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New threat closes in on iconic Galápagos wildlife
Date:9/16/2011

local mosquito population. This means there is potential for large impacts on endemic species. There is no doubt that West Nile virus poses a serious threat to the survival of the Galpagos' iconic wildlife."

In order to reduce the chances of West Nile virus reaching the islands, the authors suggest further research to determine the presence of WNV in the mainland Ecuador, plus strict enforcement insect control measures on aircraft and ships moving between the mainland and islands.

Dr Simon Goodman from the University of Leeds says: "Piece by piece we are building up a comprehensive picture of the disease ecology in Galpagos and what could happen if WNV were to reach the islands. Once WNV has been introduced onto the Galpagos, it would be much harder to contain. Therefore the best strategy is to have strict preventive measures to reduce the chance of the disease reaching the islands in the first place."

Lead author PhD student Gillian Eastwood says: "Whilst WNV does not yet exist in Galpagos, it is important to envisage what future disease scenarios could be by looking at how this particular virus would interact within this unique ecosystem. Evaluating the role that mosquitoes could play is therefore vital. This recent part of our work is however only one aspect to understanding potential WNV transmission on the Islands; it remains to see how severely Galapagos wildlife might be affected but all precautions should be taken."


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Contact: Jo Kelly
jo@campuspr.co.uk
44-113-357-2103
University of Leeds
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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