Models for Managing Wildlife Disease


Environmental Futures Research Institute and Griffith School of Environment, Griffith University Nathan campus, 170 Kessels road, Nathan, Queensland 4111, Australia


Modelling wildlife disease poses some unique challenges. Wildlife disease systems are data poor in comparison with human or livestock disease systems, and the impact of disease on population size is often the key question of interest. This review concentrates specifically on the application of dynamic models to evaluate and guide management strategies. Models have proved useful particularly in two areas. They have been widely used to evaluate vaccination strategies, both for protecting endangered species and for preventing spillover from wildlife to humans or livestock. They have also been extensively used to evaluate culling strategies, again both for diseases in species of conservation interest and to prevent spillover. In addition, models are important to evaluate the potential of parasites and pathogens as biological control agents. The review concludes by identifying some key research gaps, which are further development of models of macroparasites, deciding on appropriate levels of complexity, modelling genetic management and connecting models to data.