from Richard Thomas of Birdlife International:

1) I believe I’m correct that one of the two dead ducks with H5N1 in Turkey was a Pintail.

2) Regarding the Nigerian outbreak: the commercial poultry farm where the disease was first reported is some 150 km from the (can’t recall spelling!) Hadeja-xxx wetlands. Between the two places are flu-free farms.

Testing of wild birds for H5N1 at the wetlands took place last October – all with negative results. BirdLife has a local NGO Partner in Nigeria who monitor the wetlands and they have seen no die-offs of wild birds.

3) We have been told that prior to the 2004 import ban on poultry imports to Nigeria, Day-Old-Chicks arrived by air at Kanu. The Agriculture Minister, Adamu Bello, said at a press conference a day or two ago that illegal imports from China, Turkey and elsewhere arrive daily in the country.

4) The Nigerian outbreak, whilst disasterous for Nigeria and its people, is the best opportunity the world has yet had for identifying the vector by which the disease is being moved around the world. It would be an international tragedy if a thorough and balanced investigation of all possible vectors was not carried out as a matter of extreme urgency; the opportunity must not be wasted. Already we have seen FAO and WHO leaning towards wild birds as the cause, but this doesn’t appear to be the most plausible explanation.