Breaking: Gulf Oil Disaster Bird Species Impacts Released

UPDATE 9/16: More reaction to the new data from NWF’s Dr. Doug Inkley.

Brown Pelicans Wait for Cleaning at Ft. Jackson

For the first time, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) has just released a catalog of bird species impacted by the Gulf oil disaster. The information is being released in the wake of a National Wildlife Federation Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking the data.

Laughing gulls, brown pelicans & northern gannets are the species with the highest totals of dead birds. You can see today’s report (PDF) and see future updates at the FWS Deepwater Horizon Response.

It’s unclear at this point why the FWS report lists only 4,676 birds, while the latest Deepwater Horizon Response Consolidated Fish & Wildlife Report lists 8,009 birds.

FWS only released the data a little over an hour ago, so NWF scientists haven’t had time to conduct an in-depth review of the data yet. However, I just spoke with Dr. Doug Inkley, NWF’s senior scientist, who told me his first impression was that with dozens of species listed, it’s clear that a wide diversity of shorebirds were impacted by the Gulf oil disaster.