Bird influenza among migratory birds on the rise in the Wadden Sea
Since October, multiple cases of bird flu have been reported in the Wadden Sea. Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands all confirmed that the highly pathogenic bird flu virus HPAI has been identified in dead migratory birds found within the Wadden Sea. Among the most affected species were Eurasian wigeon, Barnacle geese, and Curlews but other waterfowl species have also been affected. Compared to the outbreak in 2020/2021 the numbers are still low, but the relevant authorities continue to monitor and assess the situation. The Friedrich Loeffler Institutes in Germany informs on their website that the risk of the disease spreading along the birds’ migratory route is regarded as high.
Human infections with bird flu are very rare, but a few cases have been reported in China in relation to a specific bird flu strain which has not yet been identified in the Wadden Sea. Nevertheless, the public is advised not to touch sick or dead birds and instead report them to the relevant national authorities.
The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration is the responsible body, findings of birds should be reported via an app called 'Fugleinfluenza Tip' or via the homepage: www.foedevarestyrelsen.dk
Sightings of sick or dead birds should be reported to the veterinary offices of the respective districts. Cases found within the Wadden Sea can also be reported to the respective national parks: Nationalpark Niedersächsisches Wattenmeer (Gregor.Scheiffarth@nlpvw.niedersachsen.de), Nationalpark Schleswig-Holsteinisches Wattenmeer (Aktuell: Vogelgrippe an der schleswig-holsteinischen Westküste - Nationalpark Wattenmeer (nationalpark-wattenmeer.de)
To report dead birds in the Netherlands, there is a dedicated monitoring system from Dutch Wildlife Health Centre and Sovon (https://www.dwhc.nl/dode-vogels-melden/ )