March 21, 2002

Luckenbach spill toll reaches 1,866

Additional volunteers needed to help treat oiled birds

An oil spill that remained a mystery for several months has now been attributed to a freighter that sank almost fifty years ago off the northern California coast. The San Francisco Bay Oiled Wildlife Care Center in Cordelia has been receiving oiled birds, mostly common murres, since November 24, 2001.

"Although the source of the oil has been found, we have not stopped rescuing oiled birds," said Scott Newman, a veterinarian with the Oiled Wildlife Care Network.

The intake of oiled birds has once again increased and the network is appealing for volunteers, especially those who have already gone through the OSPR/OWCN HAZCOM training, to call the Center at 707-207-0380, extension 107, and schedule time to help at the center.

The total number of birds found reached 1,866 on March 21, 2002; of those 232 were washed, rehabilitated and released; thirty-nine are currently in care; 477 died or where humanely euthanized and 1118 were found dead.

International Bird Rescue Research Center, which manages the Cordelia center, is also looking for volunteers for their year-round rehabilitation program. For more information visit their website at

Media contact:

Karen Benzel

Office: (831) 622-7588



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