New FluBird Project (NFB)
Wetlands International is the co-coordinator to this project with Erasmus University and 10 other partners throughout Europe. The NFB project aims at setting a Network for Early Warning of Influenza viruses in migratory birds in Europe. Our role is to provide data and expertise on high risk bird species, coordinate surveillance in high risk sites and build capacity for monitoring waterbirds.
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Wetlands International is the co-coordinator to this project with Erasmus University and 10 other partners throughout Europe. This project aims at setting a Network for Early Warning of Influenza viruses in migratory birds in Europe. Our role is to provide data and expertise on high risk bird species, coordinate surveillance in high risk sites and build capacity for monitoring waterbirds.
This network largely relies on existing collaborations resulting from FP5-NOVAFLU, the FP6-EDEN, the French MigrAv project between AI virologists in Europe on the one hand and international ornithological organisations active within and outside Europe on the other hand.
This project will construct migratory route maps and set up systematic sampling from healthy wild migratory birds. The NFB will therefore provide insight in terms of volume and timing of migration, as well as key sites for the species that pose the highest risk of transmitting HPAI viruses to poultry in Europe. This project will lead to a mortality monitoring scheme to detect unusual mortalities and the introduction of avian influenza viruses.
All the data will be merged into an early warning and risk assessment system, meaning that virological, epidemiological and ornithological expertise will be gathered in one.
The extensive network of individuals and organisations in the field of waterbird monitoring run by WI in the framework of the International Water bird Census represents a very strong link to the ornithological community. NEW-FLUBIRD will closely liaise with the relevant EU and other international organizations as well as policymakers involved in the combat of animal and human influenza threats posed by AI viruses from migratory birds. It will also liaise with the UNEP-CBD endorsed and UNEP-CMS lead Scientific Task Force Avian Influenza, through Wetlands International’s membership to this taskforce.
Finally, NEW-FLUBIRD will seek integration with global early warning systems developments like GLEWS of FAO and WHO (Global Early Warning System) and GAINS of WCS (Global Network for Avian Influenza Surveillance). GLEWS currently is lacking a wild bird/biodiversity component for which the proposed GAINS is seeking to provide a solution. NEW-FLUBIRD will be the European contribution to GAINS and as such become an integral part of the GLEWS lead on by FAO and WHO.
For more information, contact Nicolas Tubbs
Erasmus MC, the Netherlands;Wetlands International, the Netherlands;Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Germany;Kalmar University, Sweden;National Veterinary Institute, Technical University of Denmark;National Veterinary Institute, Norway;Instituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie, Italy;Station Biologique de la Tour du Valat, France;Veterinary Laboratories Agency, the UK;Centre de cooperation internationale en recherche agronomique pour le developpement, France;Wildfowl and Wetland Trust, the UK;Oiseaux Migrateurs du Palearctique Occidental, France