Galápagos Birds and Diseases : Invasive Pathogens as Threats for Island Species

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2004
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Foufopoulos, Johannes
Vargas, Hernan
Snell, Howard
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Exotic diseases and parasites have caused extinctions on islands and continents, particularly when they spread through assemblages of immunologically naïve species. Hawaii has lost a substantial part of its endemic bird fauna since the introduction of avian malaria at the beginning of the 20th century. In contrast, the Galápagos archipelago still possesses its entire endemic avifauna. Several of these Galápagos bird populations are in decline, however, and wildlife managers seek guidance to counteract a potential man-made ecological disaster. We recommend that endemic birds be tested for susceptibility to disease outside the Galápagos so that protection efforts can be better designed to deal with actual threats. At present, the best and perhaps only management option is to protect the isolation of these island communities because treating or vaccinating wild bird populations against diseases is almost impossible. If the isolation of the Galápagos Islands is successful, we will preserve the complete avifauna of an archipelago for the first time in the history of human colonization in the Pacific eco-region.

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ISO 690WIKELSKI, Martin, Johannes FOUFOPOULOS, Hernan VARGAS, Howard SNELL, 2004. Galápagos Birds and Diseases : Invasive Pathogens as Threats for Island Species. In: Ecology and Society. 2004, 9(1), 5. eISSN 1195-5449
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@article{Wikelski2004Galap-42718,
  year={2004},
  title={Galápagos Birds and Diseases : Invasive Pathogens as Threats for Island Species},
  url={https://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol9/iss1/art5/},
  number={1},
  volume={9},
  journal={Ecology and Society},
  author={Wikelski, Martin and Foufopoulos, Johannes and Vargas, Hernan and Snell, Howard},
  note={Article Number: 5}
}
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