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Hunting alters viral transmission and evolution in a large carnivore


Fountain-Jones, NM and Kraberger, S and Gagne, RB and Gilbertson, MLJ and Trumbo, DR and Charleston, M and Salerno, PE and Funk, WC and Crooks, K and Logan, K and Alldredge, M and Dellicour, S and Baele, G and Didelot, X and VandeWoude, S and Carver, S and Craft, ME, Hunting alters viral transmission and evolution in a large carnivore, Nature Ecology & Evolution, 6 pp. 174-182. ISSN 2397-334X (2022) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited 2022

DOI: doi:10.1038/s41559-021-01635-5


Hunting can fundamentally alter wildlife population dynamics but the consequences of hunting on pathogen transmission and evolution remain poorly understood. Here, we present a study that leverages a unique landscape-scale quasi-experiment coupled with pathogen-transmission tracing, network simulation and phylodynamics to provide insights into how hunting shapes feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) dynamics in puma (Puma concolor). We show that removing hunting pressure enhances the role of males in transmission, increases the viral population growth rate and increases the role of evolutionary forces on the pathogen compared to when hunting was reinstated. Changes in transmission observed with the removal of hunting could be linked to short-term social changes while the male puma population increased. These findings are supported through comparison with a region with stable hunting management over the same time period. This study shows that routine wildlife management can have impacts on pathogen transmission and evolution not previously considered.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Veterinary sciences
Research Field:Veterinary parasitology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Control of pests, diseases and exotic species in terrestrial environments
UTAS Author:Fountain-Jones, NM (Dr Nicholas Fountain-Jones)
UTAS Author:Charleston, M (Professor Michael Charleston)
UTAS Author:Carver, S (Associate Professor Scott Carver)
ID Code:149670
Year Published:2022
Web of Science® Times Cited:3
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2022-04-05
Last Modified:2022-05-24

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