The potential contribution of migration towards the spread of disease is as varied as the ecology of the pathogens themselves and their host populations. This chapter outlines multiple examples of viral diseases in animal populations and their mechanisms of viral spread. Many species of insects, mammals, fish, and birds exhibit migratory behavior and have the potential to disperse diseases over long distances. The majority of studies available on viral zoonoses have focused on birds and bats, due to their highly migratory life histories. A number of studies have reported evidence of changes in the timing of animal migrations in response to climate change. The majority indicate an advancement of spring migration, with few or inconclusive results for fall migration. Predicting the combined effects of climate change on migratory patterns of host species and epidemiology of viral pathogens is complex and not fully realistic.
Additional publication details
Animal migration and risk of spread of viral infections: Chapter 9