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Hygiene and biosecurity protocols reduce infection prevalence but do not improve fledging success in an endangered parrot

Fogell, DJ; Groombridge, JJ; Tollington, S; Canessa, S; Henshaw, S; Zuel, N; Jones, CG; ... Ewen, JG; + view all (2019) Hygiene and biosecurity protocols reduce infection prevalence but do not improve fledging success in an endangered parrot. Scientific Reports , 9 , Article 4779. 10.1038/s41598-019-41323-w. Green open access

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Abstract

Emerging Infectious Diseases (EIDs) are recognised as global extinction drivers of threatened species. Unfortunately, biodiversity managers have few tested solutions to manage them when often the desperate need for solutions necessitates a response. Here we test in situ biosecurity protocols to assess the efficacy of managing Psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD), one of the most common and emergent viral diseases in wild parrots (Psittaciformes) that is currently affecting numerous threatened species globally. In response to an outbreak of PBFD in Mauritius “echo” parakeets (Psittacula eques), managers implemented a set of biosecurity protocols to limit transmission and impact of Beak and feather disease virus (BFDV). Here we used a reciprocal design experiment on the wild population to test whether BFDV management reduced viral prevalence and viral load, and improved nestling body condition and fledge success. Whilst management reduced the probability of nestling infection by approximately 11% there was no observed impact on BFDV load and nestling body condition. In contrast to expectations there was lower fledge success in nests with added BFDV biosecurity (83% in untreated vs. 79% in treated nests). Our results clearly illustrate that management for wildlife conservation should be critically evaluated through targeted monitoring and experimental manipulation, and this evaluation should always focus on the fundamental objective of conservation.

Type: Article
Title: Hygiene and biosecurity protocols reduce infection prevalence but do not improve fledging success in an endangered parrot
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-41323-w
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-41323-w
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: Conservation biology, Ecological epidemiology
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10093215
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