This work presents the results of studies aimed at assessing the median and maximum distances covered by wild mallards (Anas platyrhynchos; n = 38), hypothetically infected with the high pathogenicity avian influenza virus (HPAIV) during spring migrations, using GPS-GSM tracking and published data on the susceptibility to HPAIV infection and duration of shedding. The model was based on the assumptions that the birds shed virus in the absence of clinical signs during infectious periods (IP) that were assumed to last 1 day (IP1), 4 days (IP4), and 8 days (IP8) and that each day of migration is a hypothetical day of the onset of IP. Using the haversine formula over a sliding timeframe corresponding to each IP, distances were estimated for each duck that undertook migration and then the maximum distance (Dmax) was selected. Ten mallards undertook spring migrations but, due to the loss of signal in the GPS-GSM devices, only three ducks were observed during autumn migrations. The following ranges of Dmax values were calculated for spring migrations: 124–382 km for IP1 (median 210 km), 208–632 km for IP4 (median 342 km), and 213–687 km for IP8 (median 370 km). The present study provides information that can be used as a data source to perform risk assessment related to the contribution of wild mallards in the dispersal of HPAIV over considerable distances.
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Vol. 60 • No. 1s