In a follow-up from Peru, The National Service of Natural Areas Protected by the State (Sernanp) announced this week the death of 3,487 South American sea lions (Otaria flavescens) in seven natural protected areas of the coast, which represents 3.29% of just over 105,000 of this species that inhabits the entire country.
In addition, the death of 5 fur seals (Artocephalus australis) has been reported, which represents 0.06% of the 8,000 fur seals registered in the natural protected areas of Peru.
This is from information from November 2022, which mainly covers the impact on the national reserves of Paracas (Ica); System of Islands, Islets and Guaneras Points (Lambayeque, La Libertad, Áncash, Lima, Ica, Arequipa and Moquegua) and Illescas (Piura).
Since the start of the H5N1 avian flu emergency, at least 63,000 dead birds have been detected in eight natural protected areas, the most affected species being boobies, pelicans and guanayes.
This virus is affecting countries like Bolivia, Uruguay and Argentina, and recently there have been reports of deaths of animals with symptoms similar to those found in Peru and diagnosed with bird flu, in northern Chile.
Faced with this situation, Sernanp is placing perimeter fences in some sectors where visitor access to the beaches is not restricted because they are tourist circuits, thus it has also been making an effective report on the affectation of wildlife.
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This field surveillance plan has mapped risk areas and recognition of places with the presence of dead animals, through permanent routes and the use of drones; In these places, specialist personnel and park rangers have adequate implements for the proper and safe management and disposal of deceased fauna, possibly affected by H5N1 Avian Influenza. In this way, it seeks to reduce the threats of contagion, as well as minimize the exposure of the fauna present in those areas.
Sernanp has reinforced surveillance and activated its alert systems in all marine-coastal areas of the Peruvian coast, since positive cases of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) were detected in wild birds in the northern hemisphere, focusing efforts on breeding areas. for sea lions in the last days.
Finally, Sernanp once again urges citizens to avoid approaching wildlife in general, keeping distance from specimens that are found dead or with some evidence of disease.
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