ijerph-logo

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "Influence of Anthropogenic Activities on Avian Scavengers Conservation"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Guillermo Blanco
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Evolutionary Ecology, National Museum of Natural Sciences, CSIC. José Gutiérrez Abascal 2, 28006 Madrid, Spain
Interests: conservation biology; ecology; birds; ecotoxicology; pathogens; evolution; raptors; parrots; corvids; behavioral ecology; population dynamics; population trends; pharmaceuticals; pathogens; conservation management; wildlife
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Avian scavengers include one of the most threatened functional groups worldwide (vultures) as well as various more abundant and successful species (e.g., kites, other raptors, corvids) depending on the geographical region. The main anthropogenic threats for these species include direct persecution by poisoning and shooting, collision and electrocution with electric infrastructures and wind‐farms, dietary pollutants (e.g., veterinary drugs), environmental contamination, reduction and alteration of food resources, and health problems derived or influenced by these factors. The link between food resources, contamination, health, and mortality is clear in scavenger species because these threats may concur due to human activities. For instance, food availability (carrion) might be subjected to changes related to socioeconomic shifts in livestock production and management providing carcasses (e.g., the abandonment of traditional farming practices), rewilding processes (e.g., increase of wild ungulate populations), sanitary regulations (e.g., those governing the elimination of livestock carcasses and supplementary feeding programs), and intentional and unintentional mortality. These and other current alterations of natural processes and ecosystems can have a profound influence on avian scavengers by driving demography, health, and key population parameters (e.g., numbers, age structure, reproductive performance) ultimately determining population dynamics and conservation.

Papers addressing the links between the above-cited anthropogenic threats and conservation of avian scavengers are invited for this Special Issue, especially those combining a high academic standard with a practical focus on providing management solutions.

Dr. Guillermo Blanco
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • avian scavengers
  • food resources
  • contamination
  • health
  • persecution
  • collision
  • pathogens
  • population dynamics
  • management
  • conservation

