Prevention & management of unwanted organisms in Antarctic wildlife in the Ross dependency

Author: Mackereth, Graham

Date: 2000

Publisher: University of Canterbury

Type: Thesis

Link to this item using this URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10092/14063

Abstract

A.workshop on diseases in Antarctic Wildlife was held In August Hobart. A report on the workshop was considered by the Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP II), The committee's response to the report was to agree to the formation of an open-ended contact group to report to CEP Ill on matters arising from the workshop. The terms of reference Of the contact group were to diminish the risk of the introduction and spread of disease to Antarctic wildlife and to detect, determine the cause, and minimise the adverse effects Of unusual wildlife mortality and morbidity events in Antarctica (Kerry et al, 1999). This document looked at these terms Of reference and the recommendations of the workshop in relation to the Ross Dependency. Part 1 of this document focused on practical steps to prevent the introduction or spread of unwanted organisms in the Ross Dependency. It was found that there were already a number of management practices to this end. Minor adjustments and education were recommended to further minimise the risks. Disinfectlon techniques were described in detail. Part 2 of this document examined possible disease detection techniques. Existing science and monitoring activities where found to provide some surveillance for high mortality events. It Was recommended that this passive surveillance be formally organised to maximise the surveillance value of current activities. This would involve identifying indicators and a reporting structure. Active surveillance (surveys and serum banks) were discussed in detail. The organisation of a passive surveillance system was considered to be a higher priority than active surveillance. Part 3 of this document considered what could be done in response to an incident of mass mortality. It outlined a possible incident management system. It was recommended that a Co-ordinated Incident Management System be established for responding to high mortality events. A simulated response to a disease scenario was recommended as a science event to test the proposed incident response system. An investigation into wildlife mortality involves some risk and should be carried out by competent and trained personnel. Procedures for the safe transport of diagnostic specimens were described. A.workshop on diseases in Antarctic Wildlife was held In August Hobart. A report on the workshop was considered by the Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP II), The committee's response to the report was to agree to the formation of an open-ended contact group to report to CEP Ill on matters arising from the workshop. The terms of reference Of the contact group were to diminish the risk of the introduction and spread of disease to Antarctic wildlife and to detect, determine the cause, and minimise the adverse effects Of unusual wildlife mortality and morbidity events in Antarctica (Kerry et al, 1999). This document looked at these terms Of reference and the recommendations of the workshop in relation to the Ross Dependency. Part 1 of this document focused on practical steps to prevent the introduction or spread of unwanted organisms in the Ross Dependency. It was found that there were already a number of management practices to this end. Minor adjustments and education were recommended to further minimise the risks. Disinfectlon techniques were described in detail. Part 2 of this document examined possible disease detection techniques. Existing science and monitoring activities where found to provide some surveillance for high mortality events. It Was recommended that this passive surveillance be formally organised to maximise the surveillance value of current activities. This would involve identifying indicators and a reporting structure. Active surveillance (surveys and serum banks) were discussed in detail. The organisation of a passive surveillance system was considered to be a higher priority than active surveillance. Part 3 of this document considered what could be done in response to an incident of mass mortality. It outlined a possible incident management system. It was recommended that a Co-ordinated Incident Management System be established for responding to high mortality events. A simulated response to a disease scenario was recommended as a science event to test the proposed incident response system. An investigation into wildlife mortality involves some risk and should be carried out by competent and trained personnel. Procedures for the safe transport of diagnostic specimens were described.

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