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Bird flu: Dudhwa National Park on high alert

Bird flu

Lakhimpur Kheri (UP): The Dudhwa National Park has been put on high alert following Avian influenza outbreak in Amethi.

“Even though no case of avian influenza or bird flu has been reported in Terai district of Kheri or in Dudhwa tiger reserve so far, we are taking no chance owing to the arrival of migratory birds here,” Deputy field director Vinod Krishna Singh told PTI.

Workshops were held in Dudhwa to educate the field staff about bird flu, its symptoms and measures to detect the affected birds, he said.

The field officials had been instructed to report any case of bird death in the park, he said.

A similar alert has been sounded in south and north Kheri forest divisions of the district as wetlands are in abundance here and migratory birds flock in every year.

Noted conservationist and convener of Terai Nature Conservation Society Dr Vijay Prakash Singh, who is assisting the administration in bird flu awareness, said that Kheri, which shares its boundaries with Nepal where temperature is lesser, is vulnerable to the spread of H5N1 virus commonly known as bird flu or avian influenza.

Terming migratory birds as the carrier of the influenza, Singh said Kheri had a number of rich wetlands in Dudhwa and parts of south and north Kheri forest divisions.

He said migratory birds flock in Kheri from Nepal carrying the virus, hence, alertness about the threat is must.

“Any death of birds around a wetland should be reported immediately so as to collect samples for lab analysis. Similarly, poultry owners must report immediately in case they observe any abnormal behaviour among the poultry birds,” he said.

Untimely rains and inclement weather have brought down the temperature besides, the humidity is suited to the bird flu virus, Singh said.

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