Thousands of seabirds have died in the Farne Islands’ worst bird flu outbreak in 100 years.
The National Trust, which protects the islands, has found more than 3,000 dead birds . And estimates that ten times as many could have died by falling into the sea. About 200,000 birds live on the islands off the coast of Northumberland.
The charity wants to make an emergency response. However, the government says it can only take effective action to a limit extent.
The Farnes are home to 23 species of international importance . Including puffins; Including arctic terns, guillemots, razorbills, sandwich terns and common terns.
To prevent the spread of bird flu, the public was close earlier this month. Some of the dead birds found rang. The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) provided details of their travel history.
Among the casualties was the Arctic, who had flown eight times from the Farney Islands to Antarctica during their lifetime. It has a range of 144,000 miles (231,745 km) in miles.
Also, a 16-year-old kittiwake and a four-year-old kittiwake, which used to spend most of its life in the North Atlantic . And rang on the islands in 2006, find to be likely to breed again on the islands for the first time.
colonies of this endangered seabirds,
“The National Trust has looked after the Farne Islands for just under 100 years. There is no record of anything being found that could affect colonies of this endangered seabird,” said Simon Lee, General Manager of the Farne Islands.
Now, groups of rangers who live and work on the islands remove the dead birds for incineration.
Ranger members, wearing full PPE, are working to collect carcasses and prevent further contamination of healthy birds.
south of the Northumberland coast; RSPB rangers on Coquet Island have confirmed bird flu in their area. Then thousands of dead seabirds are collect and buried. This has ruined the main breeding season for seabirds.
The disease was confirmed in June in a gannet colony at Bass Rock, the world’s largest northern colony of seabirds. Several dead birds were later found along the coast of Northumberland and Teesside.
Ben McCarthy, head of conservation at the National Trust, said: “The scale of this horrific disaster calls for an urgent response plan to the virus in wild birds.”
A more co-ordinated approach to effective monitoring and reporting of research on these outbreaks in our wild birds across the UK is need.
“We see a lack of clear and effective guidance and plans for disease control. As the birds return to British waters in the coming months, measures are urgently need to mitigate further spread.”
The National Trust said it would work with conservation partners such as the RSPB and the BTO to help.
The Department for the Environment and Rural Affairs said: “We recognize the significant threat posed by HPAI to Britain’s valuable wild bird populations. But there are effective measures in place to protect them.
“Our current disease control policy is in line with international standards. The Animal and Plant Health Agency operates a year-round monitoring program for dead wild birds. It also has clear guidelines on how to avoid handling dead birds.
“We will research how bird flu viruses evolve in wildlife and help us understand the risk to domestic and wild birds.”