Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Risks of Oil Sands Mining for Migratory Birds

Alberta's oil sands region has been back in the news recently with proposals to build new pipelines to carry unrefined oil extracted there (diluted bitumen) south to Texas for refining. Those pipelines have their own risks, especially when they cross important watersheds or wildlife areas. Regardless of how the oil is transported, the extraction process has a tremendous impact on migratory birds. Bird Canada calls our attention to this report from 2008 on the dangers oil sands mining poses for migratory birds and their habitats (pdf). It is worth a read if you are unfamiliar with the conservation issues and the birds at risk.

Also, a book I reviewed two years ago is worth reading if you want to explore the issues in more detail