Canine distemper virus as a threat to wild tigers in Russia and across their range

Gilbert, M., Soutyrina, S. V., Seryodkin, I. V., Sulikhan, N., Uphyrkina, O. V., Goncharuk, M., Matthews, L. , Cleaveland, S. and Miquelle, D. G. (2015) Canine distemper virus as a threat to wild tigers in Russia and across their range. Integrative Zoology, 10(4), pp. 329-343. (doi:10.1111/1749-4877.12137) (PMID:25939829)

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Abstract

Canine distemper virus (CDV) has recently been identified in populations of wild tigers in Russia and India. Tiger populations are generally too small to maintain CDV for long periods, but are at risk of infections arising from more abundant susceptible hosts that constitute a reservoir of infection. Because CDV is an additive mortality factor, it could represent a significant threat to small, isolated tiger populations. In Russia, CDV was associated with the deaths of tigers in 2004 and 2010, and was coincident with a localized decline of tigers in Sikhote-Alin Biosphere Zapovednik (from 25 tigers in 2008 to 9 in 2012). Habitat continuity with surrounding areas likely played an important role in promoting an ongoing recovery. We recommend steps be taken to assess the presence and the impact of CDV in all tiger range states, but should not detract focus away from the primary threats to tigers, which include habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching and retaliatory killing. Research priorities include: (i) recognition and diagnosis of clinical cases of CDV in tigers when they occur; and (ii) collection of baseline data on the health of wild tigers. CDV infection of individual tigers need not imply a conservation threat, and modeling should complement disease surveillance and targeted research to assess the potential impact to tiger populations across the range of ecosystems, population densities and climate extremes occupied by tigers. Describing the role of domestic and wild carnivores as contributors to a local CDV reservoir is an important precursor to considering control measures.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Cleaveland, Professor Sarah and Matthews, Professor Louise
Authors: Gilbert, M., Soutyrina, S. V., Seryodkin, I. V., Sulikhan, N., Uphyrkina, O. V., Goncharuk, M., Matthews, L., Cleaveland, S., and Miquelle, D. G.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Integrative Zoology
Publisher:Wiley Publishing Publishing Ltd.
ISSN:1749-4877
ISSN (Online):1749-4877

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