The Wildlife Center of Texas
Oiled Wildlife Response Workshop

The next Texas General Land Office Oil Spill Prevention and
Response Division Sponsored workshop for 2012 is scheduled for…

Monday August 27, 2012 (9 am – 4 pm)
Moody Gardens – The Aquarium
One Hope Blvd
Galveston, Texas 77554

Lunch will be provided by Moody Gardens


The Wildlife Center of Texas, sponsored by a grant from the Texas General Land Office Oil Spill Prevention and Response Division, will be providing an oiled wildlife response-training workshop on Monday, August 27, 2012 from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.  The workshop will be held at Moody Gardens in the Aquarium.

The purpose of the workshop is to certify and train personnel that are interested in assisting The Wildlife Center of Texas Oiled Wildlife Response Team during a spill. Certification and training are required for anyone who may participate in any role during an oiled wildlife response. The workshop will cover topics such as the effects of oil on wildlife, initial intake and exam of oiled wildlife, an introduction to OSHA training, wildlife rehabilitation’s role in Incident Command System, actual hands on cleaning of oiled feathers and participants will practice by washing an unoiled white duck.

We would like for all permitted wildlife rehabilitators and trainees, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, state wildlife officials, industry environmental personnel, as well as local veterinarians and veterinarian technicians to participate in this training.

There is no cost for the workshop but space is limited. Please register via email at or by phone at 713-861-9453 x 170.

Since 1997, the Wildlife Center of Texas has presented oiled wildlife response training workshops regularly along the Texas coast and this is the first workshop for the year 2012.More hands-on training will be provided in the new restructured workshop format.

The Gulf Coast supports large concentrations of wintering waterfowl and is an area for an abundance of nesting waterfowl, shorebirds, and water birds.  An oil spill in this area could affect large numbers of protected migratory birds requiring many trained responders.

The Wildlife Center of Texas is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to care for injured, ill, and orphaned wildlife through rehabilitation and public education.

Oiled Wildlife Response Workshop Agenda

 9:00 –  9:15    Welcome

9:15 –  9:30    Wildlife Laws

9:30 –  9:45    Wildlife Rehabilitation Role in Incident Command System (ICS)

9:45 – 10:30   Effects of Oil on Wildlife – J. Jill Heatley, DVM, MS, Dipl ABVP (Avian),    Dipl ACZM, Clinical Associate Professor, Zoological Medicine College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University

10:30 – 10:45   BREAK

10:45 – 11:15   Effects of Oil on Humans- OSHA Requirements – Sharon Schmalz, Executive Director, The Wildlife Center of Texas

11:15 – 12:00   Zoonoses – J. Jill Heatley, DVM

12:00 – 12:30   LUNCH – Provided by Moody Gardens

12:30 – 12:45   Deterrents – Margaret Pickell/Debbie Mitchell, WCT

12:45 –   1:00   Capture & Restraint– J. Jill Heatley, DVM

1:00 –   1:25   Triage –J. Jill Heatley, DVM

1:25 –   1:45   Oiled Wildlife Rehabilitation – Sharon Schmalz, WCT

1:45 –   2:00   PPE Donning/Doffing Demo – Leesa Young/Judy Phipps/Leslie  Lattimore, WCT

2:00 –   2:15   BREAK

2:15 –   2:45    Station I – Washing oiled feather and unoiled live duck

2:45 –   3:15   Station II– Tour of TGLO equipment

3:15 –   3:45   Station III– Capture & Restraint and Gavage feeding

3:45 –   4:00   Aftercare& Release

Questions & Answers, Certificates


The Wildlife Center of Texas now has the following equipment available upon request during an oiled wildlife response:

  • A Wildlife Center in Houston, TX with capacity to accommodate over 500 adult brown pelicans and veterinary medical assistance.
  • Response equipment that is stored in 8 “push pact” containers that can be trucked or airlifted anywhere for oiled wildlife response, hurricane response or other wildlife emergencies.
  • The containers include over3000 various sizes of plastic crates/kennels, 44 large cases of towels, paper towels, trash bags, feeding bowls, etc.
  • A 38 ft. bus with 24 stainless cages and 2 surgery tables with anesthesia machines for staging, triage or transport of oiled animals to the Wildlife Center. The bus has a generator and is air-conditioned.
  • A 48 ft. custom built two section enclosed top trailer with a 10,000-watt generator, three air conditioning units and a built-in water tank and fueling station.


Current oiled wildlife responses by The Wildlife Center of Texas include the following:

  • A pipeline spill in the Natchez, Mississippi area in October 2003
  • A pipeline spill in Grand Isle, Louisiana in November 2003
  • Pipeline spills in Venice, Louisiana after Hurricane Ivan in September 2004
  • A spill affecting nesting brown pelicans due to a tropical storm in Louisiana in June 2005
  • Several spills in Louisiana due to Hurricane Katrina in September 2005
  • Largest oil spill in Southwest Louisiana history in the Calcasieu River/Ship Channel in 2006
  • Two spills in Louisiana in2007
  • A spill in the Mississippi River in New Orleans, LA after a tanker and barge collision in July 2008
  • A spill involving brown pelicans after Hurricane Gustav in September 2008
  • Fuel oil spill in Galveston, TX after Hurricane Ike in September 2008 affecting osprey and brown pelicans
  • A spill in Louisiana affecting brown pelicans and anhinga in January 2010
  • Four oil spills in 2010 in Louisiana and Texas
  • A spill in 2012 in Mississippi

(Photos courtesy of Julie Dermansky)

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