It takes a bit more than just soap and water to save a bird that has been in an oil spill, but the experts at International Bird Rescue are more than up for the challenge.
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We have all seen images of birds affected by spills. Saving a bird that has been in an oil spill is a meticulous process to restore the incredible waterproofing capabilities of bird feathers so that the bird can be returned to the wild and survive.
We’ve been using our planet’s rivers, lakes and oceans to ship crude oil from place to place since the beginning of oil, and while this is an effective way to transport large quantities of petroleum, the method runs the risk of oil spills—events that have wreaked havoc on marine ecosystems.
Experts at International Bird Rescue aspire to rescue and rehabilitate the birds who have been victims of oil spills and the team has saved thousands of birds, cleaning and healing them to fly another day.
Find out exactly why oil spills are so damaging to seabirds in this ReWild.
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Experts Disagree On Value Of Cleaning Oily Birds
“Since oil started gushing into the Gulf of Mexico over two months ago, we’ve all probably seen images of birds covered in black goo and of wildlife experts carefully cleaning, rehabilitating and finally releasing them back into the wild. It’s a small but very visible part of the huge story about the effects of all that oil on all kinds of animal life, and it’s a matter of debate.”
Waterbirds and a Changing Global Environment
“Many experts believe that critical hardships faced by pelicans, murres, and loons could be related to environmental shifts caused by warming oceans, pollution, collapsing fish stocks, and harmful algal blooms.”
King eider dies 16 years after rescue from oil spill
“It’s a big deal to know the duck lived for 16 years, at the far upper range of its life span, because so little data on the long-term survival of such birds exists, Holcomb said.
Rescuers also contend the recovery of the king eider offers at least anecdotal proof that the cost and effort of rehabilitating oiled birds pays off, something critics have long questioned.”
Species of all shapes and sizes, as well as the ecosystems where they exist, are on the brink of disappearing forever. But, we don’t have to let that happen. Seeker travels the world interviewing the researchers, engineers, scientists and adventurers who are dedicating their lives to saving, preserving and protecting the most vulnerable plants, animals, people and places on Earth.
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