Avian influenza in the Hula Valley: "One-fifth of the crane population in Israel has been affected so far"

Raya Soraki, acting CEO"For the Nature and Parks Authority, today (Thursday) held a special tour in the Hula Valley area with the professionals and inspectors of the Nature Authority following the increase in cases of bird flu and the threat to wild birds in Israel.

According to Whistler, "The Nature and Parks Authority has begun a process of scanning and monitoring through field inspectors and in coordination with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Environmental Protection of additional water bodies in the north in the Jezreel Valley, Springs Valley, Zevulun Valley and Carmel Coast, to see if bird flu spreads to these areas. From a tour of the Hula Valley, it appears that the population of cranes affected in the Hula Reserve is significantly smaller compared to those in the Hula Reed due to their concentration in the Reed. At this point the food supply to the cranes continues in order to prevent as much as possible their dispersal to other areas".

Whistling adds that, "The assessment of the situation we performed shows that there is a large amount of carcasses in the Hula Valley. It is currently estimated that one-fifth of the crane population in Israel has been hit so far and we expect to reach about 25-30 tons of crane carcasses.".

Meanwhile, in light of the large number of bird flu cases in the Hula Valley, the Nature and Parks Authority has closed the Hula Nature Reserve to visitors for safety reasons, as of now until next Tuesday, December 28 (inclusive).

The Nature and Parks Authority reiterates that, as a rule, contact with wild birds and their secretions should be avoided during this period, and in the event that species of injured or dead birds are identified in the area, this should be reported immediately to the Nature and Parks Authority’s hotline number 3639 *.

Photo: Shlomit Shavit Nature and Parks Authority

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