Award for a rehabilitating system of oiled birds study
The International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF) announced that the2ndannual ITOPF R&D Award winner is the Swansea Laboratory for Animal Movement (SLAM), based in Wales.
The R&D Award Committee recognised that currently, obtaining information about the behaviour of birds after their release is challenging. If a system can be designed that enables electronic devices to be attached to wild birds without affecting their normal behaviour, this would increase the possibility of obtaining more reliable and meaningful data.
In the future, such a system could provide for better data banks of information to be established, which can then be used to make better decisions about the benefits or otherwise of rehabilitating certain bird species following an oil spill. The project already has a strong foundation, with a doctoral thesis and several papers already published in key journals.
ITOPF’s Managing Director, Dr. Karen Purnell, said that ‘the pros and cons of rehabilitating oiled birds has always been an emotive topic. Having a methodology that could enable better decisions to be made would benefit both the wildlife care network and the birds. I am pleased that our Award is being used to fund such a worthwhile project.’
The Award will be used to fund a 1-year post-doctoral study to develop a novel ‘back-pack’ system to track rehabilitated oiled birds without compromising their wellbeing.
More information on ITOPFs R&D Award can be found on ITOPF website.