Protect Wild Birds = Protect Habitats = Protect Humans
Climate change and vulnerability of ecosystems have led to the emergency of different pathogenic agents, among which Avian influenza virus (AIV) and West Nile virus (WNV) have major impact on wild birds and human health. Wild birds play an important role as reservoir hosts and as transport shuttles for zoonotic arboviruses and their arthropod hosts to Central Europe, including the CBR. One of the most challenged problems in natural reserves is the effective monitoring of the wild birds health, even though monitoring studies can be used as an early warning system for the incursion of a number of zoonotic pathogens and decreasing the chance for potential epidemy of zoonotic diseases. The overall objective of this project is to ensure the conservation and sustainability of wild birds populations by monitoring the presence of pathogenic and zoonotic viruses in protected water habitats of Vojvodina Province and Bács-Kiskun county. As a benefit of the project, monitoring of presence and type of present viruses among wild birds provides information on possible threat of new epidemics, and it keeps the national agricultural productions informed about the possible threat for different kind of domestic poultry production. The project also raises awareness, strengthens the capacities for control of emerging zoonotic viruses and improves the scientific knowledge base. Outcomes include cross-border monitoring of wild birds and analysis resulting in a Risk assessment and feasibility study providing future risk management directions, as well as a GIS database to serve as bases for nature conservation policy initiatives and further scientific development. Also, the partnership intends to continue cross border cooperation even after the project. Target groups include the region’s inhabitants, forest and nature reserve management authorities, environment protection institutions, scientific community and research institutions, public authorities, policy makers, and public health sector.