야생의 아무르 호랑이한테서 canine distemper라는 치명적 질병이 처음 발견되었답니다. 감염된 호랑이는 이미 죽었구요…
이 질병은 이미 세렝게티 평원의 사자 3,000마리 중 1/3을 쓸어버린 예가 있습니다.
아무르호랑이는 1930년대 유전자 병목현상을 거치면서 유전적 다양성이 크게 감소하였고( http://eiwall.ei.columbia.edu/cerc/contributed.php?grouptag=CO34 ), 아무르표범 역시 심각한 근교약세의 수준을 보여주고 있습니다.
따라서 이러한 질병에 더욱 취약할 수 있겠지요…
문제는, 아무르표범과 호랑이는 모두 러시아에 1개의 개체군밖에 존재하지 않으므로, 이들이 멸종되면 야생에서는 더 이상 찾아볼수 없다는 것입니다.
위 질병에 대한 예방대책과 아울러, 중국이나 북한에 제2, 3의 번식개체군을 확보할 시급한 필요가 있다고 생각됩니다.
COPYRIGHT: Wildlife Conservation Society/Newswise, September 1, 2004
LENGTH: 305 words
HEADLINE: First Known Case of Canine Distemper in a Wild Tiger
Veterinarians from the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) have confirmed the first-known case of canine distemper in a wild Siberian tiger in the Russian Far East, further threatening populations of this highly endangered big cat.
Kathy Quigley, veterinarian for the WCS Siberian Tiger Project, confirmed that an adult female tigress that wandered into a Russian town exhibiting abnormal behavior had the disease, which is fatal in cats. It is suspected that the tiger caught the disease from an infected domestic dog. Despite heroic efforts to save her, the tiger died.
“With less than 500 Siberian tigers left in the wilds of Russia, this is a very serious threat that could contribute to the loss of this severely endangered population,” said Dr. Quigley.
In 1994 canine distemper virus killed a third of the lions in the Serengeti. The source of that virus was domestic dogs living with local pastoral communities.
In the Russian Far East, canine distemper actively circulates in the domestic animal population, and preliminary studies by Dr. Quigley indicate that 67 percent of dogs sampled have been exposed to the virus. In addition, during the past thirteen years of the Siberian tiger study, tigers and the endangered Amur leopard have shown an increase in exposure to canine distemper.
Dr. Quigley and her team of wildlife veterinarians are collaborating with colleagues in the Russian Far East to address this problem and other diseases. The program is multi-faceted, and includes training Russian veterinarians in wildlife health, understanding disease transmission, and handling tiger/human conflict situations. It also includes a vaccination and education campaign focused on the domestic animals populations in Russian communities.
“As people and their domestic animals continue to encroach upon tiger habitat, disease becomes an ever increasing threat to tiger conservation world wide, a threat we cannot afford to ignore,” Dr. Quigley said.