US officials conducting dead bird study in Gulf

By The Associated Press

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — A new study being conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service aims to determine how many birds may have died during the Gulf oil spill last year.

The Press-Register in Mobile (http://bit.ly/qD83rW ) reports that the program funded by BP PLC is known as the “Carcass Drift Study.” Researchers are attaching numbered floats to hundreds of bird carcasses and dropping them in the Gulf to track their paths.

Federal officials have dropped about 250 real carcasses and 65 dummy carcasses in the water since July 16. Researchers hope this study will determine how many dead birds never made it to shore.

Researchers will combine this study with several others to estimate the total number of birds killed by the months-long spill.

The project is costing about $1 million.