First responders resource guide for seabird emergencies

A cutting edge response guide that equips people to help entangled, injured or oil-affected seabirds will be launched by Australian Seabird Rescue (ASR) during an oil spill training exercise at 12.30pm on Friday 8 August at Port Kembla, as part of a NSW Environmental Trust funded project.

Published material by Taronga Zoo staff and the late Serventy Award winning conservationist and ASR founder, Lance Ferris, have contributed to the production of the “First Responders Resource Guide for Seabird Emergencies” book, pocket guide and DVD, representing the latest research and techniques for seabird handling, treatment and release in NSW. With at least 10% of pelicans suffering from fishing line entanglement or associated injuries, according to a NSW North Coast study, these unique resources will help fishermen, animal rescue organisations and the general public to identify and efficiently respond to seabird emergencies.

The fold-out pocket guide informs the general public on what to do if they see a seabird in distress. The comprehensive 48-page book and DVD are tools for training seabird rehabilitators, rescue organisations and agencies. They demonstrate how to safely treat seabird entanglements and injuries, as well as participate in a wildlife response at a marine oil or chemical spill incident, in accordance with the NSW Government’s State Emergency Management Plan.

The product launch will occur at a customised Oiled Wildlife Cleaning Facility, maintained by Sydney Ports, during a Transport for NSW Oiled Wildlife Response training course. All participants, as well as those completing Australian Seabird Rescue handling courses, will receive copies of the book, DVD and pocket guide. A wide range of government and non-government organisations have worked together to deliver the resources, including the NSW Environmental Trust, Transport for NSW, the Department of Primary Industries and Australian Seabird Rescue.

“These guides are a great resource for first responders during seabird emergencies” – Libby Hall – Manager, Taronga Wildlife Hospital.

“The three products bring together the State’s most reputable seabird emergency resources. Our members are clambering for copies and the free pocket guides are being snapped up by all of our outlets.” Kath Southwell – General Manager, Australian Seabird Rescue WildlifeLink Sanctuary Ballina.

The book and pocket guide will be available for free download through the Department of Primary Industries website. To obtain a copy of the DVD contact Australian Seabird Rescue. The pocket guide is available through Tourist Information centres, Surf Life Saving Clubs, fishing clubs and other community organisations.

This project has been assisted by the New South Wales Government through its Environmental Trust.

Launch Details: Friday, August 8th, 12:30pm – 2:00pm at the NSW Ports Training and Conference Centre (Breakwater Room), Foreshore Road, Port Kembla, NSW, 2505.


The book and pocket guide are available from ASR’s secure cloud storage:


Pocket guide: