V. León-Règagnon, I.D. Hogg, and P.D.N. Hebert
Parasites of Arctic wildlife keep the size of their host populations under control. This helps to keep ecosystems stable. This effect on populations can also have major impacts on the people who depend on country food. Parasites can provide unique insights into the structure of ecosystems.
The current rate at which climate and landscape is changing in the Arctic is expected to alter the way parasites and their hosts interact. This will create a major concern for the sustainability of arctic vertebrates. Parasites have been strongly studied in the Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, northern Quebec, and Newfoundland and Labrador for some host species like Arctic char and caribou. However, most host species have received little attention. This highlights the need to extend parasite studies to all of the primary wildlife species that are harvested in the Canadian North.
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