United kingdom fowl reserves closed following suspected avian flu outbreak

Seabird reserves in northeast England and Scotland have been closed to website visitors soon after a suspected outbreak of hen flu, officials explained on Friday.

The choice to close the Farne Islands, a well-liked draw for travelers who arrive to see puffins near up, was created soon after several hundred seabirds died on nearby Coquet Island.

Farne Islands common manager Simon Lee stated seabirds that nest in dense colonies, this sort of as Arctic terns, have been vulnerable as they return to breed.

“Our ranger teams operate tirelessly to keep an eye on and shield these colonies but owing to getting significant numbers of useless birds, we simply have no other selection but to close the islands.”

Coquet Island—home to Britain’s only breeding colony of roseate terns—is some 20 miles south of the main Farne Islands, off the coast of Northumberland, in northeast England.

Both are managed by the Nationwide Rely on conservation charity.

Some 45,000 men and women stop by the islands on boat excursions just about every year to see up to 23 species of seabirds, as very well as colonies of gray seals.

The windswept islands are property to some 200,000 seabirds together with guillemots, kittiwakes, razorbills, and shags along with the Arctic terns and puffins.

The influence of the condition on the colonies could be devastating owing to quite a few species acquiring minimal copy prices, Lee stated.

A lot of of the birds that nest on the islands, these kinds of as the vulnerable Atlantic puffin, are by now going through big pressures thanks to weather improve with warming sea temperatures impacting foods stocks.

Lee reported closure “will lessen the danger of disturbance on the birds, which will with any luck , assistance at least slow down the unfold of the disorder throughout this breeding interval ahead of they depart the islands in late summer season to continue on their annual migratory cycle”.

Visitors will no more time be permitted to land on the Farnes from Sunday, even though boat excursions will however be permitted.


The condition was very first uncovered in United kingdom domestic hen populations very last winter season and is now impacting wild birds, with infection proving deadly, in accordance to The Countrywide Believe in.

It is unfold when birds appear into immediate speak to with an infected bird, faeces, human body fluids or indirectly by using food and water.

The possibility to people is thought of small and people today are seldom influenced.

The Isle of May perhaps and Noss Countrywide Nature Reserves in Scotland were closed to public landings from Friday to protect susceptible seabird populations from the H5N1 pressure of avian flu, Scotland’s organic heritage overall body NatureScot claimed.

Good situations have been recorded in the significantly northern islands of Shetland and Orkney, St Kilda and Lewis off the west coast, and St Abbs in the southeast.

Big figures of useless and sick seabirds have also been documented from Aberdeenshire, East Lothian and the west coast of Sutherland, with good skua and gannets most difficult strike.

At other coastal reserves such as Hermaness in Shetland, NatureScot has asked visitors to enjoy the spectacle from a length and not stroll by means of seabird colonies.

Decrease in North Sea puffins triggers problem

© 2022 AFP

Uk hen reserves closed following suspected avian flu outbreak (2022, July 1)
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