Thursday, September 4, 2008

Injured bird Rescue the Day After Hurricane Gustav video

Blinkx Video: Wildlife Rescue the Day After Hurricane Gustav

Posted using ShareThisThis looks like a Neotropic Cormorant, which is smaller than the Double-crested Cormorants that are more common in the U.S. Though the pelicans shown in my earlier post were fortunate to find a fairly protected place to ride out the hurricane, many birds and are not. This cormorant was found just after Hurricane Gustav hit and was likely one of it's victims, but is fortunate to get rescued. SeEtta

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Louisiana wetlands likely harmed by Gustav

Although a number of sources have noted that coastal wetlands helped reduce the impacts of Hurricane Gustav, little has come out yet on the impact the hurricane did to those remaining wetlands. USA Today has an article today that states:

"Though Hurricane Gustav seemed to spare New Orleans a repeat of 2005's catastrophic damage, it is likely to have done irrevocable damage to the area's wetlands."

"Besides breaking up marshes with its powerful waves and winds, Gustav could destroy miles of wetlands by depositing Gulf of Mexico saltwater into the freshwater marshes, Graves said. The salt quickly desecrates the freshwater marshes.

"It's like pouring salt on your front yard — it's going to kill your grass," he said.

Louisiana's wetlands and sandy barrier islands are buffers against hurricanes. The cypress swamps break up tidal surges and slow a storm's speed, said Aaron Giles of the Gulf Restoration Network, a New Orleans-based environmental group.

Louisiana loses about 15 square miles of coast a year, according to the National Wetlands Research Center in Lafayette. An additional 217 square miles were mauled by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, according to center statistics.

An estimated 10,000 miles of transport canals dug by oil and gas companies over several decades have also contributed to coastal erosion and accelerated the vanishing of cypress marshes, Giles said." Read the rest of the article (before I violate rules on quoting copyrighted material more)here SeEtta

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Impact of hurricanes in gulf on habitat

As I noted in prior post, it is too early to know the impacts of Hurricane Gustav on bird and other wildlife habitats and populations. However, the Nature Conservancy website discusses hurricane impacts in general:

"Throughout its 40 year history of working along the Gulf Coast, the Conservancy has understood the connection between healthy natural systems and the well being of human communities. A major concern at this time of year are the impacts on songbird migration that is in effect now. Though many birds will hunker down or seek shelter like the pelicans in the previous post, the larger problem is the impact on the habitat they rely on for stop-overs before launching across the gulf of Mexico and especially the food available to shore them up for their long journeys.

While damage from the hurricanes would have been significant in any case, that damage was intensified by the historic loss of coastal wetlands, barrier islands, and oyster reefs. In Louisiana alone, more than 25 square miles of coastal wetlands are lost every year. By incorporating coastal conservation into reconstruction efforts along the Gulf Coast, we are rebuilding our best defense against future storms."

"South Louisiana houses the single largest port complex in the world. And a booming tourism industry is dependent upon visitors who come to the coast to see some of the nation’s most beautiful natural areas as well as hundreds of millions of migratory birds – representing more than 260 species – that stop along the Gulf Coast during their flights from North to South America. Today, the vast majority of that bird habitat is destroyed."
(from http://www.nature.org/pressroom/news/news1789.html) SeEtta

Monday, September 1, 2008

Brown Pelicans taking shelter from Hurricane Gustov

I haven't posted for past two days as I have been monitoring Hurricane Gustav and helping some with pet rescue via internet (I am concerned with all animals, domestic as well as wild). Fortunately this hurricane forecasted to be a monster was less severe than expected. Though still a serious storm, Gustav has been less disastrous to animals and people alike (especially since the federal and state governments made arrangements for animals). It is still too early to know it's impact on (wild) birds and other wildlife especially since the areas it hit suffered significant habitat damages in Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

I ran across this link to a video taken of two Brown Pelicans that was taken at the height of the storm hitting New Orleans as they took shelter "one riding a downed portion of awning under the outdoor part of Cafe du Monde, and the other just flattening itself on the sidewalk behind a row of plants just inside the riverside fence of Jackson Square". For those who have never been to New Orleans, Cafe du Monde is a major tourist landmark which is usually loaded with customers there to drink the strong Louisiana coffee and eat beignets (french hole-less donuts covered with powered sugar). SeEtta