Land use-induced spillover: Priority actions for protected and conserved area managers

Jamie K. Reaser, Gary M. Tabor, Daniel J. Becker, Philip Muruthi, Arne Witt, Stephen J. Woodley, Manuel Ruiz-Aravena, Jonathan A. Patz, Valerie Hickey, Peter J. Hudson, Harvey Locke, Raina K. Plowright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Earth systems are under ever greater pressure from human population expansion and intensifying natural resource use. Consequently, micro-organisms that cause disease are emerging and the dynamics of pathogens in wildlife are altered by land use change, bringing wildlife and people in closer contact. We provide a brief overview of the processes governing ‘land use-induced spillover’, emphasising ecological conditions that foster ‘landscape immunity’ and reduce the likelihood of wildlife that host pathogens coming into contact with people. If ecosystems remain healthy, wildlife and people are more likely to remain healthy too. We recommend ten practices to reduce the risk of future pandemics through protected and conserved area management. Our proposals reinforce existing conservation strategies while elevating biodiversity conservation as a priority health measure. Pandemic prevention underscores the need to regard human health as an ecosystem service. We call on multi-lateral conservation frameworks to recognise that protected and conserved area managers are in the frontline of public health safety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-178
Number of pages18
Issue numberSpecial Issue
StatePublished - Mar 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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