Protected seabirds exterminated from avian flu in France: “Unprecedented epidemic”

Protected seabirds exterminated from avian flu in France: “Unprecedented epidemic”

A devastating avian flu epidemic is killing thousands of birds along France’s northern coasts. Gulls and boobies are among the most affected species.

L’bird flu is causing the death of thousands of protected seabirds in the north of France event Without precedents in the country. The virus had begun to meander among the wild animals at the end of last year primavera, and then spread devastatingly in the heart of summer, continuing to claim thousands of victims day after day.

Among the most affected regions is Brittany, where according to data from the DRAAF (Regional Directorate for Food, Agriculture, and Forestry), the carcasses of 1,200 specimens were recovered on 1 September. Most of the birds, as reported to Le Telegramme by Dr . Hervé Duvallet, coordinator of wildlife health monitoring at the French Bureau for Biodiversity (OFB), were killed by avian flu.

The species most involved at the moment are the seagulls Sterne and the magnificent ones sule bassline, the latter infected mainly on the island of Rouzic, in the heart of the Sept-Iles National Nature Reserve. Photos shared in July by amateur photographer Michel Prat showed the cliffs full of dead birds, between couples still alive and deserted nests.

It was mainly the people who lost their lives chicks, an entire generation wiped out by an atrocious death, leading to paralysis and agony that can last up to 48 hours. Experts were used to handling avian flu outbreaks during the period autumn and winter explained by the environmental technician Hervé Duvallet to France Bleu, but this year there was an unexpected and sprawling diffusion in the height of the summer season which involved the reproductive period resulting in a massacre.

Bird flu had spread widely in the French ffarm’slast winter and led the authorities to order the culling of tens of millions of heads. From there, the virus passed back to wild birds, triggering the deadly epidemic that is decimating colonies of marine species.

“In France, it is the first time that there has been such mortality of wild birds. It happened in full hatching when the chicks are vulnerable and highly contaminated ”said Dr . Anne Van De Wiele, coordinator of health actions at the French Bureau for Biodiversity. “We are in a full spate of cases, it is a race against time.

It is still difficult to measure the extent of damage to the most endangered species. It will depend on the impact of the disease on reproductive adults, ”the expert added. To date, thousands of gull and booby carcasses have been collected, with 100 percent of these being positive for the pathogen.

In Brittany, the Sterne (hit elsewhere) and the to be manured. Fortunately, the seals, exposed to Sterneotential contagion, are negative. TO Saint-Maloa city which in recent days has been hit by waves able to reach the fourth floor of the buildings, about 200 birds have been found dead, mainly seagulls.

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One of the main problems lies in the fact that the virus is continuing to spread also towards internal areas, starting to lick the wetlands with very high biodiversity. The impact on birds limicoli e aquatic living in these delicate environments could be catastrophic. We are facing an unprecedented epidemic that still has no answer, as explained by Dr. Duvallet.

It is thought about the possible evolution of the virus strain of avian H5N1, whose mutations would have allowed involving also the boobies, of avians unaffected by the infection. Health authorities are doing everything possible to monitor and stem the spread of the pathogen, for example by rapidly removing carcasses but at the moment it is not possible to determine what the evolution of the infections will be.

The operations are conducted by qualified personnel; in fact, there is a recommendation not to touch dead birds, bearing in mind that in the past there have been cases of the passage of the avian virus to humans.

source: France & Wikipedia

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