Published Papers (5 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Article
Exposure to Anthropogenic Areas May Influence Colonization by Zoonotic Microorganisms in Scavenging Birds
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(10), 5231; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18105231 - 14 May 2021
Viewed by 944
Abstract
Wild bird species have commonly been implicated as potential vectors of pathogens to other species, humans included. However, the habitat where birds live could influence the probability to acquire these pathogens. Here, we evaluated if the characteristics of the environment used by obligate [...] Read more.
Wild bird species have commonly been implicated as potential vectors of pathogens to other species, humans included. However, the habitat where birds live could influence the probability to acquire these pathogens. Here, we evaluated if the characteristics of the environment used by obligate scavenging birds (vultures) influence their colonization by zoonotic pathogens. For this, we particularly focused on Salmonella spp., a zoonotic pathogen commonly present in bird species. The occurrence of this bacteria was evaluated in free ranging Andean condors (Vultur gryphus) using natural environments from Argentina and compared with those obtained from condors under human care. In addition, we compared our results with those reported for other wild vultures using natural and anthropized environments at a global scale. We did not find Salmonella spp. in samples of wild condors. Captive condor samples presented Salmonella spp. with an occurrence of 2.8%, and one isolate of Meticilin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus, among other potential pathogenic microorganisms. Moreover, some species of free ranging vultures from diverse geographical areas using anthropized environments tend to present higher occurrences of Salmonella spp. These results highlight the importance of pristine ecosystems to protect vultures’ health toward pathogenic microorganisms that can produce disease in these birds, but also in other species. We call for more studies evaluating differences in occurrence of zoonotic pathogens in vultures according to the quality of the environment they use. Even when vultures have not been implicated in zoonotic pathogen spread, our results add information to evaluate potential events of pathogen spillover between vultures and from these birds to other species. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Blood Parasites in Sympatric Vultures: Role of Nesting Habits and Effects on Body Condition
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(5), 2431; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18052431 - 02 Mar 2021
Viewed by 727
Abstract
Avian haemosporidians are a common and widespread group of vector-borne parasites capable of infecting most bird species around the world. They can negatively affect host condition and fitness. Vultures are assumed to have a very low prevalence of these blood parasites, likely due [...] Read more.
Avian haemosporidians are a common and widespread group of vector-borne parasites capable of infecting most bird species around the world. They can negatively affect host condition and fitness. Vultures are assumed to have a very low prevalence of these blood parasites, likely due to their strong immunity; however, factors contributing to variation in host exposure and susceptibility to haemosporidians are complex, and supporting evidence is still very limited. We analyzed blood samples collected from nestlings of three vulture species in Spain over 18 years, and used updated nested-PCR protocols capable of detecting all haesmosporidian cytochrome b lineages typical for diurnal birds of prey (Accipitriformes). Similarly to previous studies, we found low haemosporidian prevalence in cliff-breeding species, with Leucocytozoon as the only represented blood parasite genus: 3.1% in griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus) (n = 128) and 5.3% in Egyptian vultures (Neophron percnopterus) (n = 114). In contrast, the tree-breeding cinereous vulture (Aegypius monachus) had a substantially higher prevalence: 10.3% (n = 146). By far the most common lineage in Spanish scavenging raptors was the Leucocytozoon lineage CIAE02. No effects of nestling age and sex, or temporal trends in prevalence were found, but an effect of nest habitat (tree-nest vs. cliff-nest) was found in the griffon vulture. These patterns may be explained by a preference of vectors to forage in and around trees rather than on cliffs and wide open spaces. We found an apparent detrimental effect of haemosporidians on body mass of nestling cinereous vultures. Further research is needed to evaluate the pathogenicity of each haemosporidian lineage and their interaction with the immune system of nestlings, especially if compromised due to pollution with pharmaceuticals and infection by bacterial and mycotic pathogens. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Biases in the Detection of Intentionally Poisoned Animals: Public Health and Conservation Implications from a Field Experiment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(3), 1201; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18031201 - 29 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1585
Abstract
Intentional poisoning is a global wildlife problem and an overlooked risk factor for public health. Managing poisoning requires unbiased and high-quality data through wildlife monitoring protocols, which are largely lacking. We herein evaluated the biases associated with current monitoring programmes of wildlife poisoning [...] Read more.
Intentional poisoning is a global wildlife problem and an overlooked risk factor for public health. Managing poisoning requires unbiased and high-quality data through wildlife monitoring protocols, which are largely lacking. We herein evaluated the biases associated with current monitoring programmes of wildlife poisoning in Spain. We compared the national poisoning database for the 1990–2015 period with information obtained from a field experiment during which we used camera-traps to detect the species that consumed non-poisoned baits. Our findings suggest that the detection rate of poisoned animals is species-dependent: Several animal groups (e.g., domestic mammalian carnivores and vultures) tended to be over-represented in the poisoning national database, while others (e.g., corvids and small mammals) were underrepresented. As revealed by the GLMM analyses, the probability of a given species being overrepresented was higher for heaviest, aerial, and cryptic species. In conclusion, we found that monitoring poisoned fauna based on heterogeneous sources may produce important biases in detection rates; thus, such information should be used with caution by managers and policy-makers. Our findings may guide to future search efforts aimed to reach a more comprehensive understanding of the intentional wildlife poisoning problem. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Validation of Multi-Residue Method for Quantification of Antibiotics and NSAIDs in Avian Scavengers by Using Small Amounts of Plasma in HPLC-MS-TOF
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 4058; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17114058 - 06 Jun 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1327
Abstract
Pharmaceuticals are still considered emerging pollutants affecting both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Scavenging bird species may be exposed to veterinary drugs when they feed on livestock carcasses provided at supplementary feeding stations, as these are often stocked with ailing and/or recently medicated animals. [...] Read more.
Pharmaceuticals are still considered emerging pollutants affecting both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Scavenging bird species may be exposed to veterinary drugs when they feed on livestock carcasses provided at supplementary feeding stations, as these are often stocked with ailing and/or recently medicated animals. Because those animals may be a source of several different pharmaceutical compounds, analytical methods to evaluate residue levels and exposure potential should enable detection and quantification of as many different compounds as possible, preferably from small sample volumes. Four different extraction methods were tested to conduct HPLC-MS-TOF analysis of some of the most common veterinary drugs used in livestock in Spain. The method deemed most viable was a simple extraction, using methanol and 100 µL of plasma, that allowed quantification of seven antibiotics (tetracycline, oxytetracycline, ciprofloxacin, enrofloxacin, nalidixic acid, trimethoprim, sulfadiazine) and five nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (meloxicam, flunixin, carprofen, tolfenamic acid, phenylbutazone). The method was then applied to analysis of 29 Eurasian griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus) nestling samples, wherein enrofloxacin and tolfenamic acid were most commonly detected (69% and 20%, respectively). To our knowledge, this is the first study including NSAIDs in the exposure assessment of different classes of veterinary pharmaceuticals in live avian scavengers. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Avian Scavengers as Bioindicators of Antibiotic Resistance Due to Livestock Farming Intensification
by and
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(10), 3620; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17103620 - 21 May 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1025
Abstract
Industrial food animal production uses huge amounts of antibiotics worldwide. Livestock, their excreta used for manure and meat subproducts not intended for human consumption can all play important roles in the transmission of bacterial resistance to wildlife. Vultures and other scavengers can be [...] Read more.
Industrial food animal production uses huge amounts of antibiotics worldwide. Livestock, their excreta used for manure and meat subproducts not intended for human consumption can all play important roles in the transmission of bacterial resistance to wildlife. Vultures and other scavengers can be directly exposed to active antibiotics ingested while feeding on livestock carcasses. This study evaluates whether bacterial resistance in the red kite (Milvus milvus) differs between two wintering areas selected based on patent differences in farming practices—particularly in the industrial production of food animals (primarily swine and poultry) vs. scarce and declining sheep herding. The results support the hypothesis that intensification in food animal production is associated with increased bacterial multidrug resistance in wildlife. Resistance was positively correlated with time elapsed since the beginning of the commercial application of each antibiotic in human and veterinary medicine, with clear differences depending on farming intensification between areas. Monitoring programs are encouraged to use red kites and other avian scavengers as valuable sentinels of contamination by antibiotics and clinically relevant resistant pathogens from livestock operations of variable intensities. Farms authorized for supplementary feeding of threatened scavengers should avoid supplying carcasses with active antibiotic residues to avoid bacterial resistance in scavenger wildlife. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop