Swan’s father was worried about the Alster swans

July 11, 2022 – Isabell Wüppenhorst

As usual at this time of year, the little gray swan chicks are now swimming in the Outer Alster. They’re doing well, says Father Swan. Nevertheless, he is also tense – and there are two reasons for that.

The first swan chicks are already sailing the Alster happily, but the Hamburg swan expert deals with it
slightly worried. And that mostly has to do with people. “The animals are doing very well at the moment. The issue of distortions remains problematic. It is still the case that one or the other breeding pair has left the Outer Alster and moved to distant regions, ”said the German swan father Olaf Nieß. press agency in Hamburg. The reason for the flight is the intense recreational activities of Hamburg residents and their guests in the waters of the Hanseatic city. “In fact, this has been the case since the first year of Corona, when we had the most disturbance and the boats in the water were 50 centimeters apart. There were bad scenes.

Currently, air-filled vessels in particular – for example stand-up paddles and large bathing islands –
still problems. “But it’s not as intense as it was in the first year of Corona.” Recreational athletes should now especially z
Animal and
Less disturbing plant life. There are floating reed islands that blend in harmoniously with nature and at the same time reasonably control “traffic movement” without looking like a barrier. “Still, the goal is that everyone can enjoy the water and relax there,” said Nieß. “We didn’t want chains with buoys. We are very discreet about it and we want to build it as a living process, not just fencing off areas. ‘

Recreational athletes run too close to the nests

Without these barriers, many recreational athletes would run their boats or boards too close to waterfowl nests and thus also to aquatic plants such as reeds. “If someone does, it’s all fun. But if 200 to 250 do it in one day, it’s not fair anymore, ”said the father of the swan. Many people are not even aware of the consequences of their actions. However, penalties should only be used as a last resort. “We want to take people with us with our request and therefore we are looking for understanding.” In the past two years, many waterbirds have moved their breeding sites or changed their behavior. “The animals have become more vulnerable and are now withdrawing more clearly. Sometimes they take their free swimming into the night when it’s quieter. “

Nevertheless, according to Nieß, a few swan chicks can be observed. “We assume that there are about ten breeding pairs throughout the Alster and its tributaries. We cannot say how many brood the swans will have. But so far everything looks fine and is growing every day.” The animals are also a bit late as they were released from the winter quarters a few days later than usual to protect themselves from bird flu.

Avian flu is a problem again

Avian flu is another problem that Nieß and his team are closely watching. He was quite tense, because the first cases of bird flu appeared not far from the Hanseatic city. Last application from the consumer protection office 15 Matters on the Elbe island of Neuwerk, which belongs to Hamburg. Also be Further numerous dead birds have been discovered and are random Suspicious samples are also currently being processed at the Friedrich Loeffler Institute (FLI) examined. The animals affected so far include this Mainly sandwich terns and gulls, according to authorities. Father swan Nieß is a little tense then: “She is beautiful The situation is simply not what the looming epidemic looks like African swine fever and bird flu. We are very work hard to monitor it. We want to be there before the curve. “

Avian flu, also known as bird flu, is an infectious disease that mainly affects waterfowl and other
occurs in birds. Birds in Hamburg are currently not at risk from bird flu, according to the consumer protection office. In the Hanseatic city, FLI does not currently confirm any infections. “In this respect, no action is currently planned for the rest of the city, and there is currently no particular threat to the Alster swans.” The swan act in Hamburg has a centuries-old tradition. The office of the Swan Father has existed since 1674. Swans are one of the symbols of the Hanseatic city.

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(Source: dpa)

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