Oiled Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation

To report an oiled bird: Call the Washington Emergency Management Division at 1-800-258-5990.

Oiled birds are often the most obvious sign that an oil spill has affected wildlife. Lots of seabirds spend the majority of their waking (and sleeping) hours on the waters of Puget Sound or the outer coast every day. Unfortunately, after a spill, many birds become exposed to oil as they sit on the water's surface.  Because oil is less dense than water, it floats, and this puts birds who spend the most time on water at greater risk.

Fortunately, no major oil spill has affected substantial numbers of birds in Washington waters in nearly twenty years (since Nestucca
and Tenyo Maru, in 1988 and 1991, respectively). Despite this favorable trend, Washington is in the process of adopting a set of plans (including a network of mobile rehabilitation trailers) to care for any oiled wildlife in an effective and efficient manner.

If you would like to register to be an oiled wildlife volunteer in the event of a major oil spill, visit www.oilspills101.wa.gov. HAZWOPER trainings occurring throughout Washington can also be found on the site.

This oiled scoter is being cleaned by volunteers
(Photo: Oiled Wildlife Care Network, UC Davis) 

New mobile wildlife equipment unveiled

On November 19, 2009, Marine Spill Response Corp. (MSRC) and Clean Rivers Cooperative, Inc. showcased their new mobile equipment to rescue and care for oiled wildlife.  Spills Program Manager, Dale JensenAt right, Spills Program Manager, Dale Jensen stands in front of one of the mobile units and speaks to the audience.

News Release - Oiled Wildlife Rescue and Response Goes Mobile

Below, a view of a sink, washing station (and bird decoy) and overhead air vent inside one of the mobile units.

A Number of Oiled Wildlife Care Organizations Possess Washington and Federal Rescue and Rehabilitation Permits:


WA State Permit

Federal Permit

Focus Wildlife
International Bird Rescue Research Center
Islands' Oil Spill Association
Oiled Wildlife Care Network  
Progressive Animal Welfare Society
Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research  



Related Links

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Oil Spill Team

US Fish and Wildlife Service

Documents                Washington Oiled Bird Recovery and Rehabilitation Study

Focus: Assessing Oil Spill Damage

Northwest Area Contingency Plan - Wildlife Plan (9970)

Contact Information

Sonja Larson