Invasive species: Control wildlife pathogens too

Journal name:
Nature
Volume:
530,
Page:
281
Date published:
DOI:
doi:10.1038/530281d
Published online

Policies to control diseases caused by invasive alien species should be extended to cover endangered wild species, ecosystems and their services — not just humans, livestock and cultivated plants.

Of the 100 invasive alien species listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as the 'world's worst', one-quarter have environmental impacts that are linked to diseases in wildlife (M. J. Hatcher et al. Front. Ecol. Environ. 10, 186194; 2012). Identifying and managing this threat calls for coordinated interdisciplinary expertise.

Priorities are to collect baseline information on the distribution and population dynamics of pathogens, hosts and vectors; to determine the relative importance of invasion pathways; and to develop methods for predicting host shifts, pathogen–host dynamics and the evolution of alien pathogens (see also go.nature.com/ux4wpp).

This integrated strategy is geared towards the goals set by the Convention on Biological Diversity for managing invasives.

Author information

  1. *On behalf of 4 correspondents (see Supplementary information for full list).

    • Helen Roy

Affiliations

  1. NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Wallingford, UK.

    • Helen Roy

Corresponding author

Correspondence to:

Author details

Supplementary information

Additional data