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HPAI Diagnosed in Antarctica

10/27/2023

The British Antarctic Survey reported an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza on Bird Island adjacent to the north tip of South Georgia  in the South Atlantic Ocean. On-site personnel are “managing” the outbreak although it is difficult to see what measures can be taken other than disposal of carcasses of migratory brown skuas. (Stercoarius antarcticus)

 

The research program on Bird Island includes monitoring of marine birds including the wondering albatross, giant petrels, and penguins. It would be unfortunate if introduction of HPAI by skuas impacts the breeding colonies of other species.  Since 2021, HPAI has reduced wild bird populations and seriously affected some endangered species.