UC Davis Prof. Questions Oil Spill Rescue Efforts – CBS13.com

Posted by Henry Taksier, June 12, 2010

Photo from AP

“SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – As crews continue to rescue animals from the gulf oil spill, a UC Davis professor says some are questioning whether the efforts are a waste of time and resources.

Some say the costs are too high and results are futile, but wildlife experts say it would be inhumane to do anything less for the oiled birds. While UC Davis Professor Dan Andersen supports the massive effort to save thousands of oiled birds in the gulf, he and other scientists question just how effective rescue efforts really are.

“Some American ornithologists are saying it’s useless, you might as well put them out of their misery. I don’t subscribe to that,” says Andersen.

But, Andersen was one of several scientists behind a 1996 study that found only 10 percent of birds tagged after a 1990 Southern California spill survived.

“We found that half the birds died after the first year, and none came back to reproduce,” explains Andersen.

More vocal opponents say rescue efforts do little more than warm hearts.

So far, of 663 birds in the Gulf spill have been found dead, 442 have been captured alive, and only 40 have been cleaned and released. But supporters like Veterinarian Guthrum Purdin say rescue efforts are a must.”

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