Disease risk analysis
Institute of Zoology
Zoological Society of London
Conservation translocation is an incredibly useful tool for restoring threatened species and it is widely used across the world, however it is not free of risks.
The focus of Dr Claudia Carraro's research is on one of these risks, the risk of disease associated with translocating animals. Disease can be a threat not only to the translocated animals but also to the recipient population, or even other species at the destination including domestic animals and humans. The co-introduction of potential novel parasites is one driver of disease outbreaks and there is a need for better prediction of how and when these parasites might impact on wild animal populations.
Claudia's research focusses on developing methods to assess the risk of disease associated with wildlife conservation translocations and understanding how to reduce such risk through mitigation strategies. Since joining the Disease Risk Analysis and Health Surveillance (DRAHS) team, she has worked on conservation translocation projects across a broad range of species, including the hen harrier (Circus cyaneus), the pine marten (Martes martes) and endemic Malagasy freshwater fish species (Ptychochromis insolitus, Paretroplus nourissati, Paretroplus gymnopreopercularis, Pachypanchax sp. nov. "Sofia").
She is currently carrying out a disease risk analysis (DRA) for a potential conservation translocation of the European sturgeon (Acipenser sturio), a project led by the UK Sturgeon Alliance. She is also involved in a disease risk assessment for the conservation translocation of the sihek (Guam Kingfisher, Todiramphus cinnamominus), an extinct in the wild species which currently only exists in conservation facilities under human care. The lead organisations for the sihek project are Guam Department of Agriculture Division of Aquatic and Wildlife Resources (DAWR) and US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), with the IUCN Conservation Translocation Specialist Group facilitating the development of a conservation translocation strategy.
Our vision at DRAHS is to ensure healthy and abundant free-living wildlife populations result from conservation translocations.