It came as no surprise to me to learn that my good friend Jay Holcomb and his team of wildlife rescue and oil spill experts from International Bird Rescue Research Center in Fairfield have been activated to help with that HUGE oil spill from that blown-out rig in the Gulf of Mexico.
Jay and I first met while we were cleaning birds during the 1971 San Francisco Bay oil spill when I was curator at the Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek, CA. Jay continued on in the wildlife/oil spill business and is now, in my opinion, THE oiled wildlife expert. When there’s a big oil spill anywhere in the world, the call usually goes out for Jay to bring his team of experts to help them set up rescue and bird cleaning operations. Good luck, my friend, you’ve really got your work cut out for you on this one! /Gary
I just got this News release from Bird Rescue this morning:
Fairfield, California, based Bird Rescue Team Activated to Aid Local Wildlife Groups at Louisiana Oil Spill
Fairfield, CA, April 29, 2010 – A Team of Aquatic-Bird Rescue Specialists from International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC) in Fairfield, Calif., has been activated in an effort to support local groups preparing for oil spill impact on wildlife in Louisiana.
The team of four wildlife rescue experts will be led by oil spill veteran and IBRRC Director, Jay Holcomb, who has responded to over 150 oil spills around the world, including the Exxon Valdez oil spill. The team will be working to support local wildlife groups and other organizations as preparations continue for the potential of wildlife casualties from the Deepwater Horizon spill.
“This is a real team effort between all groups involved,” says Holcomb. “While International Bird Rescue has a great deal of experience at managing large-scale oiled wildlife rescue efforts, our primary role here will be to support local groups and to work together to make sure we do everything we can to minimize the impact on local wildlife.”
As well as Holcomb, the team will include a team veterinarian, rehabilitation manager and capture specialist. Once on the ground, the International Bird Rescue Team will work with local organizations to determine the need for additional deployments in the coming days or weeks.
Jay Holcomb — Jay has been the Executive Director at International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC) since 1988 and is based in Fairfield, CA. Jay has led IBRRC’s oiled wildlife rescue team on over 200 oil spill responses around the world, including spills in France, Germany, Spain, Norway, Estonia, Mexico and the Galapagos Islands as well as in the US.
Heather Nevill –- Heather is a native of Louisiana and is IBRRC’s Response Team Veterinarian as well as the Veterinarian for IBRRC’s Los Angeles Bird Rescue Center.
Julie Skoglund –- Julie is the Rehabilitation Manager for IBRRC’s Los Angeles Bird Rescue Center. She has responded to over a dozen oil spills and recently managed the rescue of over 400 brown pelicans in Southern California>
Duane Titus -– Duane is a member of IBRRC’s Emergency Response team as well as a Capture Specialist for California-based WildRescue. Duane is a Facilities and Search and Capture Specialist.
For more information please visit http://www.ibrrc.org