News of the WeekEcology

Bug Vanquishes Species

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Science  09 Oct 1998:
Vol. 282, Issue 5387, pp. 215
DOI: 10.1126/science.282.5387.215b

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For the first time, scientists have documented a case of an infection wiping out the last remnants of an entire species. The victim was a type of land snail that scientists were trying to pull back from the brink of extinction in a captive-breeding program. Experts say the finding, reported in this month's issue of Conservation Biology, points up the urgent need to guard against infectious diseases when nursing species off the endangered list.