Shimla, Jan 14
Avian Influenza outbreak death count in the Pong Dam WildLife Sanctuary area of Himachal Pradesh has reached 4836 on Thursday as carcasses of 94 more birds were recovered during the search operation, Senior Officer of state Wildlife Authority confirmed. However Principal Conservator of Forest wildlife cum Chief Wild life Warden Archana Sharma also claimed that the outbreak in the WLS is on the decline as there is substantial decrease in the Mortality numbers of birds since the last two days.
She said that more dead birds continue to be recovered on the dam sites and entire catchments as 94 more migratory birds of different species were reported to dead from WLS till Jan 14. She said that the total cumulative numbers of Migratory birds reported dead till Jan 15 afternoon in the Pong Dam WLS area increased to be 4836.
To contain the outbreak among other winged guests of the WLS officials are maintaining a
strict vigil on the wintering habitats of the migratory birds in the state and active surveillance of Avian Influenza is being done to prevent its transmission.
Rapid Response Teams of Wild Life Wing of forest department continue to search, collect and dispose of dead birds. The infected areas are being disinfected as per protocol. Daily reporting regarding bird mortality numbers and measures being taken to control this outbreak is being done to the Ministry of Environment , Forest and climatic change of Union Government and district administration.
Despite massive operation in the month of December and strict vigil on Bird Flu outbreak number of Migratory birds who arrive here from Trans-Himalayan countries after travelling more than 1500 km started dying on the Ramsar site since Dec 29 onward and outbreak was confirmed by the various virology and bird disease detection labs in the country from Jan 4 this year.
Entire areas near the Pong Dam WLS have been declared as containment zones baring the wildlife and veterinary staff no one was allowed to enter near the lakes , she added. Himachal has also witnessed the deaths of some crows and other birds in various parts of the state, but no infection among the domestic poultry birds has been reported so far.
Till last Monday state also recorded 215 other birds died due to the outbreak. About 1000 dead poultry birds were also recovered along the various roads in the state which could not be confirmed for the outbreak.