Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

Posts Tagged ‘died’

November 5, 2009

Deadly sea foam subsides, 10,000 seabirds die

The Oregonian newspaper out of Portland, has a terrific and sad piece about the Sea Slime ’09 event that hit seabirds in the Pacific Northwest late last month.

The story is titled:
“Deadly ocean foam subsides, but more than 10,000 seabirds die”
:

The deadly foam that clobbered seabirds in the Pacific Northwest has subsided and several hundred birds rescued from the slime are being released. But the death toll worries conservationists.

More than 10,000 scoters, or seaducks, were killed by the first onslaught of algal foam that hit the Olympic Peninsula in mid-September, said Julia Parrish, marine biologist and seabird specialist at the University of Washington.

That toll — mostly surf scoters and white-winged scoters — amounts to 5 percent to 7 percent of their overall numbers on the West Coast, she said.

“That is a pretty significant bite into those species,” Parrish said. “I don’t think it will knock the population back for years. But at least with surf scoters — a species that’s in decline — conservation scientists are rather concerned about it.”

Parrish estimated that thousands more seabirds, including many red-throated loons, were killed in the second wave of foam off the Long Beach Peninsula about two weeks ago.

Read the entire Oregonian story

IBRRC helped rescue 450 birds last week and 150 have been washed and released. Another bunch of cleaned birds will be released back into the wild tomorrow near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

Photo of release by Tom Russert, in Marin County near the Golden Gate Bridge.

September 3, 2008

Deadly spill in Brazil: 260 penguins in care

A new oil spill along the coast of Brazil has claimed the lives of hundreds of penguins. All seem to be victims of a spill from an unidentified source. Most of the penguins found dead were in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina. (Photos: CRAM/Rodolfo P. Silva)

At least 260 live penguins are now in care. The Center for the Recovery of Marine Animals (CRAM), one of the Penguin Network member organizations which is a partnership co-managed by IBRRC and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), is deploying personnel and responding with local organizations to help with oiled birds. The key institutions involved are CRAM (MO FURG); Associacao R3 Animal; CETAS-IBAMA and the local Environmental Police (Policia Militar Ambiental). This response is supported by the Petrobras’ mobile units for oiled wildlife response, through their Center for Environmental Defense (CDA – Itajaí).

The responsible for the oil leak has not been found and the exact location of the spill had not been located, although it is believed to be offshore Santa Catarina.

When birds come in contact with oil, their feathers lose their ability to keep bird warm and dry. They spend more time trying to clean their feathers, ingest oil, lose strength and many will freeze to death without human intervention.

In the winter of the southern hemisphere, thousands of Magellanic penguins travel as far as Brazil. They travel north through cold ocean currents as they search for food.


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November 27, 2007

The top ten of sadness: Oiled bird species list

Species most often found covered in oil
(In order of impact)
1. Surf scoter
2. Western grebe
3. Eared grebe
4. Greater scaup
5. Horned grebe
6. Ruddy duck
7. Common murre
8. Common loon
9. Lesser scaup
10. Clark’s grebe

Dead oiled birds
(In order of impact)
1. Surf scoter
2. Western grebe
3. Common murre
4. Western or Clark’s grebe*
5. Brandt’s cormorant
6. Greater scaup
7. Eared grebe
8. Double-crested cormorant
9. Northern fulmar
10. Western gull
* Hybrid category was created because in some circumstances it is impossible to determine type of grebe

Source: California Department of Fish and Game