Bird Flu Emergency Appeal
2022 has already been the worst year ever for bird flu in Ireland, and sadly it seems that things are set to get a lot worse. BirdWatch Ireland is facing an unprecedented challenge in dealing with the potentially disastrous effects of another winter in which our bird populations are severely impacted by this killer disease. We will be at the forefront of dealing with these challenges as we receive increasing numbers of reports of sick and dying birds.
The cause of this disaster is a particularly virulent strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), or bird flu, which has devastated seabird colonies elsewhere in Europe in recent months. This is not the first outbreak of this awful disease to hit Ireland in recent times. Last winter, many of our wintering waterbird species were affected by this fatal virus, including Brent Geese, Greylag Geese, Mute Swans, Whooper Swans, Herring Gulls, Grey Herons and Cormorants. Our wintering population of Barnacle Geese was hit particularly badly: it is believed that close to 1,700 perished here as a result of bird flu last winter alone. It is also clear that our Gannet population, in particular, is being severely impacted by the disease.
We need your help to respond to this crisis. Our staff are working hard to collate reports, to provide advice and expertise on the actions needed to minimise impacts, and to track the spread of the disease amongst different species and at different locations across Ireland. We need to try to save as many of our migrant wintering waterbirds as possible from the ravages of this virus.
We also need to do all that we can to safeguard seabird colonies, including the Roseate Terns on Rockabill, in advance of the birds’ return next summer.
We can’t do this without your support. That’s why we are asking you, please, to contribute what you can to our Bird Flu Emergency Appeal. All funds raised will go to furthering our work to conserve and protect some of Ireland’s most threatened species.
Please note that if you happen to be an Irish PAYE worker, we can also claim back tax on your donations of €250 or more.
Many thanks for your support!