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LDAF, LDWF staging assets for wildlife rescue and rehabilitation effort
May 6, 2010
The Louisiana Departments of Agriculture (LDAF) and Forestry and Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) are bringing assets into the recovery zone to support the mission of biologists and rehab specialists as they work to save oiled bird species and mammals.
Resources have been positioned in Plaquemines Parish to accommodate the anticipated need for wildlife rescue and rehabilitation efforts as oil moves into coastal marshes along the Louisiana coast.
“We are partnering again with Ag and Forestry to respond to a disaster of a different kind,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. “Dr. Strain has worked with us closely in hurricane response missions and the close partnership is at work once again.”
Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., said LDAF provided 3,000 animal crates to Plaquemines Parish for use in the response effort to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The crates will house shorebirds, migratory birds and various marsh mammals impacted by the oil spill. Those assets were delivered to LDWF officials on Thursday, May 6.
Reports on wildlife affected by the oil totaled four birds being treated at the Fort Jackson rehabilitation center in Buras. Two birds were reported dead as of mid day, Friday, May 7. LDWF biologists, along with biologists from federal and contracted recovery specialists, are making daily trips into oil impacted marshland areas to recover distressed wildlife.
“The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry stands ready to assist in the oil spill response in any way,” Strain said. The crates were previously used for pet evacuation during hurricanes Gustav and Ike.
The crates were shipped from an animal evacuation facility at Dixon Correctional Institute near Zachary and the Central Louisiana State Hospital in Pineville. The LDAF is monitoring the oil spill’s movement and studying the possible impact to domestic animals and agriculture.