Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

Posts Tagged ‘field’

November 14, 2007

When humans don’t help: Dog walkers

Notes from field:

One of the big problems we’re seeing in this tragic oil spill in San Francisco Bay is the HUMAN element. Many of our wildlife rescue members have reported running into many people ignoring “closed beach” signs. These thoughtless folks continue to run and walk dogs (on and off leash) along stretches that should be off limits.

Oiled birds are super STRESSED, cold and often starving. The last thing they need is the extra visual stimuli that comes from joggers and dog walkers. They view any intruder into their space as predators and will use the last bit of energy to escape back into the water.

At Pt. Richmond, numerous dog walkers continue to have dogs off leash in sensitive areas. In one account, a dog owner had his dog swimming in the bay and managed to scare off at least 50 oiled birds. This careless act kept birds in need of care out reach of wildlife rescue personnel.

We had another report from a crew member who was shocked beyond belief. He watched as a dog owner ran his big dogs on an oil covered beach near Golden Gate Fields in Albany. The owner then pulled out a ball and began throwing it into the oily bay for the dogs to fetch. When asked to keep dogs off the beach, the owner responded in a very unpleasant fashion.

Please! For the sake of these oiled animals and others, keep your dogs away from sensitive areas on the bay and beaches. LEASH YOUR DOGS at all times around the affected areas, including jetties, boat docks and low tide areas.

Let our crews capture these frightened birds before they succumb to hyperthermia and eventual death.

November 10, 2007

Frustration spilling over

This is a large oil spill response for IBRRC. Not it terms of the gallons spilled but the amount of oiled birds being seen by the public and our response team members.

There is great frustration when we can not get to each bird we see oiled. Some of them are hard to catch; others can difficult to reach in spots where mud, currents and obstructions prevent us from safely approaching.

There’s also been a number of dedicated but frustrated folks who have spotted oiled birds in the field. When they called the original 877-823-6926 number to report their findings, the number was busy or not operating. I can tell you I’ve tried the number a couple times and it kicks over to voice mail.

Note: The new new number to report oil birds is (415) 701-2311

Honestly, the system isn’t perfect but if I know our partner, Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN), its working quickly to solve this problem. With the governor’s state of emergency declaration Friday, maybe the solutions will be here sooner.

Let’s hope.