Visit South Africa's official Covid-19 resource portal

UPDATE: Western Cape Avian Influenza and dying seals

3 Nov 2021

The Western Cape Disaster Management Centre is aware of reports of dead and dying seals in several areas across the West Coast of the province. Between Laaiplek and Dwarskersbos in the Bergrivier Municipality region, 144 seals were buried this morning with another fifty at Elandsbaai.

The Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Anton Bredell, says the provincial government and all its partners have been looking into the matter over the past few weeks.

“The dying seals are not linked to the Avian Influenza outbreak. Rather it appears that the seals are dying due to malnutrition. The situation is still being investigated. In addition, we are urging the public not to feed any seals despite the concerns about malnutrition. The animals remain wild creatures and must not be made dependent on human interaction for survival.”

Bredell says the Avian Influenza crisis in the Western Cape is not yet over but the numbers of dying birds continue to decline which is a welcome sign.

“Yesterday roughly 150 dead birds were found across the province in the affected areas. The bulk of the dead birds was on Dyer island where 122 Cape Cormorants were found.”

To date a grand total of 16 514 wild dead birds have been reported, of which the vast majority affected is the Cape Cormorant.

Efforts continue to address the ongoing outbreak. The public is also urged to continue to be vigilant and report unusual mortalities in any birds to their local municipality, conservation authority or state veterinarian. The SPCA and NSPCA may also be contacted. Contact details for state veterinarians are available at https://www.elsenburg.com/services-and-programmes/veterinary-services-0#s=Animal-Health-and-Disease-Control

Related News

3 Dec 2021
Penguin Palooza 2021 – Celebrating Collaboration

CapeNature and the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) will premiere a virtual celebration of the sixth annual Penguin Palooza on Saturday, 4 December 2021 at 10h00, across the organisations' social media platforms.

24 Nov 2021
UPDATE: Western Cape Avian Influenza outbreak and Seal deaths

The outbreak of Avian Influenza amongst wild seabirds in the Western Cape has seen an estimated 21172 dead birds with 13195 birds dying on Dyer Island off Gansbaai. The Cape Cormorant remains most affected with 20558 dead Cape Cormorants recorded to date.

17 Nov 2021
CapeNature’s Stony Point now daily on WildEarth TV

CapeNature’s Stony Point Nature Reserve is one of the latest daily experiences broadcasted by the award winning WildEarth channel. Stony Point is home to one of the largest successful breeding colonies of African penguin in the world with roughly 3 600 African penguins.

16 Nov 2021
UPDATE: Western Cape Avian Influenza outbreak and Seal deaths

The outbreak of Avian Influenza amongst wild seabirds in the Western Cape continues, with Dyer island in the Overberg that continues to be the biggest problem area.

12 Nov 2021
CapeNature and Dyer Island Conservation Trust – Strategic partnership yields multiple conservation benefits in the Overberg region

The African penguin is on the brink of possible extinction in the wild within the next decade. Partnerships are vital in the ongoing effort to stabilise the African penguin population numbers. 

9 Nov 2021
UPDATE on Western Cape Avian Influenza

The Western Cape Disaster Management Centre continues to manage an ongoing outbreak of Avian Influenza amongst wild seabirds in the province.