Pets and Pestilence

Pets and Pestilence

Infectious diseases and parasites carried by humans and domestic animals can have devastating effects on wild populations, writes John Bonner

The Biologist Vol 60(5) p14-17

Habitat loss, climate change, invasive species and overhunting are the four horsemen of the apocalypse for biodiversity – the factors that can drive a wildlife species to extinction. Pestilence – one of the original biblical quartet – is rarely mentioned as a serious threat. But among conservation biologists there is a growing appreciation of the dangers posed by infectious diseases to vulnerable species with small, fragmented populations...


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