In recent decades, sarcoptic mange has become the main driver of demographic changes in Iberian ibex (Capra pyrenaica) populations in the Iberian Peninsula. Given this species’ economic and ecological importance, priority must be given to management measures aimed at limiting the effects of this disease. However, despite the wealth of research on sarcoptic mange in ibex, no common patterns of action are yet available to manage this disease under field conditions. The lack of national and international protocols aimed at controlling sarcoptic mange has favoured the spontaneous emergence of various disease management initiatives in Spain. However, very little information is available concerning this trend and what there is tends to be available only as ‘grey literature’ or is consigned to the memory of local observers. Traditional strategies designed to combat this disease include the administration of medicated feed and the non–selective culling of mangy ibex. Here, we propose a management approach that takes into account aspects relating to the ecology and conservation of ibex populations, as well as public–health–related factors. Our recommendations are based on knowledge of the disease and host–parasite interaction, and aim to promote long–term advances in its control. Moreover, we discuss the efficacy of the measures traditionally used in mange management. The overall aim is to encourage debate between wildlife managers and motivate the development of alternative management strategies.
Capra pyrenaica, Conservation, Management strategies, Sarcoptes scabiei, Wild populations
Reception date: 3 IX 19 | Acceptation date: 10 I 20 | Publication date: 14 II 20
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