Département de l’Agriculture
Sante Animale
Strategies et Polítiques
Systeme d’exploitation agricole
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Archives de fiches, 2011

Les oiseaux aquatiques sauvages, l’influenza aviaire et la biodiversité

© FAO/Munir Uz Zaman

21 mars 2011 - It is a well established fact that anthropogenic movements of poultry and poultry products, within and across national borders, remains the primary source of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1 HPAI) spread. Furthermore, through numerous field studies, domestic waterfowl have been identified as the H5N1 HPAI reservoir.

Although to date wild waterfowl have not been fully determined to be reservoirs for H5N1 HPAI based on surveillance efforts, a number of scientific studies suggest that individuals of some waterfowl species can act as disease carriers, including members of the Anatidae (ducks and geese) and Charadriiformes (shorebirds and gulls). However, the relative importance of migratory and non-migratory wild waterfowl as H5N1 HPAI vectors remains less clearly determined, with suggestions of differing roles of wild birds in different flyways.

It is for this reason that recognizing the diversity of migration strategies and the multitude of species that may play a role in avian influenza virus transmission, a better understanding of wild bird biodiversity, migration routes, habitat use, and daily movements is necessary.

Additionally, in the context of globalized trade, free-market capitalism, dwindling natural resources, urbanization, and climatic changes, stakeholders across the globe need to take into account the need to protect biodiversity worldwide. There are numerous important linkages between human, domestic, and wild animal health, with these being closely associated with the ecosystems we share. The private and public sectors stand to gain substantial societal benefits, including environmental and public health, from protecting biodiversity and health of wildlife. With species extinctions running at about 1,000 times the background rate, some biologists contend that the world is currently witnessing a biodiversity crisis.

On 23—25 February 2011, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) participated in the Global Conference on Wildlife titled “Animal Health and Biodiversity―Preparing for the Future” in Paris, France. This conference addressed the benefits and challenges related to coordinated management of health risks at the interface between animals (domestic and wild), humans, and ecosystems. FAO collaborated with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), and the World Health Organization (WHO) in organizing this event.

Both FAO and OIE have been working closely through organizational structures and joint areas of interest. For example, the OIE-FAO network of expertise on animal influenzas (OFFLU) works to reduce the negative impacts of animal influenza viruses by promoting effective collaboration between animal health experts and with the human health sector, strengthening the functioning of laboratories, from local to global.

FAO of the UN is an institutional partner of World Veterinary Year (Vet2011).