May 14, 2010 7:05 PM by Melissa Canone
Officials from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) released one Green Heron this morning at the Sherburne Wildlife Management Area (WMA) on the northern edge of the Atchafalaya Basin. The release of this oil impacted bird brings the total to three since recovery and rehabilitation efforts began in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill incident.
The Green Heron released today at the WMA in south central Louisiana was cleaned of oil and treated at the Fort Jackson rehabilitation facility located in Buras, La. Green herons are generally described as smaller, solitary, wading birds and are common year-round residents throughout Louisiana's wetland thickets. Two other oiled birds, a Northern Gannet and a Brown Pelican, were r! eleased on May 10 in Florida.
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To date, 21 birds have been processed through Fort Jackson, including an oiled brown pelican discovered by LDWF biologists yesterday. Two birds are currently alive and being treated, and 15 birds died after admittance, were dead on arrival or had to be euthanized. The rehab facility in Buras is operated by Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research Center and the International Bird Rescue and Research Center.
Sherburne WMA was chosen for the release of the Green Heron due to the quality of habitat available for this species and the central location of the WMA in the state. The public land is located in the Morganza Flood way system of the Atchafalaya Basin and is situated in the lower and upper portions of Pointe Coupee, St. Martin, and Iberville Parishes respectively. LDWF owns 11,780 acres, the USFWS owns 15,220 acres and the remaining 17,000 acres is owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The area is managed as one unit by LDWF.
23 hours ago