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Meeting migratory bird management needs by integrated disease control

January 1, 1984

The need to combat diseases of migratory birds more effectively will intensify because of need to counteract effects of continual habitat losses. Degradation of habitat will increase potential for disease transmission and the emergence of new disease problems. Migratory bird mobility provides a ready mechanism for spread of disease to locations greatly removed from the site of initial outbreaks. Disease control and management on a flyway basis is needed to combat disease problems of migratory birds more effectively. Modifications in the flyway council system are suggested for implementation of an integrated approach to disease control. Flyway management of disease problems is not a new concept and has been used for addressing lead poisoning in waterfowl (Greenwalt 1976). However, integration of disease concepts in the management of migratory birds on a flyway basis has not been attempted to the extent identified in this paper. Information and communication needs to achieve the goal of minimizing losses of migratory birds to disease are also identified. The limited resources available for disease investigations dictate that sound planning efforts serve as the foundation for program development, priority assessment, and coordination of efforts. Effective disease control in migratory birds is achievable. However, disease control will not happen without adjustments in current perspectives and approaches to disease problems. 'A prime requisite of long range planning for animal disease control or eradication is an attitude of mind that sustains an unflagging optimism toward the ultimate accomplishment of desired results, coupled with an equally persistent skepticism toward dogmatic formulae promising either certain success or certain failure. A long range plan cannot remain inviolate. It must undergo constant critical review and modification as necessary to: accommodate newly acquired scientific or practical information; meet changing economic conditions; account for differences in available resources; and adapt to developments in the attitudes of the public toward the existence of the disease of concern and the procedures for control or eradication' (Clarkson 1973:13). I hope that the 'attitude of mind' called for in the above quotation is present to a sufficient degree within the conservation community. If so, effective control of disease in migratory birds can become reality. Like the weather - we need not just talk about it, we have the capability to do something about it. The choice is clearly ours.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1984
Title Meeting migratory bird management needs by integrated disease control
Authors M. Friend
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Transactions of the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference
Index ID 1003760
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization National Wildlife Health Center

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