Wildlife disease as an indicator for ecosystem health

By:  and 
Edited by: D.J. RapportW.L. LasleyD.E. RolstonN.O. NielsenC.O. Qualset, and A.B. Damania



Ecosystem health and management are relatively new paradigms for environmental management (Costanza et al., 1992) and will be continually redefined and reevaluated relative to their purpose and utility in serving human society (Costanza et al., 1992; Sutter, 1993; Grumbine, 1994; Lackey, 1998, 1999). The stimulus for ecosystem management is often associated with sustaining or restoring ecosystem health to provide values sought by humans (Costanza et al., 1992). We accept the concepts of ecosystem health and management as useful precepts. However, we argue that the orientation in serving human values often has resulted in inadequate attention being given to nonhuman species. The need to address ecosystem health for the benefit of all species that share Planet Earth is noted by Merchant (1997). This humanistic viewpoint also has economic benefits that are part of the wealth that we will pass on to future generations (Pulliam, 1995). Despite the viewpoints just noted, disease occurrence in wildlife receives inadequate consideration with regard to perspectives of ecosystem health and as a focus for ecosystem management. Evidence for this view is the limited resources allocated for wildlife disease programs and prevention efforts, and persistent attitudes within the wildlife conservation community that disease is a “natural event,” not influenced by environmental conditions or anthropogenic insults.

Study Area

Publication type Book chapter
Title Wildlife disease as an indicator for ecosystem health
Chapter 110
Year Published 2002
Language English
Publisher Lewis Publishers
Publisher location Boca Raton, FL
Contributing office(s) National Wildlife Health Center
Description 14 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Monograph
Larger Work Title Managing for healthy ecosystems
First page 1111
Last page 1124
Country United States
State California
Other Geospatial Salton Sea
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
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