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Home  |   Our Work  |   Research and Education

Research and Education

Oiled wildlife response and rehabilitation continues to be a growing and fast-changing field. It is exciting and challenging at the same time.

We strongly feel that the working professionals are the ones who are responsible for advancing their field. Therefore, research devoted to improving this profession is consistent and remains an important aspect of International Bird Rescue.

International Bird Rescue's research program primarily focuses on improving the field of oiled wildlife care and response and the general rehabilitation of aquatic birds through practical application of new techniques, clinical trials and post-release studies. We also work with other wildlife experts and specialists on many projects.

Current research projects include:

•    Revising and developing new sea bird diets,
•    Developing protocol for the control of airborne fungal disease in oiled birds,
•    Researching long-term alcid rehabilitation techniques,
•    Improving caging for difficult species (Loons and Grebes),
•    Assisting avian specialists in post release radio telemetry studies on rehabilitated oiled birds and
•    Collecting blood normals for each species.

Much of our knowledge on oiled bird care is learned during actual spill responses where many animals are presented for our care, where we are given the immediate opportunity to apply new techniques and gain information on managing large numbers of birds. The life of birds always takes precedent over our research. Our goal is to continually improve the science of oiled wildlife rehabilitation. We also co-sponsor an Effects on Oiled Wildlife Conference. EOW website (More info coming soon)

Oil ingested by wildlife can damage internal organs such as the liver and kidneys, as well as destroy tissue in the digestive system. The development of medical treatments can reverse these effects and are crucial to insure the survival of these animals.

Research papers of interest:

30 years of Oiled Wildlife Response Statistics (220 kb PDF)

Common Murre case study following 1999 Stuyvesant Petroleum Spill (645 kb PDF)


Become an Intern

Get hands on training through International Bird Rescue's Internship Program.

History of Oiled Seabrids

Download PDF (370KB)

How Oil Affects Birds

How even a small amount of oil on birds' feathers can be deadly.

Grebe Movement Study

Download the movements of Western & Clark’s Grebes study paper (PDF)