Conservation and restoration of degraded insular biodiversity: impacts of the removal of introduced mammals on the dynamics of infectious diseases in seabirds across islands of the Southern Ocean


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Project coordinator: Thierry

Center for Evolutionary and Functional Ecology (CEFE), CNRS/Montpellier University/IRD/SupAgro/EPHE - France

National Nature Reserve of the French Southern Lands France
Marine and Environmental Sciences (MARE), ISPA - University Institute Portugal
Bird Life International United Kingdom
Falklands Conservation United Kingdom
Institute for Coastal and Marine Research, Nelson Madela University South Africa
Seabird Conservation Programme, Bird Life South Africa South Africa
FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town South Africa


Invasive species are one of the main threats to biodiversity, and species most susceptible to invade inhabit marine islands which were home to >90% of the bird species that have gone extinct over the last 500 years. Island ecosystems are unique and particularly vulnerable to invasive species, disease spread and other threats. Relatively recently, a momentum has been building worldwide to control the spread of introduced species, develop protocols to decrease the risk of introducing new species, and, when possible, eradicate invasive alien species. In the Southern Ocean, the impact of these threats on Antarctic and sub-Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems is particularly exacerbated by environmental change. Ambitious restoration projects based on the eradication of introduced mammal species from islands (such as rats, mice and cats) are being implemented, but they very rarely consider the potential role of pathogens as a threat to native seabirds, despite their potential importance. In this context, project REMOVE_DISEASE aims at exploring the impact of the eradication of introduced species on the dynamics of pathogens and biodiversity on islands.

Reference documents

For more details on the work plan and expected impact of the project and other projects funded in response to the BiodivRestore joint call consult:

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BiodivRestore funded projects booklet Download pdf

Keywords: extinction, epizooties, disease ecology, pathogen outbreaks, transmission, rats, endemic species, threatened seabirds, eradication, islands

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published on 2021/10/15 11:29:00 GMT+2 last modified 2022-08-31T12:27:45+02:00