Otters, Seaducks and Oil – Oh My!

Sea Otter Mother with Pup (Photo Courtesy of Mike Baird, The Otter Project flikr group)

This was a very busy week in the news for (and issues that might relate to) oiled wildlife.  Some highlights:

Duck Winter Survival Rates Stabilize More than a Decade After Exxon Valdez Oil Spill: Although thousands of birds and mammals were killed immediately following the Exxon Valdez oil spill of 1989, the long-term effects of oil exposure on the region’s wildlife remain a concern.

Falklands Dispute: Argentine Sovereignty Won’t Solve the Problem (The Huffington Post): For the sake of the marine environment and the Magellanic penguin, Britain and Argentina need to ratchet back oil development on the Falkland Islands, not promote further exploration.

Obama to Open Offshore Areas to Oil Drilling for First Time (NY Times): The Obama administration is proposing to open vast expanses of water along the Atlantic coastline, the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the north coast of Alaska to oil and natural gas drilling, much of it for the first time, officials said Tuesday.

French court upholds oil spill ruling versus Total (Times of Malta): A French appeals court yesterday upheld key elements of a verdict against oil giant Total over a disastrous 1999 oil spill in a ruling with wide implications for the global oil industry’s environmental responsibilities.

“Olive” the Oiled Otter (Facebook): Olive is thriving on the eastside of Santa Cruz!

California Sea Otter numbers down for third year (SJ Mercury News): The fragile California Sea Otter population is in decline for the third straight year, according to a comprehensive year-end report issued by The Otter Project.

Avian Flu Risk Still Present (FAO): International task force concerned over declining support for H5N1 monitoring, despite disease persistence and spread.

Enteric bacterial pathogen detection in southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis) is associated with coastal urbanization and freshwater runoff: Journal article in Veterinary Research by Melissa Miller and colleagues.

Update on California’s Brown Pelican Event ( Since January 1, 2010, IBRRC has treated nearly 550 pelicans at its two bird rescue centers in California.

And lastly, to celebrate the spirit of yesterday:

– Mike

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