Working Group 9

Biodiversity and Disease Working Group

Conserving biodiversity while managing disease in wildlife requires a comprehensive understanding the ecology and evolution of the system. Contemporary approaches to managing disease in the wild remain predominantly reactionary focusing on surveillance and some attempts at eradication. A few exceptional global studies, however, have heeded recent calls for better integration between of ecological and evolutionary concepts into studying wildlife disease. For example, they have included information about host behavior, genetics, demography, resource use, and predation risk. Yet in many instances agencies are not maximizing the information that can be gained in surveillance and attempts to eradicate diseases and lack proper understanding of the ecological and evolutionary consequences of management practices. The purpose of this working group on biodiversity and disease is to integrate ecological and evolutionary perspectives into mitigating the effects disease on biodiversity. We propose to gather experts whose research has implications for the ecology and evolution of disease in wildlife systems. We aim to create a collaboration which not only synthesizes the existing knowledge about integrating mechanistic approaches to understanding disease in wild populations, particularly ones of social and economic concern, but also provide guidance to better incorporate this knowledge with current practices for managing and eradicating disease in Québec and the rest of Canada. Due to a number of compounding factors, southern Québec is among a select global set of regions recently identified as global terrestrial disease hot spots for vertebrates.

Members

Fanie Pelletier (Université de Sherbrooke), Virginie Millien (McGill University), Dany Garant (Université de Sherbrooke), Marco Festa Bianchet (Université de Sherbrooke), Colin Chapman (McGill University), Sophie Calmé (Université de Sherbrooke), Eric Vander Wal (Université de Sherbrooke), Julien Mainguy (Ministère des Ressources Naturelles et de la Faune), Susan Kutz (University of Calgary), Daniel Fortin (Université Laval), Steeve Côté (Université Laval),