News Releases

Wildlife Alert Hotline now handling oiled-wildlife calls

News Release

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Media contact: Patricia Behnke, 850-251-2130

Oiled wildlife retrievals in Northwest Florida continue to decline - so much so that special teams to retrieve and transport visibly oiled wildlife are no longer needed in Florida. On Sept. 8, a technical advisory group from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) decided to return to pre-spill wildlife-rescue practices, which, under normal circumstances, are managed by the FWC.

Sightings of oiled wildlife should now be reported to the FWC's Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922). Calls to the Deepwater Horizon Oiled Wildlife Hotline will now be referred to the FWC's hotline.

"This is good news for Florida's wildlife, especially birds," said Robin Boughton, leader of the FWC's avian wildlife team during the oil spill. "This means we are seeing fewer and fewer birds impacted by the oil spill, and we can return to our normal procedures for rescuing and rehabilitating injured birds."

As of Sept. 9, 254 visibly oiled birds were recovered alive in and near Florida during the oil spill event, while 239 were recovered dead. Of those recovered alive, 160 have died, 30 were released and 64 remain in rehabilitation facilities in Florida.

Go to for more information about the FWC's response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

FWC Facts:
Freshwater catfish have many external taste buds on their barbels, so they use their sense of taste more than their sight to find prey.

Learn More at AskFWC