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Co-extinct and critically co-endangered species of parasitic lice, and conservation-induced extinction: should lice be reintroduced to their hosts?

  • Lajos Rózsa (a1) and Zoltán Vas (a2)
Abstract

The co-extinction of parasitic taxa and their host species is considered a common phenomenon in the current global extinction crisis. However, information about the conservation status of parasitic taxa is scarce. We present a global list of co-extinct and critically co-endangered parasitic lice (Phthiraptera), based on published data on their host-specificity and their hosts’ conservation status according to the IUCN Red List. We list six co-extinct and 40 (possibly 41) critically co-endangered species. Additionally, we recognize 2–4 species that went extinct as a result of conservation efforts to save their hosts. Conservationists should consider preserving host-specific lice as part of their efforts to save species.

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Corresponding author
(Corresponding author) E-mail lajos.rozsa@gmail.com
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Oryx
  • ISSN: 0030-6053
  • EISSN: 1365-3008
  • URL: /core/journals/oryx
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