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Galveston Oil Spill Could Threaten Endangered Bird Nesting Area

More than 100 birds have been counted with oil on them.


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The oiled birds have anywhere from a few specks to oil covering 75 percent of their bodies.

Jessica Jubin with the Houston Audubon Society says most of the birds aren’t catchable.

“Right now the birds that are coming over from other areas have been relatively healthy, in other words meaning they can still fly and have energy to do so. The birds really can’t be helped unless you can reach them.”

Jubin says so far the shoreline along Bolivar Flats Nature Sanctuary is free of oil.

The sanctuary is a major destination for shore birds and migrating birds and Jubin says they’re paying close attention to the endangered piping plover.

“The piping plover is trying to set up nests right directly on our beach, and, with the shift in the wind, that very important habitat could be affected. So we’re keeping an eye on those conditions and so far that particular endangered species is doing okay, but it’s definitely a high concern of ours.”

Spring migration is also underway, which means even more birds will be heading into the Galveston area for several weeks, putting them at risk of exposure to leftover oil.

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Laurie Johnson-Ramirez

Laurie Johnson-Ramirez

News Director

Laurie Johnson-Ramirez leads news coverage for Houston Public Media across broadcast and digital platforms. Ramirez is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. Before becoming News Director, Ramirez held the position of Executive Producer for Daily News, leading daily and breaking news coverage, helping...

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