Following on the Falkland Islands Natural Resources Department update on confirmed avian influenza (bird flu) case – Steeple Jason Island, northwest of the archipelago, it has been reported that Falklands Conservation carried out a surveillance visit in January 2024 and found dead albatross chicks in their thousands as well as low levels of rockhopper and skua mortalities. A further set of several more swabs were collected.
Therefore, a level 3 response will continue to be followed and the whole of Steeple Jason remains declared an infected place. No persons are permitted to visit Steeple Jason Island without authorization from the Director of Natural Resources.
The Declaration will be reviewed on Thursday 28 March 2024.
Since Monday 30 October 2023, 43 sets of swabs have been taken. Seven sets have returned positive results and 35 sets of swabs have given negative results. Two sets of swab results are pending (several follow up swabs from Steeple Jason and 1 swab from the second dead skua on New Island).
FIG have prepared information and guidance about bird flu and preventative measures to try and reduce the spread of the virus. This guidance can be found here.
The public are reminded to NOT TOUCH dead or sick birds but report them to the Veterinary Services on 27366 or 55366 out of hours.