Diseases of Antarctic Birds
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree LevelPostgraduate Certificate
Degree NamePostgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
The review will be in the same format as presented in Kerry & Riddle (2009) Health of Antarctic Wildlife. The diseases of Antarctic birds are split into sections according to organism. Each group is tackled in turn and the prevalent illnesses discussed. The findings are that there is no one prevalent disease of the Antarctic Bird population. There is also not one specific ailment that affects particular birds. Penguins and Skua are equally as likely to obtain a tick infestation. Endo/Ectoparasites are the main problems facing birds but have been prevalent for many years. Viruses and bacterium are a newer threat but just as deadly, and in some cases more so due to the changing climate. But it is without the conjunction of both parasite and organism that makes establishment difficult. The health of the Antarctic bird population is a primary concern for almost all people. The charismatic presentation that penguins and other such birds of the isolated continent, is often however overlooked. Overall there is a large lack in accurate and current research on the diseases of Antarctic birds. Most of the information available has been done prior to the 1980s and is only just showing another boom now. The major affects that the human population is having on this ecosystem is still unknown. There have been cases of Cholera and Influenza in Antarctic birds as well as the presence of human gut micro biota. This is a sign that somewhere in the past or present, we as visitors, are not being cautious enough. For bio security to be effective we must first know out enemy. As the climate is warming the possibility for invasion is becoming more apparent. Antarctica is cold and dry thus has been highly selecting for the diseases that can survive there, especially when in contact with the outside environment. Therefore it is highly important that more research is occurring to ensure we can protect Antarctica and its wildlife to the best of our ability.
- Literature Reviews