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6400Re: FLORIDA ANNOUNCES IMPROVED OILED BIRD RECOVERY PLAN

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  • steve_holzman
    Jul 2, 2010
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      This is good, but I think folks need to understand the difficulty involved. I spent 2 weeks in the Mobile sector doing GIS mapping to support the field crews searching for oiled birds. The hotline system in place (calls go to Houston, then to Mobile, then to USFWS dispatch in Mobile, then to the closest crew) leaves something to be desired, but even so, the bird reported may only be slightly oiled, and when they arrive on site, the bird is capable of unrestricted flight and continually flies out of reach. It's only when they are severely oiled that they are easier to capture. They are doing the best they can, but it's extremely difficult if not near impossible to capture a fully flighted gull, tern or pelican. Most crews are 2 person crews, but there is usually someone else on-site to help corral the bird. I know rehabbing oiled birds is controversial, but we as an agency or even as a society can't just let them die without trying, and all the oiled bird capture costs are or will be borne by BP. At the same time as we do this, we should also stress protection of nesting birds on beaches (sometimes from the very crews that are cleaning the beaches), and in the future we should really try to keep the beaches free of free-roaming cats. Sadly, they kill more birds on a yearly basis than ANY oil spill.

      Steve Holzman
      North High Shoals, GA

      --- In nflbirds@yahoogroups.com, "Kathleen" <kcarr@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      > FYI. DEP just sent this out this afternoon. Here's a link to the PDF.
      > Text version is below.
      >
      > http://www.dep.state.fl.us/deepwaterhorizon/files/070110_oiled_bird_plan\
      > .pdf
      > <http://www.dep.state.fl.us/deepwaterhorizon/files/070110_oiled_bird_pla\
      > n.pdf>
      >
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