Friday, November 09, 2007

What People in the Bay Area can do to help oiled wildlife

This letter came to me through a birding forum that I read. I hope that local readers might be inspired to help seek out oiled wildlife, so that trained professionals can try to save their lives.

Don't try to rescue an oiled animal yourself. Call the number listed below and let someone trained in working with oiled wildlife. The oil in question is very toxic to humans.

I'd like to issue a special plea for birders please to try and get to "places less traveled" where you know there to be birds. We got over 40 calls yesterday reporting one oiled surf scoter at Crissy Fields; one call reporting 40 oiled clapper rails in Anderson Marsh would really help sort out rescue triage.

The sooner, the better. The faster we can get these birds stabilized and washed, the higher their chances of recovery and survival.

Calls from the general public wanting to volunteer outnumbered bird reports yesterday by about 5-1. Volunteer opportunities for untrained members of the public are going to be very limited over the next few days but here's a critical one: please make a special effort to look for oiled birds in places where the general public doesn't go. Don't approach or touch the birds but call 877-823-6926 and provide the location (be very specific, GPS coordinates are great), the species, number of birds seen, whether dead or alive, and percentage of oiling.

Please leave your name and a contact phone number. We are inundated
and most of my veterinary and administrative coworkers have left Davis; of the ones of us still here who are answering this number, I'm the only one who's likely to know what a clapper rail is, so please be patient if you get through to a live person.

Under no circumstances should people touch or approach an oiled animal unless they have HAZWOPER training and are properly equipped. If you see someone doing this, please remind them that this is toxic material.

Many thanks.
Alison Kent
Davis, California
Oiled Wildlife Care Network
Wildlife Health Center
(530) 752-3809
To Report an Oiled Bird: (877) 823-6926

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yum, oiled wildlife! Too bad it wasn't olive oil.

We just heard this afternoon about your oil spill and wondering how close it is to you guys. I used to walk around the beaches in the middle east years ago when they had an oil spill, and even though it was a small one, we had oil on our beaches, shoes, clothes, tires and roads for about 6 months. It was truely, magnificantly gross.

Oil spills smell terrible and I hope you can help out and yet avoid it at the same time, if possible. The smell alone will make you sick, and that stuff simply doesn't wash off human skin, PERIOD. If you are lucky it will be eaten up by that special bacteria they spray on the beaches/rocks when they have oil spills in Alaska.



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