Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Oil Spill - what you can do to help wildlife

As the spill in the gulf continues to decimate the environment oiled animals are being picked up and helped by two important organizations.

The International Bird Rescue and Research Center has mobilized to the Gulf area and is dealing with oiled birds.  Oiled birds CAN be treated and released - the mortality rate is significant but a good percentage can be saved.  These people are very experienced with this sort of catastrophe.  Their work has helped to create procedures that save avian lives.  Click on their name to visit their site.

The Oiled Wildlife Care Network has set up at least four facilities in the gulf area to deal with oiled sea turtles, dolphins, manatees and other marine mammals.  OWCN works out of the University of California at Davis Veterinary College.  You can tell by the name that they specialize in this sort of work.  This is the group that gets called out no matter where in the world an oil spill has occurred.

The OWCN has information about volunteering on their front page, as well as a blog site.  If the oiled sea turtle numbers increase as expected the blog will probably not be kept up.

So far more birds have been affected by the oil spill but the OWCN is planning to start aerial and boat based searches primarily for the endangered sea turtles (such at the Kemp's Ridley).  The head veterinarian from Boston's New England Aquarium recently flew down to help. The NE Aquarium has a significant sea turtle rescue and rehabilitation program so Dr. Innis has had a lot of experience with sea turtles.

  • Pick one (or both!) of the organizations above and help fund the rescue efforts in the gulf. 
  • Contact your Senators and Representative and tell them to change the rules so this doesn't happen again (drilling CAN be done safer).
  • Reduce, reduce, reduce your use of oil.  Switch to a more fuel efficient car, take up bike riding (my bike has great saddlebags that can be used for trips to the grocery store or the drug store), or use public transportation (where available)

  • Oh, and feel free to boycott BP (too many website to link, just Google "boycott BP" if you want more information)

Soon back to our regularly scheduled programming.

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