There are deep concerns about the rising number of dead sea birds being found along our coastline. Whilst avian flu may be one reason for this high level of mortality, warming waters (causing a shortage of food) and raw sewage discharge have also been out forward for the increasing number of deceased birds.
Fylde Council say they too are sadly receiving reports of dead sea birds being found on beaches. They are still currently liaising with Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to ensure that any required testing for Avian Influenza is undertaken.
A Fylde Council spokesperson advises, ‘If you come across a dead wild bird, please report it to DEFRA on 03459 335577 (select option 7). Providing good location information for a dead or diseased bird is particularly important and location apps such as ‘what3words’, references can be very helpful.
The following points are stressed by the spokesperson:
👉 Bird flu is primarily a disease of birds and the risk to people is very low.
❌ Do not touch or pick up any dead or visibly sick birds.
❌ Don’t touch wild bird feathers or surfaces contaminated with wild bird droppings.
Further advice to dogwalkers from veterinary professionals is to keep your pets under control, on a lead and well away from the tideline.
Whilst avian flu could be the cause of the large number of dead birds on our coast line, experts say other factors may have caused the current distressingly high levels of mortality. One reason may be the unprecedented marine heatwave that has hit the UK this year. This may be good for jellyfish but not for birds, as warming waters mean less cold upwellings, which means less food sources for some species. Another reason put forward is the recent release of raw sewage into our rivers and coastal waters