Post-release survival of surf scoters following an oil spill: an experimental approach to evaluating rehabilitation success

Marine Pollution Bulletin
By: , and 

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Abstract

Birds are often the most numerous vertebrates damaged and rehabilitated in marine oil spills; however, the efficacy of avian rehabilitation is frequently debated and rarely examined experimentally. We compared survival of three radio-marked treatment groups, oiled, rehabilitated (ORHB), un-oiled, rehabilitated (RHB), and un-oiled, non-rehabilitated (CON), in an experimental approach to examine post-release survival of surf scoters (Melanitta perspicillata) following the 2007 M/V Cosco Busan spill in San Francisco Bay. Live encounter-dead recovery modeling indicated that survival differed among treatment groups and over time since release. The survival estimate (±SE) for ORHB was 0.143 ± 0.107 compared to CON (0.498 ± 0.168) and RHB groups (0.772 ± 0.229), suggesting scoters tolerated the rehabilitation process itself well, but oiling resulted in markedly lower survival. Future efforts to understand the physiological effects of oil type and severity on scoters are needed to improve post-release survival of this species.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Post-release survival of surf scoters following an oil spill: an experimental approach to evaluating rehabilitation success
Series title Marine Pollution Bulletin
DOI 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2012.11.027
Volume 67
Issue 1-2
Year Published 2013
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Western Ecological Research Center, San Francisco Bay-Delta
Description 6 p.
First page 100
Last page 106
Country United States
State California
Other Geospatial San Francisco Bay