30 Apr '14, 5pm

Loss of Large Wildlife Leads to Increased Disease Risk in Humans via @ecowatch

Loss of Large Wildlife Leads to Increased Disease Risk in Humans via @ecowatch

In the Middle Ages, fleas carried by rats were responsible for spreading the Black Plague. Today in East Africa, they remain important vectors of plague and many other diseases, including Bartonellosis, a potentially dangerous human pathogen. A plains zebra (Equus quagga) in front of the Kenya Long-Term Exclosure experiment. Photo credit: Duncan Kimuyu/ UC Santa Barbra Research by Hillary Young, assistant professor in UC Santa Barbara’s Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology , directly links large wildlife decline to an increased risk of human disease via changes in rodent populations. The findings appear Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Online Edition. With an East African savanna ecosystem as their research site, Young and her colleagues examined the relationship between the loss of large wildlife—defaunation—and the risk o...

Full article: http://ecowatch.com/2014/04/30/loss-large-wildlife-leads-...

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