– Avian flu (H5N1) impact: Beyond COVID-19, avian flu has devastated poultry, raising egg prices by 70% and affecting wild birds worldwide.
– Widespread impact: The flu has spread across five continents, infecting hundreds of species, including endangered ones like California condors.
– Unprecedented threat: This "panzootic" outbreak defies norms, attacking wild birds and mammals due to the virus's unique biology.
– Mortality in wild birds: Unseen before, the virus causes substantial deaths across a wide range of wild bird species, posing a new challenge.
– Global scale: Originating in 2021, this outbreak killed over half a billion birds globally, including wild birds, but tracking is challenging.
Study challenges: Avian flu complicates studies of endangered and small birds, like Caspian terns and California condors, already facing threats.
– Bird decline: Nearly half of global bird species decline due to factors like habitat loss; avian flu exacerbates their struggle for survival.
– Restoration hurdles: The flu adds to challenges in restoring bird populations, compounding issues from habitat loss, predation, and invasive species.