Avian Flu

Current strains of high pathogenicity avian influenza (HPAI H5Nx) spread more rapidly and aggressively than previous variants, causing substantial impacts on both domestic and wild birds, and even infecting wild mammals. Since 2021, these strains have exhibited unprecedented global spread among seabird populations. The dynamic and unpredictable nature of avian influenza, particularly when it infects naïve populations, can lead to unforeseen consequences, and continuous outreach and information dissemination is needed. General biosecurity guidelines for wildlife professionals have been published by the WOAH/FAO Network of Expertise on Animal Influenza (OFFLU), the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) and other key organizations have also provided valuable resources. However, these guidelines are often broad and may lack the specificity about Procellariiformes needed by professionals working directly with ACAP species or within their habitats, such as researchers, protected area managers, tourist guides, and onboard observers. Moreover, when encountering suspected HPAI cases in remote locations, these professionals frequently lack the basic knowledge or materials required to properly document and investigate such instances. Continuous efforts are essential to disseminate the most accurate information that supports the development of local and regional emergency plans. To this end, the ACAP intersessional group of experts on epidemiology, disease risk assessment, and management—established during AC13—plays a continuous role in advising ACAP on issues related to the ongoing high pathogenicity H5N1 avian influenza panzootic. In November of 2023 we updated the “Guidelines for working with albatrosses and petrels during the high pathogenicity avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 panzootic” and we provide within the ACAP website an up-to-date map and list of cases in albatrosses, petrels, and shearwaters around the world. Recently, during the 7th International Albatross and Petrel Conference that happened in Mexico (IAPC7, May 2024), the group developed a hybrid workshop on HPAI H5Nx and Procellariiformes, that is now available on a virtual platform, with the intention that the recommendations from this group should be widely disseminated to ensure broader outreach.

Please stay alert for new resources published on this page by the ACAP intersessional group. As new information becomes available and our guidelines are updated, further communication from diverse perspectives will be essential. These initiatives are crucial to preventing the human-mediated spread of HPAI viruses to ACAP species, enhancing surveillance measures, and accurately assessing impacts on ACAP species.

Guidelines for working with albatrosses and petrels during H5N1 avian influenza outbreak
Directives pour les activités auprès d'albatros et de pétrels pendant l’épidémie d’influenza aviaire H5N1
Directrices para trabajar con albatros y petreles durante influenza aviar H5N1

Updated November 2023. 


Q&A session and wet lab training for working with albatrosses and petrels during the on-going high pathogenicity H5N1 avian influenza outbreak 

IAPC7 - Thursday, 23 May 2024, 1:30 PM – 6:00 PM. More information on: https://www.islas.org.mx/iapc7/

The workshop aligns with and expands upon the principles detailed in ACAP´s "Guidelines for working with albatrosses and petrels during the on-going high pathogenicity H5N1 avian influenza outbreak", aims to improve reaction and mitigation efforts concerning HPAI for albatrosses and petrels, and bolster international capacity for early detection and response while minimising further spread.

Watch the workshop here


ACAP Session includes:   00:00 Introduction
                                                12:40 HPAI in albatrosses and petrels
                                                52:26 Biosafety in practice
                                                2:01:40 Vaccinating California Condors
                                                2:30:05 HPAI vaccination in seabirds

DISCLAIMER: Surveillance measures dedicated to high pathogenicity avian influenza (HPAI H5Nx) diagnosis, monitoring, and reporting MUST be always in close dialogue and communication with the official veterinary services in each country of jurisdiction of seabird colonies and areas of aggregation.



  Notifications of HPAI outbreaks to the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) in Procellariiformes (updated 29 April 2024). ACAP Parties are marked in blue.


