Invasive species: Control wildlife pathogens too

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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

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

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

    • Helen Roy


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

    • Helen Roy

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