Death by disease

Published: Wednesday 15 November 2000

-- Lethal infections are killing off populations of creatures ranging from vultures to kangaroos, from coral to honeybees and from amphibians to reptiles. More than pollution, diseases spread by humans are today the biggest threat to a variety of species. For long, ecologists, biologists and governments ignored the threat that emerging diseases pose to natural ecosystems. Conservationists believe that enacting laws will not be enough. There has to be a better understanding of how diseases are spread through wild populations and which ones exist there naturally, and how environmental changes, such as crowding within dwindling habitats, can speed contagion.

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.