Format

Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS One. 2011;6(12):e28671. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0028671. Epub 2011 Dec 7.

Unintended consequences of conservation actions: managing disease in complex ecosystems.

Author information

1
Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London, London, United Kingdom.

Erratum in

  • PLoS One. 2012;7(1). doi:10.1371/annotation/cf1771ad-01ca-430e-bccc-5fe1708f8902.

Abstract

Infectious diseases are increasingly recognised to be a major threat to biodiversity. Disease management tools such as control of animal movements and vaccination can be used to mitigate the impact and spread of diseases in targeted species. They can reduce the risk of epidemics and in turn the risks of population decline and extinction. However, all species are embedded in communities and interactions between species can be complex, hence increasing the chance of survival of one species can have repercussions on the whole community structure. In this study, we use an example from the Serengeti ecosystem in Tanzania to explore how a vaccination campaign against Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) targeted at conserving the African lion (Panthera leo), could affect the viability of a coexisting threatened species, the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus). Assuming that CDV plays a role in lion regulation, our results suggest that a vaccination programme, if successful, risks destabilising the simple two-species system considered, as simulations show that vaccination interventions could almost double the probability of extinction of an isolated cheetah population over the next 60 years. This work uses a simple example to illustrate how predictive modelling can be a useful tool in examining the consequence of vaccination interventions on non-target species. It also highlights the importance of carefully considering linkages between human-intervention, species viability and community structure when planning species-based conservation actions.

PMID:
22163323
PMCID:
PMC3233597
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0028671
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center