Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

Archive for October 2010

October 14, 2010

Audubon Gulf spill report: Birds still at risk

Our friends at Audubon, the national bird advocacy group, has an excellent report out this week entitled: Oil and Birds: Too Close for Comfort. The 28 page illustrated report details the lasting effects from the nation’s largest maritime disaster from the BP oil leak on the Louisiana’s Coast and its avian residents.

The Audubon Society says the residual oil and chemicals from BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster still pose substantial risks to birds that breed or nest along hard-hit areas of the Louisiana coast.

“People shouldn’t be fooled into thinking that the danger to birds and the environment is over just because the oil stopped flowing,” said Audubon President & CEO David Yarnold. “It’s going to take years of monitoring just to understand and start dealing with the long-term impacts of the oil — and they’re just part of a much bigger threat.”

The offshore oil drilling rig exploded and sank in April 2010 about 45 miles off the Louisiana coast. After 87 days of leaking 200+ million gallons of crude, the rig was finally capped. More than 8100 birds were officially affected by the spill. Of those, 6100 were collected dead. IBRRC worked with Tri-State Bird Rescue to help stabilize, treat and clean as many oiled birds as possible. More than 1,200 birds were released back to the wild.

See the Audubon press release.

To read the full report, download it here. (PDF 4 MB)

October 14, 2010

Bittersweet "Great Penguin Rescue" in Africa

Dear friends and supporters,

Many of you may remember that IBRRC in partnership with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and in cooperation with The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) managed the June 2000 Treasure oil spill in South Africa where we cared for over 20,000 live oiled African Penguins.

It was truly an international collaboration with many of our IBRRC staff and response team members playing key roles in the management of the spill. I personally was the manager of the center we set up in Salt River, a suburb of Cape Town, SA. This is where the bulk of the oiled penguins – 18,000 out of the 20,000 that were in care.

Early on we realized that we needed more experienced supervisors to help manage the care of massive numbers of penguins so we called upon zoos and aquariums from around the world to lend penguin specialists to us. To our delight the zoos came to our rescue and sent us some amazing people to help us in our task of getting these penguins rehabilitated.

One of those people was Dyan deNapoli who has written her account of the Treasure spill in a new book called “The Great Penguin Rescue“. Please consider purchasing and reading her account of the spill.

One final note- The African Penguin is currently experiencing a dramatic decline in numbers that started before the Treasure spill but has since plummeted even further. This decline is so dramatic that the species is quickly becoming endangered and there is great international concern that it could become extinct in the wild in a very short time. Why? Climate change, over fishing, ocean pollution and oil spills! That’s the bottom line.

SANCCOB is now actually raising many of the chicks from Robben Island, one of the key penguin colonies in South Africa, because the parents have to travel too far to find available fish due to water temperature and current changes. Therefore the chicks are left to die. That is how serious this is and for those of us who personally washed and cared for many of those birds this is devastating and heartbreaking news to say the least. So again, please consider purchasing Dyan’s book and consider supporting the organizations like SANCCOB that are doing their best to help the African Penguin in its time of need.

Thank you!

Jay Holcomb
Executive Director, IBRRC


October 1, 2010

Support the birds: Buy a Gulf Oil Spill t-shirt

To commemorate the historic 2010 Gulf Oil Spill, IBRRC is now selling a limited edition t-shirt to honor the birds and wildlife responders who worked so hard to save animals in this disaster.

It is available for purchase at IBRRC’s online store.

This special t-shirt will have a limited printing of 1,000 shirts.

Designed by response team member, Rebecca Dmytryk Titus, the front of the t-shirt shows images depicting the many species of wildlife that were rescued and rehabilitated. They include individual birds such as the baby brown pelican, the Magnificent Frigatebird, a young Roseate Spoonbill, and an adult Brown Pelican sporting a numbered pink leg band, used to identify individual birds after they are returned to the wild.

Species depicted: Northern Gannet, Laughing Gull, Least Bittern, Tricolored Heron (AKA Louisiana Heron), Sandwich Tern, Green Sea Turtle, Brown Pelican, Reddish Egret, King Rail, Magnificent Frigatebird, Black Skimmer, Roseate Spoonbill, Royal Tern, and Great Egret.

These Anvil pre-shrunk organic tees are short sleeve chocolate colored 5.0 oz. 100% Organic Cotton. They come in Small, Medium, Large, X-Large and 2-XL. All shirts are $25 plus shipping and handling.

The RIGHT sleeve has printed: International Bird Rescue Research Center.

All proceeds will support the lifesaving work of International Bird Rescue Research Center. Purchase one now online at our Bird Rescue Online Store. Payment processed through PayPal. You don’t need to have a PayPal account.

T-shirt image/design by Rebecca Dmytryk copyright 2010