First evidence of fatal infection of white-tailed sea eagles with avian influenza

The most common unnatural causes of death in white-tailed sea eagles are lead poisoning and collisions with trains. During the winter of 2016/2017, however, many white-tailed eagles died in Northern Germany in circumstances unrelated to either cause. Instead, at least 17 white-tailed sea eagles were killed by avian influenza of the highly pathogenic virus subtype H5N8, as a team of scientists from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz-IZW) and the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute (FLI) demonstrated. Avian influenza may become a new threat for this highly protected wild species. The study was published in the scientific journal “Viruses”. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)