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Rum bird restrictions lifted

Friday 16th September 2022, 2:57pm

NatureScot has removed the temporary suspension of access to the traverse of the Rum Cuillin from today, Friday 16th September.

The temporary restriction was put in place earlier in the summer to help protect the internationally important Manx Shearwater colony from the H5N1 strain of avian flu, and was due to run until 14th October, to cover the breeding season, when the birds move back out to sea.

Continued monitoring of the colony has shown, after the death earlier this year of an infected bird, that there is no evidence of catastrophic avian flu impacts in the Rum Manx Shearwater colony.

This reassuring news and the overall decrease in levels of shearwater activity at the colony as the end of the breeding season approaches means that the risk of incidental spread of avian flu is much lower than earlier in the season, although it may still be present in the colony.

Please note that there are still birds at nest in and around their burrows who have not yet fledged and are not able to fend for themselves if disturbed.  The advice to anyone going above the 450m contour on Barkeval, Hallival, Askival and Trollabhal is to follow the main walking routes, keeping away from the shearwater burrows and not to stay for prolonged periods around the colony, including wild camping.

Information about the Rum National Nature Reserve can be found here: https://www.nature.scot/enjoying-outdoors/scotlands-national-nature-reserves/rum-national-nature-reserve