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Groups Recruiting Volunteers to Clean up to 400 Wildlife Species at Risk From Oil Spill

A stunning 400 species of birds, marine mammals, turtles, land mammals and reptiles could be hurt by the Deepwater Horizons oil spill, which is now just 6-7 miles off Louisiana. The current strong winds may blow the muck to shore by Friday morning, the latest report says.

Nola.com obtained a list of 400 species put in harm’s way by the oil from the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources. Bob Marshall writes that this is a particularly horrible time for the oil spill–right when birds are migrating through or nesting. The soon-to-be oiled area is:

vital wintering or resting spot for more than 70 percent of the nation’s waterfowl, is used by all 110 neo-tropical migratory songbirds, and produces 50 percent of the nation’s wild shrimp crop, 35 percent of its blue claw crabs and 40 percent of its oysters. Ressearchers say 90 percent of all the marine species in the Gulf of Mexico depend on coastal estuaries at some point in their lives, and most of those estuaries are in Louisiana.

The New York Times has a great chart highlighting which species are most at risk, mostly migrating birds. The brown pelican was just removed from the endangered species list.

The Oiled Wildlife Care Network–a collection of wildlife responders across California–has sent its director down and is collecting info on volunteers.  They say it’s too late to train you to clean up animals but you could become a “convergent volunteer.” Specialized groups or state rehabber associations do oil training seminars in preparation for a disaster like this.

The International Bird Rescue and Research Center is on alert, too. They regularly offer classes in Fairfield (northern California) and San Pedro (Southern California) for people to become volunteers.

The International Bird Rescue and Research Center is on alert, too.

Audubon of Florida is recruiting volunteers for the onslaught of oiled birds to be cleaned up at the Center for Birds of Prey in Maitland, FL.

The unified command for oiled wildlife is 800-557-1401.

The Lousiana Wildlife Rehabilitators Association directs residents to call (866) 557-1401 for the Oiled Wildlife Unified Command Center. Not sure which prefix is correct, but it’s the same number.

The feds say they’re setting up staging areas to protect the shoreline in Biloxi, Miss., Pensacola, Fla. Venice, La., Pascagoula, Miss., and Theodore, Ala.

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