Summary of HPAI H5N1 detections in Procellariiformes (updated 29 April 2024)
Species   Site Date Latitude  Longitude
Northern Giant Petrel1 Macronectes halli St Helena Bay, South Africa 16/09/2021 -32.74 17.99
Great-winged Petrel Pterodroma macroptera Silverstroomstrand, South Africa 12/11/2021 -33.59 18.36
Great-winged Petrel Pterodroma macroptera Cape Town, South Africa 15/10/2021 -33.87 18.49
Great Shearwater Ardenna gravis St. John's, Canada 11/05/2022 47.59 -52.70
Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus Isle of Rum, UK 07/04/2022 57.00 -6.33
Northern Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis Opinan, UK 19/09/2022 57.68 -5.78
Northern Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis Dornoch, UK 21/09/2022 57.87 -4.01
Northern Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis Opinan, UK 31/10/2022 57.68 -5.78
Northern Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis San Luis Obispo, USA 13/12/2022 35.29 -120.66
Northern Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis Dartmouth, Canada 01/01/2023 44.66 -63.55
Northern Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis St. John's, Canada 01/01/2023 47.59 -52.7
Northern Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis Sable Island, Canada 16/02/2023 43.93 -59.9
Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus Itanhaém, Brazil 09/03/2023 -24.25 -46.89
Sooty Shearwater Ardenna grisea At sea near Putu, Chile 25/03/2023 -35.16 -72.61
Sooty Shearwater Ardenna grisea Playa Chica Cartagena, Chile 01/04/2023 -33.55 -71.61
Black-browed Albatross1 Thalassarche melanophris Colaco, Chile 20/04/2023 -41.78 -73.52
Southern Giant Petrel1 Macronectes giganteus Playa Guanaqueros, Chile 27/04/2023 -30.20 -71.43
Waved Albatross1 Phoebastria irrorata Playa Las Gaviotas, Peru 22/05/2023 -8.49 -78.86
Sooty Shearwater2 Ardenna grisea Puerto Santa, Peru 22/06/2023 -9.00 -78.65
Northern Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis Whitehaven, UK 13/07/2023 54.56 -3.56
Peruvian Diving Petrel Pelecanoides garnotii Antofagasta, Chile 27/07/2023 -23.63 -70.40
Northern Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis Longyearbyen, Svalbard (Norway) 09/08/2023 78.23 15.72
Sooty Shearwater Ardenna grisea Pichilemu, Chile 10/08/2023 -34.39 -72.02
Short-tailed Shearwater2 Ardenna tenuirostris North Slope Borough, Alaska (USA) 25/08/2023 71.29 -156.78
Northern Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis Suðuroyarbanki, Faroe Islands (Denmark) 05/09/2023 61.56 -6.06
Antarctic Prion Pachyptila desolata Itanhaém, Brazil 06/09/2023 -24.20 -46.81
Northern Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis Nólsoy, Faroe Islands (Denmark) 13/09/2023 62.01 -6.67
Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus Bertioga, Brazil 13/09/2023 -23.78 -45.95
Northern Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis Disko Bay, Greenland (Denmark) 14/09/2023 68.938 -52.457
Waved Albatross1,2
Phoebastria irrorata Moche, Peru 25/09/2023 -8.17 -79.03
Peruvian Diving Petrel Pelecanoides garnotii Mejillones, Chile 25/09/2023 -23.09 -70.44
Waved Albatross1 Phoebastria irrorata San Jose, Peru 07/10/2023 -6.97 -79.57
Southern Fulmar Fulmarus glacialoides Stanley, Falkland Islands/Islas Malvinas3 30/10/2023 -51.69 -57.86
White-chinned Petrel1 Procellaria aequinoctialis São Sebastião, Brazil 06/11/2023 -23.79 -45.57
Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus Praia grande, Brazil 08/11/2023 -24.01 -46.04
White-chinned Petrel1 Procellaria aequinoctialis  Ubatuba, Brazil 10/11/2023 -23.52 -45.19
Southern Fulmar Fulmarus glacialoides Pebble Island, Falkland Islands/Islas Malvinas3 11/11/2023 -51.31 -59.58
Black-browed Albatross1 Thalassarche melanophris Saunders Island, Falkland Islands/Islas Malvinas3 20/11/2023 -51.20 -60.10
Black-browed Albatross1 Thalassarche melanophris Steeple Jason Island, Falkland Islands/Islas Malvinas3 28/11/2023 -51.05 -61.17
Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus Bertioga, Brazil 16/12/2023 -23.846 -46.132
Wandering Albatross1 Diomedea exulans Bird Island, South Georgia/Islas Georgias del Sur3 09/02/2024 -54.006 -38.049
Wandering Albatross1 Diomedea exulans Prion Island, South Georgia/Islas Georgias del Sur3 09/02/2024 -54.026 -37.257


1 ACAP-listed species.
2 Detection in three individuals collected at the same site and date.
3 A dispute exists between the Governments of Argentina and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland concerning sovereignty over the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (Islas Georgias del Sur y Islas Sandwich del Sur) and the surrounding maritime areas.

The Agreement on the
Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

ACAP is a multilateral agreement which seeks to conserve listed albatrosses, petrels and shearwaters by coordinating international activity to mitigate known threats to their populations.

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