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Bhitarkanika’s migratory birds’ habitats on high alert for bird flu

Statesman News Service | Kendrapara |

Authorities have sounded bird flu alert in migratory birds’ habitats in Bhitarkanika national park following detection of flu infection in southern states. The officials have initiated precautionary measures to find out possible flu infection of avian species following detection of flu infection in Karnataka. Forest officials also have been instructed to keep watch on birds inhabiting in the park, said Chief District Veterinary Officer (CDVO), Sumant Kumar Mohapatra.

In a bid to create awareness, leaflets and booklets are being distributed among the villagers living in close vicinity of national park to create awareness, said the officer. “A joint field survey by wildlife personnel and state veterinary wing officials are currently underway within the birds-infested pockets of the national park. The experts’ team is however yet to sight sickness symptoms in the birds”, said Forest Range Officer, A.K. Nayak.

There has been influx of birds from cooler spheres of trans-Himalayan region. But they are quite safe. There is no cause for worry on possible flu outbreak, added the sources. The vigil is greater on winter migrant species which are found making yearly visits to this wetland from central Asian countries. None of the winter species were so far found drooping and wore signs of sickness syndrome.

No death of bird has been reported as yet. Instructions were on to segregate the birds found drooping from other birds and conduct the blood sample test check. Rapid Response Team (RRT) has been constituted in all nine blocks of the district. Veterinary Assistant Surgeon (VAS), two livestock inspectors, one Gomitra , Zilla Parisada members and social workers are the members of each RRT, CDVO Mohapatra said.