State and federal biologists today released back into the wild 13 laughing gulls and two royal terns and one sandwich tern rehabilitated after rescue from oil impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge (SWR) in Grand Chenier, LA, was selected by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) as the release site because it has not been impacted by oil and it contains natural habitat for these species.
"This refuge and nearby natural areas provide these birds the best chance of survival and success," said Robert Barham, LDWF secretary. "We hope to release more rehabilitated birds in state in coming weeks."
The birds released today were treated at the Bird Rehabilitation Center in Hammond. To date, over 550 birds have been treated and released in this massive wildlife rescue and recovery effort. Two other birds not injured from the spill, but rehabilitated at the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine, were released at Rockefeller SWR as well.
Rockefeller SWR, located in eastern Cameron and western Vermilion Parishes, is managed by LDWF's Coastal and Non-game Resources Division.
The 76,000-acre refuge area borders the Gulf of Mexico for 26.5 miles and extends inland toward the Grand Chenier ridge, six miles from the Gulf.
For more information related to Louisiana's response to Tropical Storm Bonnie and the oil spill, visit http://www.emergency.louisiana.gov. Connect with us on www.facebook.com/GOHSEPGOHSEP and on Twitter as @GOHSEP. View photos from the state's response efforts at http://www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep.