Avian flu outbreak prompts name to take down chicken feeders on Prince Edward Island

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An outbreak of extremely pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), a virus that’s lethal to wild birds, poultry, and in some instances, people, was detected in two North American places — South Carolina and Newfoundland and Labrador — in December 2021. This avian flu pressure has since unfold to about 20 states and several other provinces, and now, a wildlife well being official on Prince Edward Island, in japanese Canada, is suggesting that folks take away chicken feeders from their yards in hopes of slowing the unfold.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. studies {that a} Blue Jay in Nova Scotia is among the many confirmed instances in Canada. It could be the primary identified species that frequents feeders to be discovered with the virus.

Megan Jones, regional director of Canadian Wildlife Well being Co-operative for the Atlantic area, instructed the CBC that taking feeders down will help.

“We’re suggesting that folks not do something that causes birds to congregate,” she mentioned. “In the event that they congregate naturally, there’s nothing we are able to do about that, however why draw them collectively? That’s a danger that I don’t suppose is critical proper now.”

It’s not clear if the suggestion is proscribed to Prince Edward Island or if it applies to different provinces. BirdWatching has reached out to wildlife well being companies in Canada for clarification. And now we have requested the U.S. Nationwide Wildlife Well being Heart if an identical request shall be manufactured from the American bird-feeding public.

We’ll replace this story as we be taught extra.

Distribution of Extremely Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5 and H5N1 in North America, 2021/2022. Up to date March 14, 2022. Supply: USGS Nationwide Wildlife Well being Heart

In the meantime, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Well being Inspection Service is retaining tabs on studies of avian flu in wild birds. As of some days in the past, it had greater than 350 detections from the japanese and central U.S. Many of the species with the virus are geese and geese — Mallard, Snow and Ross’s Goose, Inexperienced-winged Teal, Redhead, Gadwall, Canada Goose, Lesser Scaup, and American Black Duck, amongst others. Non-waterfowl within the record embody Bald Eagle, Purple-shouldered Hawk, Black Vulture, and Sanderling.

On February 28, the College of Minnesota’s Raptor Heart held a one-hour webinar concerning the present avian flu outbreak. You possibly can watch a recording of it right here.

Present detections of HPAI within the U.S. in wild birds, industrial flocks, and yard flocks, are posted right here. For Canadian information, you’ll find biweekly studies posted right here.

Extra details about HPAI may be discovered on this USGS web page.

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