Public advised to avoid Noss, Ramna Stacks and Gruney due to bird flu

People are being advised to stop visiting three bird colonies in Shetland to limit the spread of avian flu.

NatureScot has given the advice covering to stop public landings on a total of 23 Scottish islands to give seabirds the best possible chance to survive and recover from the current outbreak.

The public is being asked not to make landings on the islands of Noss, of off Bressay, as well as Ramna Stacks and Gruney to the north of North Roe until chicks have fledged.

The prevention of landings in Noss is advised to last until the end of August for the breeding of puffins, Arctic skuas and Arctic terns.

For Ramna Stacks and Gruney, it is to last until mid-October for breeding gannets, storm-petrels and Manx shearwaters.

NatureScot says the lack of landings does not mean that nature enthusiasts cannot enjoy the season.

Visitors will still be able to enjoy the summer seabird spectacle by taking boat trips to the seabird colonies without coming ashore, or by viewing seabirds from a safe distance without entering nesting areas.

Eileen Stuar of NatureScot said: “Many of our Scottish islands are a haven for internationally important bird populations.

“With the avian flu crisis evolving so quickly, we have to respond to reduce the spread of this virulent disease.

“Tragically, this destructive disease could be with us for some time to come. In Scotland, with the new task force announced last week, we and our partners are committed to sharing our expertise and co-ordinating action on the ground.”

The situation will be under constant review and restrictions will be lifted as soon as possible, hopefully once the birds have finished breeding.


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