Bird flu report spotlights impact of the disease on UK wild birds - British Trust for Ornithology

Following a meeting of more than 100 experts, a report into the continuing Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI or ‘bird flu’) outbreak has been published by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC).
The report lays bare the impact of the disease on wild birds and identifies knowledge gaps that need to be addressed for the effective conservation of vulnerable species.
It will inform the ongoing response to a disease that continues to have a devastating impact on vulnerable populations of wild birds.

HPAI has caused mass mortalities in the UK’s internationally important wild waterbirds and seabirds since the current outbreak began in October 2021. Across the UK, more than 60 species have been affected, and data collected by the governments’ country conservation bodies, other organisations and volunteers indicates that many more than 20,000 wild birds have died. Especially badly affected species include wintering Barnacle Geese on the Solway Firth, breeding Great Skuas in northern Scotland, and Gannets in colonies around the UK coast. Great Britain and Ireland are home to more than 50% of the world population of both Great Skuas and Gannets, so these impacts are of global significance.
Recognising the global spread of HPAI, JNCC and BTO invited animal health experts, virologists, ecologists and conservation practitioners to a two-day workshop to assess the impact of the disease, discuss management options and identify information needs. The report from the workshop has just been published and can be accessed here.

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Posted On: 02/03/2023

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