This is an urgent call to action.

We are experiencing changes in the environment, man-caused, or not...

Changes that manifest in unnatural
events of catastrophic magnitude...

killing hundreds, if not thousands
of marine birds each time they hit,...

and, they are hitting with increased
magnitude and greater frequency.

Because the events cannot be directly
linked to Man, no government agency
will help fund wildlife rescue efforts.

But, the birds CAN be saved...

We, wildlife rehabilitators, have the
skills and experience to save
thousands of marine birds at a time...

What we're lacking?

A united plan of action
and a war chest to back us.

WildRescue is calling upon agencies and wildlife organizations,
researchers, and scientists to take part in drafting an
emergency response plan for natural disasters that impact,
or threaten to impact, hundreds or thousands or marine birds
along the Pacific Coast - mainly California, Oregon, and Washington.

 

Click here to get involved.

 

To carry out our plan of rescuing the animals,
we must have emergency funds set aside, just for this.

A war chest.

WildRescue is asking others to contribute to the

 

Wildlife Disaster Response Fund

The money earmarked for this purpose is being held in a
separate account under EarthWays Foundation, Malibu, CA.

 

 

Here is how it can work.

Funds will be allocated, under strict guidelines, toward the actual costs associated with the rescue and rehabilitation of wild
animals that are victims of catastrophic natural disasters.

 

The guidelines are simple.

No salaries. No admin, no fundraising costs.
No office parties, or reimbursement of babysitters.

Simply, the actual costs of helping the animals...

getting to them, getting them out of harms way,
providing for them in care, their food and shelter,
and finally getting them back into the wild.

Besides tons of fish, it might actually include airfares,
motel stays, gallons of coffee, or hundreds of sandwiches.

 

The process will go something like this:

A crisis arises. The nearest wildlife rescue
organizations respond. As the need becomes
evident, they will apply for assistance from Fund.

Their application will be reviewed by a five-person
panel of wildlife emergency response experts.

Within two hours the group will be notified that
the request will be granted in part, or fully.

Funds will be sent out accordingly.

 

Currently, the review committee is made up of members
from International Bird Rescue and WildRescue.

 

The vision is to raise a large enough sum for an endowment.

Click here if you are interested in helping build an endowment.

 

The back-story ...

 

As wildlife rescuers, we are on the front lines. We are among the first to see trends in nature and in wild populations.

Since the early 1990's, disturbances and changes in the environment, causing widespread wrecking and mortality of marine mammals and birds, have increased and intensified along the Pacific Coast.

Currently, hundreds and hundreds of California brown pelican are turning up dead or dying along the California coastline.
Climate change and reduced food supply is to blame, according to the official report from resource managers.

This 2010 mortality event is a repeat of what we experienced 12 months prior - a massive die off in adult brown pelicans. Again, a shift in weather was to blame.

By mid-February, 2010 local rescue groups were so overburdened by the epidemic numbers of pelicans coming to their centers, some groups had to put a halt on accepting ne patients. Hundreds of starving pelicans remained in the wild with no one to help them.

This is just one of many examples of why we must come up with the means of responding to massive casualties.

In October, 2009, an event occurred that inspired us to take action and at least take some steps toward developing and implementing a plan for large-scale wildlife disaster response capabilities.

In October, Duane and I led a rescue mission with the U.S. Coast Guard to save hundreds of seabirds caught in an unusual algae bloom off the coast of Washington. Loons, grebes, scoters, and murres were washing ashore in droves – wet, cold, and dying. The local rehab center was overrun, only able to treat 100 or so. Thankfully, International Bird Rescue in Fairfield agreed to take on the task of washing and caring for a few hundred of them.

We were in a race against time. Marine birds must be rescued from the elements within hours, not days.

Unfortunately, in the absence of a response plan and the funds to back it, vast stretches of beaches were soon filled with birds that were either dead or dying… which was absolutely needless and heartbreaking.

We mounted what effort we could, calling upon the Oregon Humane Society, Petco, a private foundation, and the Coast Guard.

In the end, we helped save about 500 birds while more than 10,000 perished.

What killed these birds?

At first, scientists were puzzled - the birds were soaked to the skin, like they’d been in an oil spill.

But, what was a mystery at first, turned out to be the same product from a species of algae that caused a mass stranding of seabirds in Monterey just two years earlier.

In November, 2007, nothing like it had been seen before. The ‘sea foam’ killed hundreds that year.


It is clear that such events will undoubtedly repeat themselves when the conditions are just so – warmer than usual ocean temperatures, low salinity, and choppy, windswept seas.

What is even more alarming is that anomalous events like these seem to keep recurring – some with such frequency they are almost seasonal, as is the case with domoic acid along the California coast.

It was not until the mid 1990s that domoic acid became a significant concern for wildlife - where hundreds of animals became ill and died from a neurotoxin, domoic acid, produced by, again, a species of algae.

Domoic acid was basically unheard in the wildlife rescue world until the mid-90s. Now, it threatens the lives of hundreds of marine birds and marine mammals every single year.

Looking back on all of these events, had there been the equipment, the manpower, and financial backing in place when these disasters struck, thousands of animals could have been saved.


Looking forward, it seems clear we will continue to experience environmental changes and disruptions of entire ecosystems that will amount to massive wild casualties.


It is time for us to be ready for the next one.

 

 

 

A timeline of natural disasters (in progress)

December 2009: Pelican wreaking and mortality event. Oregon and California. Thousands of CA brown pelicans birds impacted. Weather and reduced food supply was determined to be the cause. (News:1, 2, )

October, 2009: Unusual bloom of algae off Washington state causing a widespread mortality event. Over 10,000 seabirds perished. (News: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

December, 2008: Pelican wreaking and mortality event. Oregon and California. Thousands of CA brown pelicans birds impacted. Weather and reduced food supply was determined to be the cause. (News:1, 2, 3)

November, 2007: Unusual bloom of algae in Monterey, CA causing hundreds of seabirds to wash ashore. Report. (News:1, 2)

Spring, 2007: Significant mortality event involving California sea lions, pelicans, dolphins, and whales caused by domoic acid.(News: 1, 2)

April, 2006: Domoic acid sickens and kills pelicans in Southern California.(News:1,)

May, 2005: Mortality event involving California sea lions and dolphins in Southern California. Domoic acid blamed.(News: )

April, 2004: 20 sea otters dead in Morro Bay - domoic acid blamed.(News:1 )

May, 2003: Mortality event involving California sea lions and dolphins in Southern California. Domoic acid blamed.(News: )

2003: Study reveals sea otter deaths related to cat feces. (News:1)

February, 2002: Large mortality event involving California sea lions and pelicans caused by domoic acid.(News:)

2001: Unusual mortality event in Monterey, CA involving pelicans and other seabirds. Domoic acid was detected. (News:)

2000: Significant mortality event involving California sea lions caused by domoic acid.(News:)

1998: Unusual mortality event along the California coast involving California sea lions was linked to domoic acid. (News: 1)

1998: Looking into America's largest marine dead zone. (News: 1)

June, 1993: Mass mortality event involving young California brown pelicans. El nino and scarce food supply blamed.

April, 1992: Scientists warn, global warming means wrenching change at an unprecedented pace.(News: 1)

1991: Unusual mortality event in California involving pelicans and cormorants. This was the first well-documented case where domoic acid was to blame. (News: 1)

1988: NASA's James Hansen testifies on climate change. (News: 1)

1973: Interesting article on polltions toll in Florida waters. Blue-green algae. (News: 1)

 

Related information:

2009: EPA to set limits on excess nutrients that cause harmful algal blooms