Co-extinct and critically co-endangered species of parasitic lice, and conservation-induced extinction: should lice be reintroduced to their hosts?

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2015
Authors:L. Rózsa, Vas Z.
Type of Article:Short Communication
Keywords:co-extinction, Conservation-induced extinction, critically co-endangered, lice, Parasites

The co-extinction of parasitic taxa and their host species is considered a common phenomenon in the current global extinction crisis. However, information about the conservation status of parasitic taxa is scarce. We present a global list of co-extinct and critically co-endangered parasitic lice (Phthiraptera), based on published data on their host-specificity and their hosts’ conservation status according to the IUCN Red List. We list six co-extinct and 40 (possibly 41) critically co-endangered species. Additionally, we recognize 2–4 species that went extinct as a result of conservation efforts to save their hosts. Conservationists should consider preserving host-specific lice as part of their efforts to save species.

Short Title:Oryx
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