Landings and guidance on avoidance of disturbance of seabird colonies due to outbreak of bird flu

Guidance to avoid landings where sea colonies are due to Bird flu outbreak
13 Jul 22

As you may have read in the press, there is a serious outbreak of bird flu (H5N1) in seabird colonies in Scotland and large numbers of birds have died. We have been asked by NatureScot to help in two ways:

by not handling dead or dying seabirds or allowing a dog to touch them.

by not disturbing seabird colonies. Many are in locations where landing is not possible. However, the following are places where a landing might be made from a boat and you are asked not to do so this year:

  • the Forth islands except for Inchcolm
  • Mousa and Noss in Shetland
  • Swona in the Pentland Firth
  • the Treshnish islands in Argyll

The reason for avoiding sea bird colonies is that this reduces the risk of additional stress on already vulnerable birds. We like to take photographs of puffins but please do not try to do so this year. If a dog needs to go ashore at one of the islands then keep it on a leash.

You can read NatureScot guidance for site managers that includes fuller information for visitors as well as more general advice.