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El hornero

Print version ISSN 0073-3407On-line version ISSN 1850-4884


SAGGESE, Miguel D.. Conservation medicine, diseases and raptors. Hornero [online]. 2007, vol.22, n.2, pp.117-130. ISSN 0073-3407.

The explosive rate of growth of human populations and human related environmental changes have lead to increased exposure of humans, domestic animals and wildlife to each other's macroparasites (helminths and arthropods) and microparasites (bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa). This contributes to the emergence of new diseases in all of them. When combined with other classically considered factors (habitat loss, species introductions, extinction chains, and direct human persecution), parasites may cause severe demographic changes and declines in raptor and other wildlife populations. As a response to this problem, a new discipline has appeared in recent years: conservation medicine. Its goals include the conservation of biodiversity and the re-establishment of the health of natural ecosystems and of all of its components. As an important difference with previous approaches that considered conservation and the health of wildlife, domestic animals and humans as separated issues, conservation medicine considers them all together, given that the presence of diseases in any one of them could have an impact on the others. Conservation of Argentine birds of prey in the frame of sustained development requires the collaborative work of professionals coming not only from medical and biological sciences but also from the fields of social, political and economic sciences. Conservation medicine could be the most adequate framework to approach these difficult issues.

Keywords : Arthropods; Bacteria; Conservation; Diseases; Falconiformes; Fungi; Helminths; Medicine; Protozoa; Strigiformes; Virus.

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