Badger social structure maintained despite selective culling

In their new study, Allen et al. present a case study in Northern Ireland (NI) showing how selective culling can be less disruptive to badger social structures than indiscriminate culling. This method could be an effective and more socially acceptable means of controlling bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in wildlife. The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has raised consciousness on the issue of human disturbance of ecosystems and how this … Continue reading Badger social structure maintained despite selective culling

Habitat availability alters the relative risk of a bovine tuberculosis breakdown in the aftermath of a commercial forest clearfell disturbance

In their new study, Murphy et al. discuss the relationship between human modification of landscapes and zoonotic disease emergence and spread, through their case study of bovine tuberculosis in Ireland. The interconnectedness of ecosystems is one of the most endearing facets of landscape ecology. Yet, it presents the biggest challenge for applied ecologists seeking to understand the cause and effect of ecosystem modification. Changes to … Continue reading Habitat availability alters the relative risk of a bovine tuberculosis breakdown in the aftermath of a commercial forest clearfell disturbance

Optimizing disease management in an endangered carnivore

In their new article, Gilbertson et al. discuss how combining preventative and reactive disease interventions synergistically reduces disease-induced mortalities in a simulated carnivore population, whilst at the same time preventing unexpected negative impacts associated with inadequate vaccination. As the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated, controlling outbreaks of infectious diseases is incredibly challenging—and that is no less true in wildlife. In fact, wildlife management faces significant hurdles … Continue reading Optimizing disease management in an endangered carnivore

Not all hosts are equal: creating relevant questions for wildlife disease management

In their latest research, Will Rogers and colleagues use an age- and sex-structured simulation model to explore harvest-based management of CWD under three different transmission scenarios that all generate higher male prevalence. In many host-pathogen systems, males tend to be more diseased than females. This can be the result of many different factors such as the effects of testosterone on immune function and different social … Continue reading Not all hosts are equal: creating relevant questions for wildlife disease management

Editor’s Choice 59:1: Taking the road less fragmented slows disease spread

Associate Editors, Bret D Elderd and Anibal Pauchard, introduce this month’s Editor’s Choice article by Prist et al., which demonstrates that the building of roads that crisscross pristine habitat can lead to an increase in vector dispersal and Yellow Fever Virus (YFV) cases. The relationship between human and animal disease and environmental integrity has been highlighted by the recent COVID19 pandemic. However, quantitative studies on … Continue reading Editor’s Choice 59:1: Taking the road less fragmented slows disease spread

One-size does not fit all: Insights from a novel outbreak of Mycobacterium bovis in Northern England

The control of tuberculosis is an ongoing issue worldwide. A new study by Rossi and colleagues shows how genomic surveillance and a deep knowledge of the micro-scale landscape can provide invaluable insights on the effective control policies to tackle this issue. How do novel pathogen problems emerge? Have local conditions changed, making an outbreak more likely? How did the outbreak originate, and what will the … Continue reading One-size does not fit all: Insights from a novel outbreak of Mycobacterium bovis in Northern England

Cross-species transmission: what is the role of wildlife in sustaining rabies spread?

Understanding the role of different species in the transmission of multi-host pathogens is vital for effective control strategies. In their latest research, Lushasi and colleagues present data from a previously unstudied area of south-east Tanzania following the introduction of large-scale dog vaccination.  Rabies is one of the world’s most feared diseases due to its high case fatality rate. Despite the existence of safe and effective … Continue reading Cross-species transmission: what is the role of wildlife in sustaining rabies spread?

A framework to prioritize disease risk between wildlife and livestock

In their latest research, Khanyari and colleagues develop a three-step framework to assess cross-species disease transmission risk between migrating wildlife and livestock in data-limited circumstances and across social-ecological scale. Shared use of land between wildlife and livestock can lead to disease transmission, harming agricultural livelihoods and impacting wildlife conservation. This is especially problematic when endangered wildlife live in close proximity to largely resource poor people. … Continue reading A framework to prioritize disease risk between wildlife and livestock

How can control of invading plant pathogens increase their rate of spread? How can we prevent it?

Ryan Sharp and colleagues investigate the answers to both of these questions and discuss their recent work, The effect of competition on the control of invading plant pathogens, published in Journal of Applied Ecology.

When pathogens invade into an area, they may find themselves in competition with already endemic pathogen strains. This competition can severely limit the spread of the invader. Control methods generally do not distinguish between pathogen strains. Therefore, when control is applied, both invasive and endemic strains are affected. Continue reading How can control of invading plant pathogens increase their rate of spread? How can we prevent it?

Predator and scavenger movements as opportunities for pathogen spread among endangered seabirds

Infectious diseases have recently been acknowledged as an important threat for wild populations, notably seabirds. In order to implement efficient surveillance and management programmes, it is critical to look beyond the sick individuals to identify the individuals or species involved in cryptic epidemiological processes, such as pathogen spread. Amandine Gamble et al. summarise their recent research on the potential role of predators and scavengers in … Continue reading Predator and scavenger movements as opportunities for pathogen spread among endangered seabirds