"Recently, there have been reports of death of large number of birds, including several migratory birds in north Indian states. This is a matter of serious concern and the field rangers should notify cases of unnatural death of migratory birds," stated a circular served to TN forest officials.
To prevent the transmission of diseases large migratory birds like pelican, painted storks and migratory duck varieties are being monitored. "There have been no alarming deaths so far, but we are on high alert," said a TN forest official.
He added that all bird sanctuaries and tiger reserves in the state have been put on alert and instructed to follow a standard operating procedure (SOP). Surveillance for mortality of wildlife is monitored and carcass will be sent for state and central labs, the official said.
KVRK Thirunaranan, founder of The Nature Trust, said, "As of Tuesday, the situation is normal with Vedanthangal and Pallikaranai bird sanctuaries. Our bird watchers tracking migratory birds have been sensitised on the issue and the forest department has given a SOP to be followed."
Conservation scientist K Brinda, from the Biodiversity Conservation Foundation, said, "Data analysis and documentation is an issue with zoonotic infections and it's high time we develop the labs and take up advanced research works on Zoonotic infections that mutate between animals to humans."
Long term study is crucial for better understanding of bird flu, swine fever, corona and leptospirosis, she added.