a1 Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London, Regent's Park, London, NW1 4RY, UK.
a2 Wildlife Ecology Group, Institute of Natural Resources, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
a3 Karori Sanctuary Trust, Wellington, New Zealand
a4 Department of Conservation, Auckland Area Office, Devonport, Auckland, New Zealand
a5 Forest and Bird, Auckland, New Zealand
a6 Department of Conservation, Wellington, New Zealand
a7 Ecology and Conservation Group, Institute for Natural Sciences, Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand
a8 Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
a9 Also at: Wildlife Ecology Group, Institute of Natural Resources, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
Awareness of parasite risks in translocations has prompted the development of parasite management protocols, including parasite risk assessment, parasite screening and treatments. However, although the importance of such measures seems obvious it is difficult to know whether the measures taken are effective, especially when working with wild populations. We review current methods in one extensively researched case study, the endemic New Zealand passerine bird, the hihi Notiomystis cincta. Our review is structured around four of the 10 questions proposed by Armstrong & Seddon (Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 2008: 23, 20–25) for reintroduction biology. These four questions can be related directly to parasites and parasite management and we recommend using this framework to help select and justify parasite management. Our retrospective study of recent disease and health screening in hihi reveals only partial overlap with these questions. Current practice does not focus on, or aim to reduce, the uncertainty in most steps of the risk assessment process or on evaluating whether the measures are effective. We encourage targeted parasite management that builds more clearly on available disease risk assessment methodologies and integrates these tools within a complete reintroduction plan.
(Received March 18 2011)
(Revised May 16 2011)
(Accepted June 20 2011)
(Online publication April 30 2012)