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‘No avian flu threat in Noida so far’

The outbreak of H5N8 influenza in the national Capital, forcing the closure of the Delhi Zoo, has made the authorities in the adjoining Noida spring into action, especially at a time when thousands of exotic migratory birds are set to throng the city. However, experts point out that there is no threat of bird flu in the region as of now.

The season for the arrival of migratory birds has set in and will last six months. 

Every year, Noida and Greater Noida play host to birds from Central Asian countries and Eurasia for six months, starting October. But bird enthusiasts from say only a few migratory birds have arrived so far in the local marshes, wetlands and forest regions. Adverse climatic conditions have delayed the arrival of birds this year. But as the temperature is likely to recede further in days to come, more feathered guests are likely to fly to the wetland and marshes in Noida and Greater Noida. 

The feathered guests start leaving these parts to return by March-end or April.

At present, the temperature is hovering around 32 degrees Celsius in Noida and Greater Noida and may finally start dropping only in November, says the meteorological office.

“It is still warm. Bird arrival is delayed this year. A few migratory birds have been spotted in Dhanauri, Surajpur and Okhla. As the weather gets cooler, we will get to see more birds,” said an avid birder and member of the Delhi-NCR Birders association. 

In the Okhla Bird Sanctuary, officers have reported less arrivals this time around. One can spot birds such as Northern Shoveler, Common Teal and Brown-Headed Gull, but in small numbers.

Talking about the outbreak of H5N8 influenza in Noida and Greater Noida, divisional forest officer HV Girish said: “No symptom or warning of bird flu has been recorded in the region yet.”

He added that avian flu cases were reported from Delhi Zoo only. “We have intensified our surveys in Noida and Greater Noida. There is nothing to worry about as of now. “We have formed a committee at the district level to conduct checks regarding bird flu in the area. The checks have been organised by the veterinary department,” he said.

Bird flu is a contagious disease, which mainly affects the poultry, and spreads from infected birds to other winged beings via respiratory secretions. It also spreads due to contamination of feed and water.
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