Wildlife health in a rapidly changing North: focus on avian disease

Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment
By: , and 

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Abstract

Climate-related environmental changes have increasingly been linked to emerging infectious diseases in wildlife. The Arctic is facing a major ecological transition that is expected to substantially affect animal and human health. Changes in phenology or environmental conditions that result from climate warming may promote novel species assemblages as host and pathogen ranges expand to previously unoccupied areas. Recent evidence from the Arctic and subarctic suggests an increase in the spread and prevalence of some wildlife diseases, but baseline data necessary to detect and verify such changes are still lacking. Wild birds are undergoing rapid shifts in distribution and have been implicated in the spread of wildlife and zoonotic diseases. Here, we review evidence of current and projected changes in the abundance and distribution of avian diseases and outline strategies for future research. We discuss relevant climatic and environmental factors, emerging host–pathogen contact zones, the relationship between host condition and immune function, and potential wildlife and human health outcomes in northern regions.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Wildlife health in a rapidly changing North: focus on avian disease
Series title Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment
DOI 10.1890/130291
Volume 12
Issue 10
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher Ecological Society of America
Contributing office(s) Alaska Science Center Biology WTEB
Description 13 p.
First page 548
Last page 556
Other Geospatial Arctic
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N