At PHSS we are committed to research that seeks a better understanding of seabirds. Currently, members of our staff have joined with the Shorebird Alliance to help monitor shore bird nesting. Due to the increasing urbanization in South Florida many shore birds have resorted to nesting on rooftops.
Our past research efforts have included serologic profiles (identifying the properties of the blood’s serum) and sexual dimorphism (identifying physical differences in shape between male & female) of Brown Pelicans conducted in conjunction with the University of Miami. We exist only for the protection of seabirds. Therefore, our research protocols stress the safe and gentle handling of each individual bird. We do not participate in animal testing and all of our research is pre-approved by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FFWCC) and the United States Fish & Wildlife Service (USFW).
Wildlife rehabilitation is the treatment and temporary care of injured, diseased, orphaned and displaced indigenous wildlife, and the subsequent return of healthy viable animals to appropriate habitats in the wild*. Wildlife rehabilitation in the United States is strictly regulated by State and Federal Agencies and Laws.
Many rehabilitation centers choose to specialize in a particular group of animals, as we do at the Seabird Station. The Seabird Station was originally founded in 1980 for the sole purpose of rehabilitating injured brown pelicans. We have grown dramatically since then and our facility now receives thousands of injured birds and other wildlife each year. In 2007, we treated 89 different migratory bird species, with patients ranging in size and type from Finches to a Flamingo. We also provided assistance to 39 other species including mammals, reptiles and non-migratory birds.
The animals that we treat are brought to us by concerned citizens, government agencies, humane societies, other wildlife care facilities and our volunteers. We encounter a wide range of injuries in our patients. We deal with everything from botulism poisoning and electrocution to golf ball strikes. However, the vast majority of injuries to the pelicans and other seabirds we treat at our facility are caused by fishing tackle.
*NWRA Quick reference 2nd edition, Erica Miller DVM & Linda Wolf DVM
Each year we reach thousands of students through our education programs. These programs help people understand our work and how they too can make a difference. We believe that education is the key to the future of wildlife. There are over 3.9 million students in Florida, and each of them should be exposed to the concept that every individual can have a positive influence on the environment and conservation.
Students aren’t the only people we need to reach. We meet with many community groups such as the Coast Guard Auxiliary, local town Councils, women’s clubs and many others. We also partner with other organizations on projects that seek to protect the environment by educating the public at large.