Human encroachment on the habitats of wild animals and the dense living conditions of farmed animals increase spill-over risk of emerging infectious diseases from animals to humans (such as COVID-19). In this article, we defend two claims: First, we argue that in order to limit the risk of emerging infectious disease outbreaks in the future, a One Health approach is needed, which focuses on human, animal, and environmental health. Second, we claim that One Health should not solely be grounded in collaborations between veterinary, medical, and environmental scientists, but should also involve more dialogue with animal and environmental ethicists. Such an interdisciplinary approach would result in epidemiology-driven measures that are ethically legitimate.
When COVID-19 struck, tourists stopped visiting sites where they formally fed animals. As a result, the animals went hungry, with some starving to death. I argue, however, that this doesn’t show that it’s wrong to create such dependency: had we been willing to intervene on behalf of wild animals, there wouldn’t have been any moral issue. Moreover, I argue that we can identify the individuals who most plausibly have some responsibilities to help animals in crisis situations – namely, those who are bound up in caring relationships with those animals. At the same time, though, I don’t think it’s obvious how they should help, and I think there is a serious case to be made for not distinguishing between wild and domestic animals in this context. Given that, euthanization becomes an option that needs to be taken seriously.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused major disruptions in the livestock industry. The sector that was most adversely affected in the U.S. was the pork industry. Thousands of pigs had to be destroyed on the farm when the processing plants were either completely shut down or ran at greatly reduced capacity.
COVID-19 has changed the world at unprecedented pace. The measures imposed by governments across the globe for containing the pandemic have severely affected all facets of economy and society, including scientific progress. Сonservation research has not been exempt from these negative effects, which we here summarize for the BioRescue project, aiming at saving the northern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum cottoni), an important Central African keystone species, of which only two female individuals are left. The development of advanced assisted reproduction and stem-cell technologies to achieve this goal involves experts across five continents. Maintaining international collaborations under conditions of national shut-down and travel restrictions poses major challenges. The associated ethical implications and consequences are particularly troublesome when it comes to research directed at protecting biological diversity – all the more in the light of increasing evidence that biodiversity and intact ecological habitats might limit the spread of novel pathogens.
Anthropogenic environmental change is leading to changes in distribution for many organisms. While this is frequently discussed for prominent organisms of high conservation value, the same is true for the many cryptic species that rarely figure in debates on the human impact. One such cryptic taxon is the European Ptomaphagus sericatus () and related forms. During a citizen science expedition in the Vondelpark, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, we obtained two forms of this species complex. We placed the examination of these specimens in the context of a re-analysis of the species group, and, using DNA barcoding and genital study on material collected thoughout Europe, found that the P. sericatus species complex consists of three distinct, partly sympatric species, one of which was previously undescribed. On the basis of collection data, at least two species, P. medius and P. thebeatles sp. n., show signs of having recently undergone (possibly anthropogenic) range changes, with P. medius even reaching North America. We describe P. thebeatles sp. n.; we raise two subspecies, viz. P. sericatus sericatus (Chaudoir, 1854) and P. sericatus medius () to the level of species, and designate a neotype for the former; we identify P. dacicus
and P. pyrenaeus
as junior synonyms of P. sericatus, and P. compressitarsus () as a junior synonym of P. subvillosus Goeze, 1777; we identify P. septentrionalis
and P. miser () as junior synonyms of P. medius; we designate lectotypes for P. medius and P. miser.
is of one of the most neglected nudibranch groups, with a long history of taxonomic confusion with other aeolidacean genera. Owing to its predominantly Arctic distribution with cold water, its species are difficult to find and to collect, and thus to describe. In this study we revise the genus by presenting molecular and morphological data for a majority of the species, including the type, C. abyssicola
. The material is based on a broad geographic sampling throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Particular emphasis is placed on the Kuril Islands, a diversity hotspot for the genus. Seven new species and two subspecies of Cuthonella are described from the Arctic and North Pacific regions. The number of species of Cuthonella is thus increased over threefold and now comprises 15 species plus two subspecies instead of five species. This work is the most substantial update of the genus Cuthonella since its description in . To delineate taxonomic and phylogenetic limits of Cuthonella-like aeolidaceans, the molecular phylogeny of the wider traditional “tergipedids” is presented and shows that Cuthonella-like aeolidaceans form a distinct molecular clade as the family Cuthonellidae , corroborated by reliable morphological apomorphies.