bird flu outbreak on one of the most important habitats in the UK that could kill dozens of thousands of seabirds has been described as “an unprecedented tragedy of wildlife”.
Rangers work on farne islands, off coast of Northumberland, put on protective suits and while collecting more than 3000 dead birds for burning.
However, there are fears that many thousands more succumbed to illness and fell off rocks in the North Sea.
Farne, maintained by the National Trust, is a habitat of international importance. for 23 species including puffins, with 200,000 birds live there.
Cliff nesting birds have been hardest hit by the bird flu outbreak. with guillemots, kittiwakes and young puffins, known as puffins, are among those who have recovered.
Rangers work for the foundation is exporting bird carcasses to prevent further contamination. For their safety they wore white chemical protection suits, gloves and masks.
Islands closed to the public for more less than three weeks while officials try to stop the spread of disease during the breeding season.
A little of affected so far is an eight-year-old Arctic tern that could have flown from the Farne Islands to Antarctica and back eight times during its existence, having traveled 144,000 miles.
16-year-an old kitten that was ringed on islands in 2006.
Annually 45,000 people go to Farne, but the islands were closed to visitors in start of this month.
Farnes general managerSimon Lee, said: “Welfare of our staff, volunteers and visitors are our top priority as we navigate through this unprecedented wildlife tragedy on islands.
“The National Fund took care for farne islands for just up to 100 years, and there are no records of anything so potentially dangerous to our already endangered seabird colonies.
“The Farne Islands are a national reserve and home up to about 200,000 seabirds, including guillemots, kittiwakes, auks and cormorants. in apart from arctic terns and puffins.”
This strain of avian flu emerged in East Asia and affected domestic herds in United Kingdom over winter. It has since spread across the country, infecting wild birds.
It spreads when birds come into direct contact with infected bird, feces, body liquids or indirectly via food and water.
risk for humans is considered very low and people are rarely affected. The National Foundation called on in government play.
Ben McCarthy, Trust’s head of nature conservation and restoration of the ecology, said: “This disease destroys decades of hard work to restore nature and undermines the government’s own goals to reverse decline of our endangered species and improve their habitat.
“Scale of this disaster is calling for urgently national response plan for virus in wild birds.
“We need a more coordinated approach to ensure effective monitoring, oversight and reporting to support research in the aftermath of this deadly the disease has on our wild birds all over the UK.”