Parasite success is typically dependent upon a close relationship with one or more hosts; therefore, attributes of parasitic infection have the potential to provide indirect details of host natural history and are biologically relevant to animal conservation. Characterization of parasite infections has been useful in delineating host populations and has served as a proxy for assessment of environmental quality. In other cases, the utility of parasites is just being explored, for example as indicators of host connectivity. Here, we outline how innovative studies of parasite biology can provide information to manage major conservation threats, including overexploitation, habitat loss and fragmentation, invasive species, and climate change. Article Impact statement: Studies of parasites provide insights for conservation of animals threatened by overexploitation, habitat loss, invasive species, and climate change. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Gagne RB, Crooks K, Craft ME, Chiu ES, Fountain-Jones NM, Malmberg JL, Carver S, Funk WC, VandeWoude S. (2021). Parasites as conservation tools. Conservation biology : the journal of the Society for Conservation Biology