UC Davis Today

Oiled bird being cleaned

Setting oil spill rescue standards

UC Davis veterinarians, staff and volunteers fight to save birds, sea turtles and mammals threatened by oil spills along the California coast and beyond.

Since 1995, the Oiled Wildlife Care Network has responded to more than 75 oil spills — including ones in San Francisco Bay and the Gulf of Mexico — and cared for nearly 8,000 oiled birds and mammals. The network, managed statewide by the UC Davis Wildlife Health Center, a unit of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, offers the world’s most advanced veterinary care for oiled wildlife. Its rescue operations have established international standards and yielded groundbreaking research.

Led by veterinarian Michael Ziccardi, the Oiled Wildlife Care Network represents what’s possible when researchers work collaboratively with like-minded institutions and organizations to protect animals.

(A volunteer from the Oiled Wildlife Care networkstabilizes an oiled Western grebe. Jose Luis Villegas/UC Davis photo)

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