Chapter 5: Health and diseases

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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.

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Chapter 5: Health and diseases
DOI 10.1016/B978-0-323-88539-3.00003-0
Year Published 2023
Language English
Publisher Academic Press
Contributing office(s) National Wildlife Health Center
Description 46 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Monograph
Larger Work Title Conservation of marine birds
First page 131
Last page 176
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