News round-up, August 2

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• International Bird Rescue is aiding oiled wildlife efforts in the bitumen release at Cold Lake Air Weapons Range in northern Alberta. On Thursday, the 8739419Edmonton Journal visited the Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Edmonton to report on the wildlife efforts. Here, IBR’s Michelle Bellizzi washes an American Coot affected by bitumen. [Edmonton Journal; photo by Larry Wong]

• In Scotland, a plan to create new protected marine areas on the Atlantic coast is drawing criticism from seabird conservationists who say the proposal doesn’t go far enough to protect species such as kittiwakes and razorbills.

Via The Guardian:

A number of [Marine Protection Area] sites will protect black guillemots but the [Royal Society for the Protection of Birds] were highly critical of the decision to exclude all other seabirds from the new network. The group Whale and Dolphin Conservation criticised a delay on selecting sites for minke whales, several dolphin species and basking sharks, pending further research. Environmentalists said the omissions marred an otherwise strong set of candidate sites and a very detailed assessment process. […]

Lloyd Austin, head of conservation policy with RSPB Scotland, said ministers, Scottish Natural Heritage and the UK’s Joint Nature Conservation Committee had backed off because of fears that including seabirds in a far larger or more comprehensive MPA network would conflict with renewable energy and fisheries industries. “It’s partly a fear of a backlash and a desire to balance things out,” he said. [The Guardian]

• Lime-stick trapping, bird song apps and other threats to European songbirds. []

• Oakland becomes the latest major U.S. city to implement bird safety measures in the building permit process. Via AP, the new measures include “bird-friendly glazing treatments; avoiding the use of mirrors in landscape design; and avoiding putting things that attract birds near glass. Other bird-friendly practices include turning off more lights at night, since lit windows can attract night-flying birds.” [Associated Press via San Francisco Chronicle]

• BBC One takes an intimate look at the work of Richard Brown and Giselle Eagle, who were chosen by the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales to monitor Screen Shot 2013-08-02 at 10.42.17 AMbird populations on the tiny island of Skokolm off the Welsh coast. Shearwaters, petrels and puffins are among the island’s more than 100,000 bird residents. [BBC One]

• A nearly-1-mile-long oil slick in Australia’s Brisbane River has affected pelicans and cormorants, Brisbane Times reports. The ship suspected of causing the spill has since left the Port of Brisbane after its owners agreed to pay for the clean-up costs. Department of Environment and Heritage Protection officials and rangers are in the field attempting to catch oiled birds. [Brisbane Times]

• Olive, a sea otter and possibly the most famous oiled animal to be rehabilitated and released back into the wild, gave birth to a second pup this week, accordingOlivePup08_01_13 to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. (You can follow her travels on Olive’s Facebook page.) []

• Registration is open for this year’s Oilapalooza Conference on October 26-27, hosted by SeaWorld in San Diego. The Oiled Wildlife Care Network’s blog has all the info you need on registration. [OWCN]