Reports from the Field - Open Access

Treatment for Oiled Wild Birds in New Zealand

With the support of the WDA Small Grants Program, a set of fact sheet have been created to aid in oiled wildlife response and rehabilitation for 7 key avian species in New Zealand. The Wildbase Oil Response team at Massey University has prepared these illustrated oil response fact sheets for safe capture, handling, transport, husbandry, feeding, examination, treatment, and criteria for release for Little Blue Penguins, Yellow-eyed Penguins, Small Pelagic species, Large Pelagic species,  Shags (Cormorants), Herons, and Gannets. The categories of information are color-coded for easy reference in the field and provide clear guidance through each step of the capture and rehabilitation process. Although some of the information applies to all species, the fact sheets point out the unique physical, biological, and behavioral characteristics to optimize safety and successful rehabilitation.

Oiled wildlife response and rehabilitation is an intense and complicated process that should be undertaken only by experienced personnel, and under proper authority. The fact sheets for other species, as well as more information on caring for oiled wildlife and on Wildbase Oil Response can be found at:

Australasian gannet


Large Pelagic seabirds

Little Blue Penguin

Shags (Cormorants)

Small Pelagic seabirds

Yellow-eyed penguin

*Please note: if you would like to see all 7 factsheets as one document, please click here.