Oral Presentation 64th International Conference of the Wildlife Disease Association 2015

The effects of intensive conservation management on host-parasite interactions in threatened New Zealand wildlife (#15)

Brett D Gartrell 1
  1. Wildbase, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

The usual suspects threaten New Zealand’s biodiversity including: a suite of introduced mammalian predators; habitat fragmentation, degradation and loss; and introduced animals and plants that compete directly and indirectly with native species. The intensive conservation management of many native species is required to prevent extinction. These management strategies often have unforeseen consequences on host-parasite interactions in wildlife. I will present recent cases that demonstrate spill-over of introduced parasites into native wildlife, exposure of native wildlife to novel parasites; increased exposure, infection and disease of wildlife from native parasites; and finally the over-zealous treatment of parasites in conservation management that results in loss of native parasite diversity, perhaps with accompanying detrimental effects on the host. The knowledge gaps that hinder our ability to understand and effectively moderate host-parasite relationships in intensively managed wildlife will be reviewed and future research directions discussed.