What is Oiled Wildlife Response?

When you think of oiled wildlife response, you may think of washing animals with dawn. While that is one part of it, much more goes into a response effort. Every animal must first be medically stabilized to ensure it is healthy enough for the washing process. Being handled by humans is an incredibly stressful experience for a wild animal. Every consideration must be taken to ensure patients experience the minimum amount of stress and handling.

The scale of a response can range from one animal to hundreds and involve many organizations. Our team is part of a network of other agencies, not-for-profits, and industries that may be involved in a response effort. Tri-State provides services from Canada to the Caribbean and beyond. We are involved in many aspects including

  • Animal impact assessments
  • Animal retrieval
  • Medical care
  • Decontamination
  • Volunteer management & training
  • Facility set up
A juvenile bald eagle is washed to remove silt

Oiled wildlife response is a crisis-oriented field. Every response is different and has its own set of challenges. While fuel oil products are the most well-known contaminants, we often receive animals contaminated with other substances. Silt, cooking oil, soot, pond scum, and sticky traps are common contaminants. Each one of these substances has its own special considerations for proper treatment. Spills affect more than just birds. The Oiled Wildlife Response team is trained and licensed to treat contaminated amphibians, mammals, reptiles, and more.

Two teams decontaminate patients in the Wildlife Response Annex

Our team includes both staff and highly trained volunteers representing a wide variety of professional backgrounds. All personnel and Core Team members maintain a high level of safety training to ensure not only the safety of our patients, but of all our staff and volunteers, too. This dedication to safety and comprehensive care is evident in the Wildlife Response Annex. A specially built facility that contaminated patients can be transported to for treatment within a safe range.

The Oiled Wildlife Response Team also teaches others how to best respond to an incident through workshops, presentations, and training sessions. Our team has traveled throughout the world to help organizations, companies, and agencies become better prepared for an incident involving contaminated wildlife. 

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