Valdivia Reserve devastated: bird flu and sea lions claim the lives of more than a thousand swans

According to information provided by the reserve’s advisory committee, more than a thousand black-necked swans have died in Valdivia’s Carlos Aventis Nature Reserve this year due to bird flu and attacks by sea lions. .

The advisory group submitted a report to the Los Rios Regional Council detailing “primary nesting sites for black-necked swans in South America.” In this context, they emphasized the importance of national action to protect the Ramsar wetland, the first of its kind in Chile.

Jose Araya, president of the committee, expressed concern about the significant decline in the number of black-necked swans. If there were more than 22,000 in 2020, and the average is now around 5,000, the current figure barely reaches 1,800.

Araya stressed that bird flu and predation by sea lions had killed about 1,100 black-necked swans in the reserve.

A new phenomenon of bird flu this year, nearly 800 swans died of bird flu. “As of July, we’ve had 300 swan carcasses extinguished due to sea lion predation,” Araya said. “Has been killed by wolves.

Mink presence and human activities, including motorboat use and real estate development, also threaten this iconic protected species. These factors may have contributed to the migration of these swans, which are a symbol of the nature reserve.

The advisory body called on the Ministry of the Environment to approve the secondary water quality standards for the Valdivia River Basin. The code was designed to monitor and protect the water, especially after an ecological disaster in 2004 when the Cruces River wetlands were polluted by industrial waste, killing black-necked swans.

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