Gulf Coast Oil Spill???s Impact on Shorebirds

Posted by??Rob Kluin/Manomet

Shorebird Recovery Project??Map Shows Affected Sites and Species

The Louisiana oil??spill, considered to be the worst in American history, has the potential??to impact wildlife and people in devastating proportions. Louisiana??contains 40 percent of the United States’ wetlands, including the Delta??National Wildlife??Refuge at the mouth of the Mississippi. The Gulf Coast??provides critical habitat for hundreds of species of migrant bird??species, which use this area for breeding, wintering, refueling, and??resting on their long journeys.

???The Gulf Coast is a??rich, vital ecosystem that sustains many forms of life,??? said Charles??Duncan, Director of Manomet???s Shorebird Recovery Project. ???Wildlife??species already affected by other disturbances and climate-change??effects are facing??new and serious threats. The Shorebird Recovery??Project team at Manomet is saddened by this disaster and recommits to??its mission of recovering and sustaining healthy shorebird populations??across the Hemisphere.???

Dr. Duncan noted that??the??Shorebird Conservation Action Plans??produced by expert authors and working groups??under the leadership of the Executive Office of the??Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network??demonstrate unequivocally that??the regions??of the Gulf of Mexico at risk from the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling??disaster are of enormous significance to shorebirds. ??These plans??identify two dozen sites in the Gulf, east of the Texas-Louisiana??border, that host important??populations of at least one and often as??many as three of the U.S.???s highest priority shorebird species. ??These??include both beach-nesting species such as Wilson???s Plovers and migrants??like Marbled Godwit and Dunlin. ??Virtually all of these sites??are also??home to other wildlife species of enormous economic and recreational??value as well.

Manomet???s Shorebird??Recovery Project has developed a??Google??Map??that shows identified??sites and the shorebird species associated with them for the regions of??the Gulf of Mexico that are at risk from the Deepwater Horizon oil??catastrophe.????This map will be updated to reflect new developments with??the Gulf Coast oil spill.

For more information??about Manomet and its Shorebird Recovery Project,??click here.

Shorebirds like this Wilson’s Plover are in danger from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

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