Continued disease threat to British garden birds
Friday 14 September 2007
ZSL scientists confirm a repeat of last year's high finch mortalities this summer.
Postmortem analysis has verified that the cause of death is trichomoniasis, a parasitic infection that resulted in widespread deaths in 2006, peaking in September. The distribution and prevalence of the parasite in the UK finch population is still being investigated and a scientific analysis and publication is being planned for later in the year. The epidemic has been identified by the Garden Bird Health initiative (GBHi), a collaborative three year project investigating garden bird deaths and diseases.
Becki Lawson, a wildlife veterinarian from the Zoological Society of London and coordinator of the project, commented, “The current increase in finch mortalities closely follows the seasonal pattern that was seen last year. Members of the public can help by reporting observations of disease in garden birds through our website. It is vitally important to track the spread of this emerging infectious disease of British birds and to closely monitor the range of species that can be affected.”
Garden Bird Health initiative (GBHi)
Members of the public can help by reporting sightings of dead birds or signs of disease in garden birds on 0207 449 6685.
If you find a dead bird please do not touch it but first call the above telephone number to report the incident and determine whether it may be possible to arrange for a post mortem examination to be performed. Find out more about the Garden Bird Health initiative .