Oiled Wildlife Response Information and Ways Audubon Volunteers Can Help Wildlife and Birds at Risk
As oil slicks and tar balls continue to come ashore on western Panhandle beaches and wildlife habitat, Audubon of Florida’s volunteers will be interested to get clarification on specific roles they may play in response. According to the Coast Guard-Sector St.Pete and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, all oiled wildlife responses will be handled only by experienced and trained professionals. Citizens should NOT travel to oil-impacted locations with the intent to help if they have not registered, been trained or been called or assigned tasks. This will be counterproductive.
However, while that wildlife response role for volunteers is limited, local response needs are almost limitless. All volunteers should register either with www.VolunteerFlorida.org or other major organization like www.AudubonofFlorida.org, AND affiliate themselves with a local organization coordinating non-professional response efforts, such as wildlife rehabilitators who may be called upon to receive wildlife for rehabilitation after it has been cleaned of oil. This will facilitate matching needs with volunteers efficiently.
Audubon volunteers are currently being solicited and engaged in shorebird and seabird nesting stewardship project on both coasts. Audubon recognizes there will be heavy impacts to beach-nesting birds in the northern Gulf and therefore is helping organize and field volunteers to help assure Florida’s nesting colonies of the same species are as successful as possible. Nesting occurs from April through September and therefore requires a sustained and labor intensive involvement from volunteers. Please consider responding positively to this request for your help. Go to: http://fl.audubonaction.org/site/MessageViewer?em_id=5901.0&printer_friendly=1