Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
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Response of nearshore seabirds to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

Duration

June 2010 - December 2011

Narrative

This research will be a component of the NRDA avian injury assessment at the Gulf of Mexico – Mississippi Canyon oil spill. We will oversee the capture, sampling, and placement of transmitters on targeted shorebirds, seabirds, and beach nesting birds. Telemetry will allow monitoring to determine the rate of mortality in sublethally oiled birds. The primary species of interest are brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis), royal tern (Sterna maxima), and black skimmer (Rynchops niger). Satellite tags with activity sensors, VHF tags with mortality switches, microGPS tags, or geolocators will be deployed to evaluate survival and movement. The type of device deployed will be chosen based on the body mass of the individual. The mass of the device will not exceed 3% of the individual’s body mass. Whenever possible, carcasses of deceased birds also will be retrieved. Health assessments of individuals that are “sub-lethally” oiled also will be conducted. Parameters to be measured will include but not be limited to total polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), glucose concentrations, and inorganic phosphorus. Data collected will be used to estimate mortality rates of adult birds, determine movement patterns, and determine habitat use patterns.

Research Products and Activities

Presentations

  • Evers, D., P.G.R. Jodice, P. Frederick. 2011. Assessing injury to colonial waterbirds from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Oil Spill Symposium, Waterbird Society Annual Meeting, Grand Island, Nebraska
  • Ferguson, Lisa; Jennifer Goyette; Patrick Jodice; David Evers. Post-breeding movements and habitat use of Black Skimmers (Rynchops niger) in southern USA. 2nd World Seabird Conference, Cape Town, South Africa
 

Current Staff

Federal Staff: 2

Masters Students: 5

Phd Students: 2

Post Docs: 1

University Staff: 2

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 11

Scientific Publications: 37

Presentations: 141

 

Personnel

Funding Agencies

  • USFWS

Links

South Carolina Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Cooperators

  1. Clemson University
  2. South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
  3. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  4. U.S. Geological Survey
  5. Wildlife Management Institute