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Disease threats to tigers and their prey

Gilbert, Martin, Dvornicky-Raymond, Zachary, Bodgener, Jessica (2023) Disease threats to tigers and their prey. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 11 . Article Number 1135935. ISSN 2296-701X. (doi:10.3389/fevo.2023.1135935) (KAR id:100978)


The contraction of the global tiger population over the last 100 years into small, often isolated subpopulations has made them increasingly vulnerable to the impact of disease. Despite this, the health of wild tigers continues to be insufficiently funded and explored. For example, canine distemper virus (CDV), has been associated with localized declines and increased risk of extinction, and yet has received little research attention in most tiger range countries. The emergence of new pathogenic threats has posed fresh challenges, including African swine fever virus (ASFV), which has the potential to devastate wild boar populations, and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV2) with implications for tiger conservation that remain unknown. The objective of this review is to synthesize current research on the health of tigers and their prey that impacts the conservation of tigers in the wild. Published sources are interpreted based on three mechanisms through which disease can affect the viability of tiger populations: (1) by reducing the survival of adult tigers, (2) by reducing breeding productivity, and (3) by reducing the carrying capacity of tiger habitat through decreased prey abundance. Examples of CDV, SARS-CoV2, carnivore protoparvovirus 1 and ASFV are used to illustrate these processes and inform discussion of research and mitigation priorities.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.3389/fevo.2023.1135935
Uncontrolled keywords: Ecology and Evolution, Tiger (Panthera tigris), disease, prey, canine distemper virus, African swine fever, health, conservation
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
SWORD Depositor: JISC Publications Router
Depositing User: JISC Publications Router
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2023 14:27 UTC
Last Modified: 19 Apr 2023 14:27 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Bodgener, Jessica.

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