Mali is a key location for avian influenza surveillance in West Africa: 3 of its neighbouring countries (Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast and Niger) have already been infected with H5N1 HPAI and it hosts the second largest wetland of Africa, the inner Niger delta (IND). Stretching over 4,119,500 hectares in the midst of the Sahelian zone, IND supports high numbers of migrating birds, either Palearctic (such as garganey or Northern pintail) or Afro-tropical (such as white-faced whistling-duck or ruff ). Many wild birds are also hunted widely by local fishermen and hunters in the delta to feed local markets, especially in Mopti. This trade, along with the free ranching of domestic birds on wild birds visited areas, facilitates the collection of biological samples for avian influenza monitoring and represents a good observatory of avian influenza virus ecology at the wild bird/ domestic bird/ human interface.
Mali is part of the GRIPAVI research project on ecology and epidemiology of avian influenza in developing countries.
Within this project the following activities will be undertaken in Mali :