Avian influenza is now affecting seals

There is still no report of bird flu-infected seals in Gaspé, unlike in the Bas-Saint-Laurent sector.

In recent weeks, the Quebec Marine Mammal Emergency Response Network has received several reports of harbor seal carcasses that have been found on estuary shores.

Wildlife health specialist at the University of Montreal’s College of Veterinary Medicine, Stephane Laer, determines that the number of harbor seal deaths is 8 times higher this year than in previous years with 70 recorded cases.

This isn’t the first time this species of seal has been affected by bird flu, but it’s a first for a Bas-Saint-Laurent:

Stefan Laer explains harbor seal contamination by bird flu-stricken eiders that occupy the same area.

In Gaspé, there is no more mortality than in past years. However, there are more gray seals that appear to have survived bird flu. Stéphane Lair explains this in two ways:

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