About 5,000 cranes in Agamon Hula died from avian flu

December 27, 2021 by TPS
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Raya Soraki, Acting Director-General of the Nature and Parks Authority, has revealed that following the situation assessments and monitoring of bird flu morbidity in the area as of Sunday comprehensive monitoring carried out in the Agamon Hula documented about 5,000 dead cranes in the area.

Avian flu in the Agmon Hula Photo: Guy Ayalon, Nature and Parks Authority

The Agamon Hula-JNF Nature and Birding Park is located at the heart of the Hula Valley, in the north of Israel. The park constitutes one of the most important bird migration routes in the world. Every migration season (autumn and fall), over half a billion migratory birds fly over this area. Thousands of them stay at the Agamon during wintertime while others opt to nest here during the spring and summer seasons.

The site is also home to the largest population of cranes in Israel.

It was also revealed that about 250 dead cranes were observed in the Hula Valley outside the Agmon, and about 30 injured cranes in the rest of the country, most of them in the Jezreel Valley.

In light of the growing outbreak of bird flu among the cranes in the area, Minister of Environmental Protection Tamar Zandberg on Sunday toured the site, together with representatives of the Nature and Parks Authority and the JNF.

Minister Zandberg said, “We are in the midst of a very acute outbreak of bird flu that affects cranes. This is actually one of the most serious injuries to wildlife ever in Israel. Thousands of cranes have already died from the disease, hundreds of thousands of chickens have been killed in chicken coops.”

It is not yet known if the disease has spread to other wildlife. Zandberg said that, together with all the authorities, the government ministries, the Nature and Parks Authority and the JNF, they are continuing to monitor the situation and pledged to deal with the outbreak in the “correct and environmentally friendly manner.”

The Nature and Parks Authority warned people to avoid contact with wild birds and to not touch any dead birds that they may find.


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