Volume 78 (2016) Issue 7 Pages 1107-1115
Avian influenza A, a highly pathogenic avian influenza, is a lethal infection in certain species of wild birds, including some endangered species. Raptors are susceptible to avian influenza, and spatial risk assessment of such species may be valuable for conservation planning. We used the maximum entropy approach to generate potential distribution models of three raptor species from presence-only data for the mountain hawk-eagle Nisaetus nipalensis, northern goshawk Accipiter gentilis and peregrine falcon Falco peregrinus, surveyed during the winter from 1996 to 2001. These potential distribution maps for raptors were superimposed on avian influenza A risk maps of Japan, created from data on incidence of the virus in wild birds throughout Japan from October 2010 to March 2011. The avian influenza A risk map for the mountain hawk-eagle showed that most regions of Japan had a low risk for avian influenza A. In contrast, the maps for the northern goshawk and peregrine falcon showed that their high-risk areas were distributed on the plains along the Sea of Japan and Pacific coast. We recommend enhanced surveillance for each raptor species in high-risk areas and immediate establishment of inspection systems. At the same time, ecological risk assessments that determine factors, such as the composition of prey species, and differential sensitivity of avian influenza A virus between bird species should provide multifaceted insights into the total risk assessment of endangered species.