Evidence of spread of emerging infectious disease, finch trichomonosis, by migrating birds
Author(s): Lawson, B., Robinson, R.A., Neimanis, A., Handeland, K., Isomursu, M., Agren, E.O., Hamnes, I.S., Tyler, K.M., Chantrey, J., Hughes, L.A., Pennycott, T.W., Simpson, V.R., John, S.K., Peck, K.M., Toms, M.P., Bennett, M., Kirkwood, J.K. & Cunningham, A.A.
Published: January 2011
Journal: Ecohealth Volume: 8 ( part 2 )
Digital Identifier No. (DOI): 10.1007/s10393-011-0696-8
Since its emergence in 2005, the parasitic disease trichomonosis has caused epidemic mortality and significant population declines in British Greenfinches and Chaffinches. This began in western England and Wales, but spread to eastern England, and more recently, southern Fennoscandia.
An international team of experts, including BTO scientists, has used molecular, epidemiological and ringing data, to show that the parasitic strain is identical in all cases, and that migration, primarily of Chaffinches, has been responsible for its spread. This is the first documented case of a protozoal parasitic infection being transmitted in this way.
Read more about the spread of the disease.
What's next for our waders?
Recent BTO work focuses on understanding the variation in Curlew and other UK wader populations so that we can help suggest actions to conserve them.