Diseases and Infectious Agents of Antarctic Birds. IAA Project No. 48 2002-2004

Project Description
Little is known about bird diseases in Antarctica with a few notable
exceptions. The recent discoveries of certain diseases in Antarctica
have created concern for the future of Antarctic wildlife. Introduced
microorganisms may have severe negative consequences for
inmunologically native wildlife and novel epidemics may be especially
disastrous for rare or endangered species. The study of the diseases
which affect Antarctic migratory birds has been an area of great
interest for numerous scientists. The possibility of introduction of
several diseases on antarctic fauna is an important subject considered
by the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting. There has been an
increase in the movement of people to and within Antarctica; tourist
and expeditioner numbers have been increasing in recent years and air
travel quickly takes people, equipment and food to distant
localities. These factors directly contribute to an increase in the
risk of importing an exotic organism and or spreading of endemic
disease.