Migratory birds die for oil corporate profits

This video says about itself:

People & Power speak to native and environmental groups, as well as government and oil industry spokespeople about the impact Alberta’s oil sands development is having on the environment.

From Wild Birds Blog:

Hundreds of Migrating Waterfowl Die in Toxic Pond

The Boreal Songbird Initiative, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting Canada’s boreal forest, reports that an estimated 500 migrating waterfowl recently died in a toxic tailings pond in Canada’s Tar Sands in the heart of Canada’s boreal forest. The tailings ponds store toxic by-products from the chemical extraction of petroleum from tar sands, and migrating waterfowl sometimes accidentally land in the ponds, especially at night or during inclement weather.

The accidental waterfowl deaths occurred at a facility run by Syncrude in Alberta. The Boreal Songbird Initiative and others are concerned that planned expansions to tar sand operations in the boreal forest will not only destroy pristine forestlands but present additional toxic hazards to wildlife. You can learn more about the bird and wildlife issues related to the Alberta tar sands at the Boreal Songbirds website.You can also read an article about the incidient in the “Edmonton Journal”.

The Edmonton Journal article mentions that among the victims were mallards and bufflehead ducks.

See also here. And here.

Photos here.

Photo exhibition brings images of environmental destruction from Canada’s tar sands to heart of London: here.

Permit for oil well in South Downs in Britain is ‘act of vandalism’, see here.

7 thoughts on “Migratory birds die for oil corporate profits

  1. May 14, 2008
    Uganda’s migratory bird sites threatened

    Olandason Wanyama

    As Ugandans joined the rest of the world to celebrate the World Migratory Bird Day last Saturday, environmentalists expressed concern over the rate at which bird sites along Uganda’s Lakes shores are being degraded.

    Environmentalists said the most affected bird sites are on Lakes Victoria, Albert and Kyoga among others and if the government doesn’t come out immediately to protect them, the migratory bird sites would be no more.

    “The continued encroachment on the shoreline with a lot of human activity has left all bird sites in the country at the risk of extinction due to ruthless incursions by encroachers,” the Nature Uganda Deputy Chief executive Director, Mr Ambrose Mugisha said, adding that in future, daughters and sons of this country will not have chances to look at different species of migratory birds that fly from Europe, America and the rest of the world to Uganda.

    Migratory birds are different species of birds that fly distances of thousands of kilometres in order to find suitable conditions; habitats for feeding, breeding and raising their young.

    When conditions in Europe become difficult due to low temperature, birds migrate to Africa or other regions where the conditions may be less rough.

    While officiating at the World Bird Migratory Day held at Lutembe Beach on Saturday (May 10), Mugisha said that millions of birds are threatened by natural events and that’s why the country was joining the world to celebrate and launch a fight to protect the endangered nature. Mugisha cited flower farms surrounding Lutembe where soils have been excavated and deposited in the lake.

    He said dangerous chemicals from the flower farms find their way into the water killing aquatic life. “All these mess up the breeding areas of the migratory birds,” he said.

    Mugisha said the encroachment for settlement at the site to pave way for construction of residences has also affected the green in the area and now the shores are becoming arid.

    “The ecosystem in Uganda is at stake due to the rampart devastation of breeding places that has seen birds and animals flee to other countries where there’s less persecution,” he said. Mugisha said the loss of the habitats due to pollution or exploitation caused by encroachment is also a main issue threatening migrating birds.

    The birds look for suitable breeding, wintering grounds as well as stopover sites along the flyways. He said the loss of Lutembe site used by the birds during their annual cycle could have a dramatic impact on bird’s survival opportunities. Mugisha of Nature Uganda joins Mr Johnson Masereka, a chief warden at Mt Elgon National park in fighting against the rapid depletion of wild life.

    Mr Masereka said the rapid depletion of wildlife, trees and the accompanying degradation of land at Mt Elgon National Park reflects the “carelessness and hostility” of the people living around the park.

    He said whereas the government puts a lot of importance on conservation of wildlife at the park for ecological balance and to earn foreign exchange, the people have not been sensitised on these benefits.




