[Taxacom] Fall bird migration (a disaster this year in the Gulf?)

Jason Mate jfmate at hotmail.com
Fri Jul 16 09:45:07 CDT 2010

Not wanting to encourage a long thread nor downplay the magnitude of the disaster if the fishing industry remains shut for 2-3 seasons it could very well offset much of the damage to marine ecosystems. Ditto for tourism and other drilling operations. IMHO millions of humans going about their daily lives are more destructive than major disasters.

> From: kennethkinman at webtv.net
> Date: Thu, 15 Jul 2010 22:34:33 -0500
> To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: [Taxacom] Fall bird migration (a disaster this year in the Gulf?)
> Dear All,
>       BP may be making some progress, although such hopes have often
> been followed by more delays and setbacks.  But even if they catch a few
> breaks on the capping of this well and bad weather hopefully holds off a
> while longer, there is still going to be the previous 3 months of oil
> spilled into the gulf to contend with through the rest of this year, and
> lesser amounts (especially in the marine environments) for years or even
> decades to come).         
>        In the short term, how will the bird migration (in particular)
> through this area in late summer and into the fall overwhelm those who
> are trying to save large numbers of birds coming through this area at
> the worst possible time.  Most of those birds migrating north passed
> through when the spill was still relatively small in area (as well as
> amounts of oil in the water).  This fall will be quite a different
> matter.  And that is just the birds, while many other taxa will be
> migrating through the Gulf as well, although even more vulnerable
> because they are literally swimming through it 24 hours a day, not able
> to fly above it like some birds will be able to do (if they are lucky
> enough to feed in clean areas and then fly over the contaminated areas).
> Even that will be a matter of luck.  Certainly not a great time to be a
> turtle or marine mammal migrating through.  Not to mention fish and
> marine invertebrates trying to live in a Gulf of Mexico far more
> polluted than it was several months ago (back when agricultural runoff
> from the Mississippi River was the main concern).  What a difference a
> few months make.       
>          ---------Ken Kinman           
> P.S.  Will the numbers of migrating oil-soaked animals become so large
> this fall that the rescue efforts will be overwhelmed, so that triage
> will be required that must ignore the plight of some animals (especially
> the non-endangered) to save those which are more endangered.  And I
> wonder how one can easily tell the difference between an
> oil-contaminated immature white pelican (not endangered) from a brown
> pelican (whose feathers tend to be mostly "oily-colored" naturally).
> That alone could be a challenge, and if things get as bad as I suspect,
> saving oil-covered immature white pelicans may necessarily become a
> rather low priority compared to saving more endangered species.  
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