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Will Wallace's Line Save Australia from Avian Influenza?

Citation

McCallum, HI and Roshier, DA and Tracey, JP and Joseph, L and Heinsohn, R, Will Wallace's Line Save Australia from Avian Influenza?, Ecology and Society, 13, (2) EJ ISSN 1708-3087 (2008) [Refereed Article]

Abstract

Australia is separated from the Asian faunal realm by Wallace's Line, across which there is relatively little avian migration. Although this does diminish the risk of high pathogenicity avian influenza of Asian origin arriving with migratory birds, the barrier is not complete. Migratory shorebirds, as well as a few landbirds, move through the region on annual migrations to and from Southeast Asia and destinations further north, although the frequency of infection of avian influenza in these groups is low. Nonetheless, high pathogenicity H5N1 has recently been recorded on the island of New Guinea in West Papua in domestic poultry. This event increases interest in the movements of birds between Wallacea in eastern Indonesia, New Guinea, and Australia, particularly by waterbirds. There are frequent but irregular movements of ducks, geese, and other waterbirds across Torres Strait between New Guinea and Australia, including movements to regions in which H5N1 has occurred in the recent past. Although the likelihood of avian influenza entering Australia via an avian vector is presumed to be low, the nature and extent of bird movements in this region is poorly known. There have been five recorded outbreaks of high pathogenicity avian influenza in Australian poultry flocks, all of the H7 subtype. To date, Australia is the only inhabited continent not to have recorded high pathogenicity avian influenza since 1997, and H5N1 has never been recorded. The ability to map risk from high pathogenicity avian influenza to Australia is hampered by the lack of quantitative data on the extent of bird movements between Australia and its northern neighbors. Recently developed techniques offer the promise to fill this knowledge gap.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Microbiology
Research Field:Infectious Agents
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species
Objective Field:Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species at Regional or Larger Scales
Author:McCallum, HI (Professor Hamish McCallum)
ID Code:56229
Year Published:2008
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2009-04-06
Last Modified:2011-10-03
Downloads:0

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