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Using Qualitative Disease Risk Analysis for Herpetofauna Conservation Translocations Transgressing Ecological and Geographical Barriers

Ecohealth © by Ecohealth

Published in: Ecohealth

Date published: Available online December 2015

Authors: Mariana Bobadilla Suarez1,2, John G. Ewen1, Jim J. Groombridge2, K. Beckmann1, J. Shotton1, N. Masters1, T. Hopkins1 and Anthony W. Sainsbury1


  1. Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London, Regents Park, London NW1 4RY, UK.
  2. Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, University of Kent, Giles Lane, Canterbury CT2 7NZ, UK.


Through the exploration of disease risk analysis methods employed for four different UK herpetofauna translocations, we illustrate how disease hazards can be identified, and how the risk of disease can be analysed. Where ecological or geographical barriers between source and destination sites exist, parasite populations are likely to differ in identity or strain between the two sites, elevating the risk from disease and increasing the number and category of hazards requiring analysis. Simplification of the translocation pathway through the avoidance of these barriers reduces the risk from disease. The disease risk analysis tool is intended to aid conservation practitioners in decision making relating to disease hazards prior to implementation of a translocation.

Paper available FREE and OPEN ACCESS here:

Written by Dr John Ewen

I have been interested and working with hihi since I was involved with establishing the Tiritiri Matangi island population through translocation in 1995. I am now employed as a Research Fellow at the Zoological Society of London and have been here since 2004. My research is multi-disciplinary and focusses on small population biology and management. I use decision science to assist in planning hihi management and drive our applied research with this species and have experience in molecular and behavioural ecology, wildlife health and nutrition and reintroduction biology.

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