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Environment

Birds show signs of Texas oil spill

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - 01:00

March 25 - The environmental impact of Saturday's oil spill in Texas can be seen by looking at the birds. Jillian Kitchener reports.

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One-hundred seventy-thousand gallons of fuel was spilled when a cargo ship and barge collided in the Houston Shipping Channel. But despite clean-up efforts, the negative effect on birds cannot be undone. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HOUSTON AUDUBON CONSERVATION DIRECTOR, RICHARD GIBBONS, SAYING: "We're going to see the extent of oiling on birds that are birds that are roosting." That's conservationist Richard Gibbons. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HOUSTON AUDUBON CONSERVATION DIRECTOR, RICHARD GIBBONS, SAYING: "Wow, look at that laughing gull, first I thought it was a black bellied grovel, but it's all black." A bird conservation area sits at the end of the Bolivar peninsula. And volunteers like Winnie Burkett are counting the birds. (SOUNDBITE) (English) VOLUNTEER WINNIE BURKETT, SAYING: "When they clean the oil off their feathers, they ingest it, so they swallow it and it goes down into their digestive system." They say the birds who get oil on their bodies only have a 50 percent chance survival rate. (SOUNDBITE) (English) VOLUNTEER WINNIE BURKETT, SAYING: "Oil is not something that's in their environment, they don't know how to interact with it, they don't know how to avoid it." Right now more than 700 people are assisting in the clean-up efforts. But some wildlife observers say the impact on nature may last decades.

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Birds show signs of Texas oil spill

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - 01:00