Welfare Workshop a great success

14th May 2008 The IWDG workshop on what to do with stranded marine mammals, turtles and oiled seabirds held at the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Galway was a great success.

The workshop sought to bring together people working in the field with those often contacted about such incidents to review procedures, best practice and start creating a better response network, both locally and nationally.

Organised by Sabine Springer on behalf of the IWDG, the workshop was supported by the Irish Seal Sanctuary and the Coastal and Marine Resources Centre, UCC. Those attending included local authority, regional and general practice vets, National Parks and Wildlife Service Conservation Rangers, Birdwatch Ireland (Galway branch), representatives from the Marine Institute, NUIG, CMRC, Dublin Zoo, Fota Wildlife Park and IWDG members from a range of locations.

The presenters provided a wide range of information on how to provide first aid to stranded animals, handle and assess their prognosis and how to record vital information in order to create a database of these events. The use of powerpoint and DVDs certainly gave the workshop an excellent feeling for the reality of being on the scene at a live- stranding.

Participants being shown the IWDG/ISS whale pontoon © Joanne O'Brien

Sabine is drafting a "manual" providing general information on what to do with a stranded/oiled animal including, very importantly, a list of National and local (to Galway) contacts for the different animal groups. This document will be circulated for comment before a PDF is placed on IWDG and ISS websites for downloading by interested people and groups.

The IWDG wish to thank Dr Tom Doyle of CMRC, Wayne Griffin and Pauline Beades of the Irish Seal Sanctuary and Shay Fennelly for contributing to the workshop and Dr Dave McGrath and Dr Ian O'Connor of GMIT for providing facilities and lunch vouchers for all attending. We would especially like to thank Sabine Springer for organising such a successful day.

Simon Berrow

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