Health and diseases are integral parts of the life of seabirds that merit attention if we expect to truly understand, protect, and conserve them. Diseases such as avian influenza, avian pox, pasteurellosis, and paralytic shellfish poisoning have a proven history of decreasing the survival or breeding success of seabirds. However, each host-pathogen-environment system is unique, and our current knowledge about seabird health is limited and subject to biases. Thus, an exploratory mindset should be maintained, always considering that new or previously undiagnosed diseases could have substantial effects on a given seabird population. Therefore, incorporating a health monitoring component in seabird population monitoring programs, wherein data and biological samples are routinely collected for long-term pathogen surveillance and physiological analyses, would help us understand factors that limit seabird populations. Finally, the implementation of biosecurity best practices at seabird aggregations is imperative to avoid the accidental introduction or spread of pathogens.
|Title||Chapter 5: Health and diseases|
|Authors||Ralph Vanstreels, Marcella Uhart, Thierry M. Work|
|Publication Type||Book Chapter|
|Publication Subtype||Book Chapter|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||National Wildlife Health Center|