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Wildlife and Habitat Issues for Planning and Response Maine Dept. of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife Oil Spill Advisory Council September 16, 2008 Why Care About “Critters” in the Middle of an Oil Spill? Altruist: Direct and indirect loss of Maine’s natural resources

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wildlife and habitat issues for planning and response
Wildlife and Habitat Issues for Planning and Response

Maine Dept. of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife

Oil Spill Advisory Council

September 16, 2008

why care about critters in the middle of an oil spill
Why Care About “Critters” in the Middle of an Oil Spill?
  • Altruist: Direct and indirect loss of Maine’s natural resources
  • Capitalist: NRDA – source of funding to benefit wildlife/habitat
  • Realist: Public perception
altruist direct losses dead birds
AltruistDirect Losses = Dead Birds
  • Most critical for Endangered/Threatened species
  • Easiest type of loss to document
  • and claim for NRDA
  • Most visible to the public
altruist indirect losses from habitat damage
AltruistIndirect Losses from Habitat Damage
  • Potentially catastrophic deaths, but after-the-fact
  • Much harder to document and claim for NRDA
  • Less noticed by the public
capitalist natural resource damage assessment
CapitalistNatural Resource Damage Assessment
  • Not being used to full potential
  • Priority during a response?
realist public perceptions
RealistPublic Perceptions
  • Largely beyond our (IFW’s) control
  • Media focuses on what sells (dead birds)
  • Press releases controlled from ICP
  • (IFW staff in Planning/Operations)
oil spill planning at ifw
Oil Spill Planning at IFW
  • Mapping the natural resources
  • - Geographic vulnerabilities
  • - NRDA baselines
  • Response
vulnerability of wildlife habitats implications of loss
Vulnerability of Wildlife & HabitatsImplications of Loss
  • Endangered/Threatened Species
  • High value habitats
  • - Critical to E/T species
  • - High biodiversity
  • - Unique areas
  • - Regulated habitats
vulnerability of wildlife habitats susceptibility to damage
Vulnerability of Wildlife & HabitatsSusceptibility to Damage
  • Species – behaviors & physiology affect:
  • - Likelihood of being oiled
  • - Extent of oiling
  • - Ability to survive being oiled
  • Habitats – type & location affect:
  • - Likelihood of being oiled
  • - Difficulty of clean-up
  • - Ability to recover from being oiled
response planning
Response Planning
  • Many similarities to efforts of others
  • Big Difference: surveys for EVI
  • - LARGE task
  • - Always dealing with incomplete/outdated information
  • Have only 1 dedicated staff member
ifw staff resources
IFW Staff Resources
  • Oil Spill Biologist (Bangor)
  • Regional Staff
  • - 3 Coastal Regional Offices
  • - 2-3 Staff per office
  • Bird Biologists (2-3)
response typical sequence
Response – Typical Sequence
  • Initial Damage Assessment
  • - Based on EVI maps
  • - Superficial (no direct observation)
  • - Limited by accuracy & completeness of pre-mapped data
  • - Good start
response typical sequence13
Response – Typical Sequence
  • Secondary Damage Assessment
  • - Field reconnaissance
  • - May not occur (depends on EVI, DEP responders)
  • - With so few staff & other priorities, may take time
  • - May conflict/compete with other response activities
  • - Hotzone training
response recover rehabilitate oiled wildlife
ResponseRecover & Rehabilitate Oiled Wildlife
  • Rehabilitation is challenging
  • Limited facilities with local
  • rehabilitators
  • IBRRC for anything big (facilities
  • still an issue)
  • Even in best possible situation,
  • success rate is low
  • IFW’s primary roles:
  • - Collecting oiled wildlife
  • - Supervising volunteers to transport
  • wildlife
ifw oil spill response issues
IFW Oil Spill Response Issues
  • Training
  • - Hotzone?
  • - Most exercises simulate Day 1-2;
  • Wildlife response really begins later
  • Long Deployment
  • - Union contract doesn’t allow OT
  • - Other priorities
  • “Big” vs. “Little” incident/response
conclusions
Conclusions
  • Planning for and dealing with the effects of oil spills
  • on wildlife & habitat are big, challenging tasks
  • but we are just a small agency
  • We do have a dedicated Oil Spill Biologist
  • Contract with IBRRC
  • Increased awareness among participants
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