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Population decline resulting from agricultural intensification led to contraction of the range of the cirl bunting Emberiza cirlus in the UK to a small area of south Devon. As part of the UK Biodiversity Action Plan for the species, a project to re-establish a population in suitable habitat in Cornwall was undertaken during 2006–2011, in which chicks were removed from the nest in Devon, hand-reared and then delayed-released. The survival of the birds to four time points in the year after release was analysed in relation to the effect of rearing factors, using a multivariable logistic regression model. Individuals with higher body weight at capture were more likely to survive to 1 January and 1 May in the year following release, and individuals released in June and July were more likely to survive than those released in August. Individuals released in 2006 and 2011 had a higher survival rate than those released during 2007–2010. Timing of capture, time spent at each stage in captivity, medication and the detection of parasites in the brood had no significant effect. Immunosuppressive disease, weather factors and predator activity may have led to some of the observed differences in survival. This analysis provides evidence with which to plan future translocation projects for cirl buntings and other passerine birds.
The dramatic decline of the native red squirrel in the UK has been attributed to both direct and disease-mediated competition with the grey squirrel where the competitor acts as a reservoir host of squirrelpox virus (SQPV). SQPV is threatening red squirrel conservation efforts, yet little is known about its epidemiology. We analysed seroprevalence of antibody against SQPV in grey squirrels from northern England and the Scottish Borders in relation to season, weather, sex, and body weight using Generalized Linear Models in conjunction with Structural Equation Modelling. Results indicated a heterogeneous prevalence pattern which is male-biased, increases with weight and varies seasonally. Seroprevalence rose during the autumn and peaked in spring. Weather parameters had an indirect effect on SQPV antibody status. Our findings point towards a direct disease transmission route, which includes environmental contamination. Red squirrel conservation management options should therefore seek to minimize squirrel contact points.
Squirrelpox virus (SQPV) causes a fatal disease in free-living red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) which has contributed to their decline in the United Kingdom. Given the difficulty of carrying out and funding experimental investigations on free-living wild mammals, data collected from closely monitored natural outbreaks of disease is crucial to our understanding of disease epidemiology. A conservation programme was initiated in the 1990s to bolster the population of red squirrels in the coniferous woodland of Thetford Chase, East Anglia. In 1996, 24 red squirrels were reintroduced to Thetford from Northumberland and Cumbria, while in 1999 a captive breeding and release programme commenced, but in both years the success of the projects was hampered by an outbreak of SQPV disease in which seven and four red squirrels died respectively. Valuable information on the host–pathogen dynamics of SQPV disease was gathered by telemetric and mark–recapture monitoring of the red squirrels. SQPV disease characteristics were comparable to other virulent poxviral infections: the incubation period was <15 days; the course of the disease an average of 10 days and younger animals were significantly more susceptible to disease. SQPV disease places the conservation of the red squirrel in jeopardy in the United Kingdom unless practical disease control methods can be identified.
Red squirrels are declining in the United Kingdom. Competition from, and squirrel poxvirus (SQPV) disease carried by, grey squirrels are assumed to be determining the decline. We analyse the incidence of disease and changes in distribution of the two species in Cumbria, from 1993 to 2003 and compare these to the predictions of an individual-based (IB) spatially explicit disease model simulating the dynamics of both squirrel species and SQPV in the landscape. Grey squirrels increased whilst red squirrels declined over 10 years. The incidence of disease in red squirrels was related to the time since grey squirrels arrived in the landscape. Analysis of rates of decline in red squirrel populations in other areas showed that declines are 17–25 times higher in regions where SQPV is present in grey squirrel populations than in those where it is not. The IB model predicted spatial overlap of 3–4 years between the species that was also observed in the field. The model predictions matched the observed data best when contact rates and rates of infection between the two species were low. The model predicted that a grey squirrel population control of >60% effective kill was needed to stop the decline in red squirrel populations in Cumbria.
The population of red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) in the British Isles is in decline and is being supplanted by the grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis). It has been suggested that parapoxvirus-associated disease has caused significant mortality in red squirrels and that grey squirrels are the source of the virus. A direct enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was developed for the measurement of antibody to squirrel parapoxvirus. We tested 140 sera from red squirrels and 223 from grey squirrels from different populations in the UK. A high percentage (61%) of apparently healthy grey squirrels, were found to have been exposed to the parapoxvirus. Only 2.86% (4/140) of red squirrels had antibody and three of these animals had parapoxvirus-associated disease. We postulate that the grey squirrel may act as a reservoir host for the virus.
The annual rates of referral to two differently organized comprehensive psychiatric services in separate but demographically similar areas are presented for various demographic social and clinical categories. In Part 1 the rates are examined for similarities both between the two areas and with findings from other studies in order to obtain pointers to factors affecting the inception of psychiatric disorders. In Part 2 an attempt is made to evaluate an aspect of the community service. Differences between the rates in the two areas are discussed with a view to identifying those variables that selectively affect referral to a community service.
The aims of this paper are first, to describe some clinical features of patients eventually diagnosed as having a depressive illness who were referred to a general hospital clinic set up to study hypochondriasis, and secondly, to investigate why some patients with depressive disorders develop somatic symptoms while others do not.