Lost wetlands push bird flu into farms


THE loss of natural wetlands is bringing wild and domesticated birds into ever closer contact, spreading bird flu to farm animals. So says a report being prepared for the United Nations Environment Programme. UNEP estimates that farmers and urban developers have drained half the world’s wetlands in recent decades. Migrating wild ducks, geese and other wetland birds are forced to visit farm ponds and paddy fields, where they infect local birds, says David Rapport, honorary professor of ecosystem health at the University of Western Ontario, Canada. Rapport, lead author of the forthcoming report,
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