Increased Bird Deaths from Oil Spill

Although BP has claimed that the Gulf Coast Oil Spill has been stopped, there is still tons of damage to be dealt with.  Recent studies have shown that over 3,000 birds in the gulf have been either covered or killed by the oil.  Until now, the harm has seemed to be minimal, but seeing as a bird preserve was just hit by the spill, the numbers have increased greatly.  Off the Louisiana coast, hundreds of pelicans and terns have been found completely covered.  Also, Louisiana’s state bird, the brown pelican, was just taken off the endangered species list.  Now, things are looking even worse for its population.  Being covered by oil is so harmful because when birds preen or clean their feathers by picking at them with their beaks, they intake the oil.  Even a small amount that gets into their body can cause problems with their body temperature regulation.  After the report that 3,128 birds have been either killed or covered by oil, we need to realize that the immense damage goes well beyond just the actually spilling of the oil.

Our own Mass Audubon society at the Pleasant Valley Bird Sanctuary are extremely concerned about the situation.  They are doing everything they can to help, and so should you!  For more information on what they are doing, and for ways you can help, visit: http://www.massaudubon.org/news/index.php?id=1440&type=news.

Also, for the full article killed and covered birds from the BP oil spill, visit: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/07/3000-birds-killed-covered-oil-gulf.php

by Gillian Fisher, lenox unplugged Summer Intern

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