3,000 seals killed by bird flu on Sweden’s West Coast

Scientists estimated that around 700 seals were hit by bird flu, but they now believe as many as 3,000 animals could have been killed by the bug. (iStock)
Scientists estimated that around 700 seals were hit by bird flu, but they now believe as many as 3,000 animals could have been killed by the bug. (iStock)
Up to 3,000 harbour seals along Sweden’s west coast may have been killed by bird flu, Swedish researchers fear.

Authorities first received reports of dead and dying seals along the coast in April, but by the time they reached the shore many of the seals had disappeared, Swedish Radio News reports. Scientists think this is because dead seals sink, rather than float on to the land.

Tests were carried out on some of the bodies that were recovered, and bird flu was determined as the cause of the mass deaths. At first scientists estimated that around 700 seals were hit by the epidemic, but they now believe as many as 3,000 animals could have been killed by the bug.

The area most hit by the outbreak was the southern part of the archipelago along the west coast, south of Gothenburg and towards Halland. More money has now been allocated to look into the deaths, and Swedish researchers are now in contact with their colleagues in Denmark and Germany to try to find out if it is a wider problem.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada:  Fighting to protect bird habitat in North America’s boreal forest (SLIDESHOW), Eye on the Arctic

Finland: EU drops seal-protection complaint against Finland, Yle News

Sweden: Sweden’s mountain hares changing fur color too early, Radio Sweden

United States:  Polar bears sniff pawprints to find clues about potential mates: study, Alaska Dispatch

 

Radio Sweden

For more news from Sweden visit Radio Sweden.

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.
Netiquette »

Your email address will not be published.