Wolves contribute to disease control in a multi-host system

Eleanor Tanner, Andrew White, Pelayo Acevedo, Ana Balseiro, Jaime Marcos, Christian Gortázar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We combine model results with field data for a system of wolves (Canis lupus) that prey on wild boar (Sus scrofa), a wildlife reservoir of tuberculosis, to examine how predation may contribute to disease control in multi-host systems. Results show that predation can lead to a marked reduction in the prevalence of infection without leading to a reduction in host population density since mortality due to predation can be compensated by a reduction in disease induced mortality. A key finding therefore is that a population that harbours a virulent infection can be regulated at a similar density by disease at high prevalence or by predation at low prevalence. Predators may therefore provide a key ecosystem service which should be recognised when considering human-carnivore conflicts and the conservation and re-establishment of carnivore populations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7940
JournalScientific Reports
Volume9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2019

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wolves
disease control
predation
carnivores
Canis lupus
Sus scrofa
wild boars
tuberculosis
infection
ecosystem services
wildlife
population density
predators

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Tanner, E., White, A., Acevedo, P., Balseiro, A., Marcos, J., & Gortázar, C. (2019). Wolves contribute to disease control in a multi-host system. Scientific Reports, 9, [7940]. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-44148-9
Tanner, Eleanor ; White, Andrew ; Acevedo, Pelayo ; Balseiro, Ana ; Marcos, Jaime ; Gortázar, Christian. / Wolves contribute to disease control in a multi-host system. In: Scientific Reports. 2019 ; Vol. 9.
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Tanner, E, White, A, Acevedo, P, Balseiro, A, Marcos, J & Gortázar, C 2019, 'Wolves contribute to disease control in a multi-host system', Scientific Reports, vol. 9, 7940. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-44148-9

Wolves contribute to disease control in a multi-host system. / Tanner, Eleanor; White, Andrew; Acevedo, Pelayo; Balseiro, Ana; Marcos, Jaime; Gortázar, Christian.

In: Scientific Reports, Vol. 9, 7940, 28.05.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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