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The hidden consequences of altering host-parasite relationships during fauna translocations

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2018
Authors:Northover, AS, Lymbery, AJ, Wayne, AF, Godfrey, SS, Thompson, RCA
Journal:Biological Conservation
Pagination:140 - 148
Date Published:Jan-04-2018
Keywords:Anti-parasitic drug treatment, parasite conservation, Polyparasitism, wildlife

Host-parasite relationships are complex, and in wild animal populations individuals are commonly co-infected with various parasite species or intraspecific strains. While it is widely recognised that polyparasitism has the potential to reduce host fitness and increase susceptibility to predation or disease, the role of polyparasitism in influencing translocation success has never been investigated. Here we review the consequences of translocation for the host-parasite infracommunity and demonstrate how translocation-induced perturbations to within-host- parasite relationships may exacerbate the negative impacts of polyparasitism to the detriment of host health and translocation success. We also consider the ecological and immunological effects of altering host-parasite as- semblages during translocation, and illustrate how the use of anti-parasitic drugs can further modify parasite infracommunity dynamics, with unintended impacts on target and non-target parasites. Importantly, as the evolutionary and ecological significance of the host-parasite relationship is increasingly recognised, we discuss the benefits of conserving parasites during fauna translocations.

Short Title:Biological Conservation
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