Post-release behavior of surf scoters (Melanitta perspicillata) following an oil spill: An experimental approach to evaluating rehabilitation success

Waterbirds
By: , and 

Links

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.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Post-release behavior of surf scoters (Melanitta perspicillata) following an oil spill: An experimental approach to evaluating rehabilitation success
Series title Waterbirds
DOI 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2012.11.027
Volume 42
Issue 1
Year Published 2013
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Western Ecological Research Center
Description 12 p.
First page 39
Last page 50
Country United States
State California
Other Geospatial San Francisco Bay