A new peer-reviewed study estimates 600,000-800,000 coastal waterbirds were killed in the first three months of the 2010 BP oil disaster, The New York Times reports today (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/06/science/still-counting-gulf-spills-dead-birds.html?ref=science). The study estimates only a portion of the total bird mortality that occurred as a result of the spill. The study, which uses two different modeling techniques, is the first public estimate of a portion of bird mortality caused by the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
Audubon, which was not involved in the study, released the following statement:
“This is a horrific number – by far the highest ever for an oil spill – and it’s only a piece of the picture. We expect a final death toll in the seven figures, and sadly, that’s not a surprise for a disaster this immense,” said Audubon President and CEO David Yarnold (@david_yarnold). “Meanwhile, BP continues its outrageous scheme to delay and deny justice while earning interest on the funds it owes the Gulf Coast, its people and its birds. The Justice Department must press hard to move this case forward and stop BP’s stalling.”
Audubon’s initial report on the study is here: http://mag.audubon.org/articles/conservation/more-one-million-birds-died-during-deepwater-horizon-disaster