    Clayoquot Sound, Canada’s Ancient Temperate Rainforest
    Valleys to Again Fall to Logging

    By Forests.org, http://forests.org/ and
    EcoEarth.Info, http://www.ecoearth.info/

    July 28, 2008

    These ancient forests must be fully protected and all
    industrial development ended to preserve biodiversity and
    ecosystem health, focusing upon employment from standing trees
    and fully intact ecosystems, and failure to do will lead to a
    renewed “War of the Woods” and global anti-B.C. markets campaign


    Canada’s precious temperate rainforests are again threatened
    with industrial logging. Clayoquot Sound, which lies along the
    West coast of British Columbia (B.C.), is a spectacular mosaic
    of lush coastal rainforests, fjord-like inlets and islands
    covering 850,000 acres. Such intact coastal temperate
    rainforests are globally rare, covering only about one-fifth
    of one percent of the Earth’s land area, half of which has
    already been destroyed. They are amongst the most biologically
    productive temperate ecosystems in the world. Clayoquot Sound
    is the most magnificent expression of temperate rainforest in
    North America.

    There is no such thing as ecologically sustainable industrial
    logging or other industrial activities in a fully intact
    ancient forest ecosystem. Ancient forest logging must end
    worldwide to solve climate change, protect all biodiversity
    and achieve global ecological sustainability. Encourage all
    involved in British Columbia’s forest policy to commit
    themselves fully to developing methods for employment and
    community advancement based upon standing forests and fully
    intact ecosystems. Or else promise you support a return to the
    blockades and protests that halted logging in Clayoquot in
    1993, as well as a massive overseas campaign targeting B.C.’s
    markets. Surely rich Canada can find a way to spare these
    locally and globally vital ecosystems.




  3. Canada oil sands threaten millions of birds -study

    Tue Dec 2, 2008 4:00pm GMT

    CALGARY, Alberta, Dec 2 (Reuters) – A coalition of North American environmental groups says the development of Canada’s oil sands region threatens to kill as many as 166 million birds over the next five decades and is calling for a moratorium on new projects in the region.

    The coalition’s groups, which include the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Boreal Songbirds Initiative and the Pembina Institute, say petroleum-extraction projects in the oil-rich region of northern Alberta are a threat to migratory birds and the boreal forest they rely on.

    Their study concluded that development of the oil sands, would be fatal for 6 million to 166 million birds because of habitat loss, shrinking wetlands, accumulation of toxins and other causes.

    The solution, the groups say, is to halt new projects in the oil sands and to clean up existing facilities. They are also calling for strengthened regulations to protect Canada’s vast boreal, or northern, forest and for Alberta, whose government has backed oil sands developments, to prove the resource can be exploited without serious environmental harm.

    “People need to take a hard look at whether this can be mitigated or if tar sands development is just incompatible with conservation of bird habitat,” said Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, a senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council.

    The report estimates about half of North America’s migratory birds nest in the boreal forest and between 22 million and 170 million birds breed in areas that could be subject to oil sands development.

    The oil sands contain the biggest oil reserves outside the Middle East but the crude is expensive and difficult to extract. Mining projects strip large areas of land to access the oil-laden soils below the surface.

    While the report has not yet been made public, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, which represents the country’s big oil firms, said the oil sands industry complies with environmental regulations and dismissed calls for a moratorium.

    “We need a balanced conversation, supported like a stool with three legs, environment, economy and energy,” David Collyer, the association’s president, said in a statement. “Calls for a moratorium that consider only one leg of the stool, in a vacuum, are not constructive.”

    Developments in the region have been criticized for pumping large amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, using too much water and being harmful to wildlife.

    Indeed, the death of about 500 ducks earlier this year after they landed on a toxic tailings pond operated by Syncrude Canada Ltd, the biggest oil sands producer, brought international attention to the region.

    The environmental groups’ forecast is based on a big expansion of oil production from the region. The oil sands currently produce more than 1 million barrels a day, but the report is based on an eventual output of 5 million barrels a day, in line with industry forecasts of production in two decades or more. (Reporting by Scott Haggett; editing by Rob Wilson)

    © Thomson Reuters 2008


  4. Pingback: Oil as a photography subject | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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  7. Pingback: Alberta wildfire in Canada continues | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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