Source: BBC

Bird flu has been confirmed in 10 penguins on South Georgia, a vital wildlife haven. Previous cases affected seabirds and mammals on this British Overseas Territory. The timing lessens immediate impacts as the breeding season ends, but future concerns arise for the next gathering season. South Georgia’s coast hosts remarkable wildlife aggregations, making it a global conservation focal point. Avian influenza’s spread sparks worries despite current limitations.

The virus was first detected in brown skuas in October 2023, then in seals and other bird species. Recent cases in penguins were confirmed through laboratory tests in the UK. Scientists suspect scavenging birds as vectors for transmission. Penguins’ susceptibility raises questions about species interaction and potential spread. Surveillance, aided by Antarctic cruise ships, intensifies to monitor and contain the virus. Enhanced protocols aim to prevent further spread through tourism activities, emphasizing rapid information dissemination among stakeholders in the region.

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