Trends in Ecology and Evolution | Year: 2010

Horizon scanning identifies emerging issues in a given field sufficiently early to conduct research to inform policy and practice. Our group of horizon scanners, including academics and researchers, convened to identify fifteen nascent issues that could affect the conservation of biological diversity. These include the impacts of and potential human responses to climate change, novel biological and digital technologies, novel pollutants and invasive species. We expect to repeat this process and collation annually. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source


Kilpatrick A.M.,University of California at Santa Cruz | Briggs C.J.,University of California at Santa Barbara | Daszak P.,Wildlife Trust
Trends in Ecology and Evolution | Year: 2010

Emerging infectious diseases are increasingly recognized as key threats to wildlife. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), the causative agent of chytridiomycosis, has been implicated in widespread amphibian declines and is currently the largest infectious disease threat to biodiversity. Here, we review the causes of Bd emergence, its impact on amphibian populations and the ecology of Bd transmission. We describe studies to answer outstanding issues, including the origin of the pathogen, the effect of Bd relative to other causes of population declines, the modes of Bd dispersal, and factors influencing the intensity of its transmission. Chytridiomycosis is an archetypal emerging disease, with a broad host range and significant impacts on host populations and, as such, poses a crucial challenge for wildlife managers and an urgent conservation concern. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source


Hunter M.E.,U.S. Geological Survey | Hunter M.E.,University of Florida | Auil-Gomez N.E.,Wildlife Trust | Auil-Gomez N.E.,University of South Florida | And 5 more authors.
Animal Conservation | Year: 2010

The Antillean subspecies of the West Indian manatee Trichechus manatus is found throughout Central and South America and the Caribbean. Because of severe hunting pressure during the 17th through 19th centuries, only small populations of the once widespread aquatic mammal remain. Fortunately, protections in Belize reduced hunting in the 1930s and allowed the country's manatee population to become the largest breeding population in the Wider Caribbean. However, increasing and emerging anthropogenic threats such as coastal development, pollution, watercraft collision and net entanglement represent challenges to this ecologically important population. To inform conservation and management decisions, a comprehensive molecular investigation of the genetic diversity, relatedness and population structure of the Belize manatee population was conducted using mitochondrial and microsatellite DNA. Compared with other mammal populations, a low degree of genetic diversity was detected (HE=0.455; NA=3.4), corresponding to the small population size and long-term exploitation. Manatees from the Belize City Cayes and Southern Lagoon system were genetically different, with microsatellite and mitochondrial FST values of 0.029 and 0.078, respectively (P≤0.05). This, along with the distinct habitats and threats, indicates that separate protection of these two groups would best preserve the region's diversity. The Belize population and Florida subspecies appear to be unrelated with microsatellite and mitochondrial FST values of 0.141 and 0.63, respectively (P≤0.001), supporting the subspecies designations and suggesting low vagility throughout the northern Caribbean habitat. Further monitoring and protection may allow an increase in the Belize manatee genetic diversity and population size. A large and expanding Belize population could potentially assist in the recovery of other threatened or functionally extinct Central American Antillean manatee populations. © 2010 The Authors. Animal Conservation © 2010 The Zoological Society of London. Source


Shirley P.,Wildlife Trust
Ecos | Year: 2015

Economic forces in the UK are increasingly ranged against the natural world. Given the current era of tight resources and hostile politics, conservation groups should rethink some of their own values and act strategically to make progress. Source


Xu K.,Northeast Forestry University | Zhu D.-Z.,Northeast Forestry University | Wei Y.,Northeast Forestry University | Schloegel L.M.,Wildlife Trust | And 2 more authors.
EcoHealth | Year: 2010

Ranaviruses have been associated with die-offs in cultured amphibians in China, but their presence in wild amphibians has not yet been assessed. We sampled free-ranging Rana dybowskii at seven sites throughout Heilongjiang Province to determine the presence and prevalence of ranaviruses in this region. Our results revealed an overall infection prevalence of 5.7% (18/315) for adults and 42.5% (51/120) for tadpoles by PCR. PCR-amplified product showed a high degree of homology with several members of the Iridoviridae, mostly with those belonging to the genus Ranavirus. The results indicate that ranaviruses are broadly distributed throughout Heilongjiang Province and could have important implications for the health of native wildlife. Additional sampling and management strategies should be urgently adopted to address the prevalence and health consequences of ranaviruses throughout China. © 2010 International Association for Ecology and Health. Source

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