[Tweeters] Fwd: [NCI] FW: Persistent impacts of West Nile virus on North American bird populations // Proc National Academy of Sciences of U S A

Eric Kowalczyk cassidix2005 at gmail.com
Fri Nov 6 07:33:51 PST 2015



Proc National Academy of Sciences of U S A


*Persistent impacts of West Nile virus on North American bird populations*

*1. **T. Luke George

*2. **Ryan J. Harrigan

*3. **Joseph A. LaManna

*4. **David F. DeSante

*5. **James F. Saracco
and *

*6. **Thomas B. Smith

Author Affiliations

*1. **a**Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology,
Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523; *

*2. **b**Center for Tropical Research, Institute of the Environment and
Sustainability, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095; *

*3. **c**Department of Biology, Washington University, St. Louis, MO
63130; *

*4. **d**The Institute for Bird Populations, Point Reyes Station, CA
94956; *

*5. **e**Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of
California, Los Angeles, CA 90095 *

1. Edited by Robert M. May, University of Oxford, Oxford, United
Kingdom, and approved September 18, 2015 (received for review April 20,

1. Abstract

2. Authors & Info

3. SI

4. Metrics

5. Related Content

6. PDF <http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2015/10/27/1507747112.full.pdf>

7. PDF + SI


Since its introduction to North America, West Nile virus (WNV) has impacted
the health of both human and wildlife populations, but the extent of the
burden across host species remains poorly understood. Using extensive
mark-recapture data from 49 species spanning nearly two decades, combined
with recently developed models of WNV risk, we estimated the impacts of
this emergent disease on avian populations. We show that WNV has had
significant negative effects on survival of 47% of bird species examined.
We provide the first in-depth picture of the extent, duration, and
phylogenetic signal of WNV impacts on bird populations. Our results suggest
that introduced infectious diseases can have significant persistent effects
on populations long after initial concerns have waned.


Since its introduction to North America in 1999, West Nile virus (WNV) has
had devastating impacts on native host populations, but to date these
impacts have been difficult to measure. Using a continental-scale dataset
comprised of a quarter-million birds captured over nearly two decades and a
recently developed model of WNV risk, we estimated the impact of this
emergent disease on the survival of avian populations. We find that
populations were negatively affected by WNV in 23 of the 49 species studied
(47%). We distinguished two groups of species: those for which WNV
negatively impacted survival only during initial spread of the disease (*n*
= 11), and those that show no signs of recovery since disease introduction (
*n* = 12). Results provide a novel example of the taxonomic breadth and
persistent impacts of this wildlife disease on a continental scale.
Phylogenetic analyses further identify groups (New World sparrows, finches,
and vireos) disproportionally affected by temporary or persistent WNV
effects, suggesting an evolutionary dimension of disease risk. Identifying
the factors affecting the persistence of a disease across host species is
critical to mitigating its effects, particularly in a world marked by rapid
anthropogenic change.

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