Thursday, May 01, 2008

Ducks Trapped in Oil Waste

The Alberta Tar Sands mining projects have long been identified as a threat to boreal birds by the Boreal Songbird Initiative. Their requires an energy-intensive development process, which destroys habitat and releases large amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Yesterday, an incident showed another type of environmental harm when 500 ducks landed and drowned in a pond filled with oil waste. Few birds survived.

"A completely oiled bird would likely sink immediately. We've recovered the ones that we could," said Steve Gaudet, a Syncrude staff member managing the recovery effort.

The company has said it normally has bird deterrents deployed on the three-kilometre-wide lake of waste from early spring until late fall. But the noisemakers and scarecrows were not in place because of the harsh winter weather last week, officials said.
The ducks involved were not identified to species in the article. A picture accompanying the article appears to be of an Anas sp. If anyone knows more about their identity, please leave a comment.