HPAI outbreak in Sandwich terns in 2022
The breeding season of 2022 was characterised by a massive outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) among Sandwich terns (Thalasseus sandvicensis) in the North Sea region. In October 2022, the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat (CWSS) organized an online workshop to discuss the possible drivers of the outbreak, its consequences on Sandwich tern populations and future management options. The primary purpose of the workshop was to bring together a wide variety of multinational stakeholders, including biologists, virologists, site managers, and decision makers to share their knowledge and to better prepare for future outbreaks.
The agenda included updating the participants on the current knowledge and status of the recent HPAI outbreak and the measures taken in different colonies and countries, followed by knowledge exchange on the general effect of bird flu on wild birds and transmission mechanisms. Participants from Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, France, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Poland and Denmark shared information on their data, experiences, and management measures taken during the HPAI outbreak in Sandwich tern colonies. Subsequently, the participants discussed (i) steps to improve the state of knowledge; (ii) management options; and (iii) data for population modelling. A summary of presentations and discussions can be found in this report.