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Old 08-06-2009, 06:54 PM   #1
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Default Disease Risks When Moving Wildlife To New Areas

Disease Risks When Moving Wildlife To New Areas: Endangered Laysan Duck Cautionary Tale
ScienceDaily (Aug. 3, 2009) Laysan ducks, one of the world's most endangered waterfowl, are native to only the Hawaiian archipelago. For 150 years, Laysan ducks were restricted to an estimated 4 square kilometers of land on Laysan Island in the northwestern Hawaiian Islands. In 2004 and 2005, in an effort to rebuild the population, biologists released 42 Laysan ducks on Midway Atoll, located one day's boat ride from Laysan.

Disease Risks When Moving Wildlife To New Areas: Endangered Laysan Duck Cautionary Tale
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Either way, says Work, this epizootic highlights the disease risk to birds restricted to small island populations and the challenges associated with managing newly translocated endangered species. Frequent population monitoring for early disease detection and comprehensive wetland monitoring and management will be needed to offset the potential effects of avian botulism and parasitism on endangered Laysan ducks, Work said.

The bigger picture, though, is that disease risks need to be closely examined for translocations of all kinds, especially in light of translocations being proposed for dealing with habitat range changes that affect endangered species due to climate change.
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