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Tracking progress in oiled seabird rehabilitation

Photo credit:Ramonin

Sea Alarm is coordinating an exciting project on post-release survival rates of rehabilitated seabirds, which has been made possible through financial support provided by the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF). Motivated by Colin de la Rue’s fundraising efforts in his Eight-Up campaign, ITOPF decided to assist Sea Alarm financially with one of the projects on its wish list. The study aims to analyse the ring recovery data of oiled birds that were treated and released by the main rehabilitation centres in Belgium, the Netherlands and United Kingdom during the period 1980-2010. It is hoped that this long term analysis would reveal any positive trend in the length of post-release survival of such animals as a result of improving rehabilitation protocols. The study is in full swing and being carried out by scientists from the Institute of Forest and Nature Conservation (Belgium), the Royal NIOZ (Netherlands) and the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) in close cooperation with Sea Alarm and the rehabilitation centres in these countries. The study takes only guillemot data into consideration as this is the species for which sufficient data are available to allow a scientific analysis. The results will be published in an international peer reviewed journal in the course of 2012. Sea Alarm is extremely grateful to ITOPF for this support.

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