Kills and Spills Team (KAST)
Thirty Years of Investigating Fish and Wildlife Kills and Pollution in Texas
Since the 1950s, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) has investigated incidences of fish and wildlife mortality, also known as fish kills and wildlife kills. In 1993 the agency staff with primary responsibility for conducting these investigations became known as the “Kills and Spills Team.” TPWD has a legislative mandate to document the magnitude of losses, identify the responsible party, and require restitution for the damage to fish and wildlife. Under this mandate, the Kills and Spills Team developed a database to document kill and spill investigations. Historical investigation reports on paper and in a previous database format were keyed or migrated into the database by 1997.
Part of the value of documenting and storing information
about kills and spills is that trends may be observed and generalizations
made. Analyzing the causes and magnitudes of widespread die-offs is important
for management of fish and wildlife populations. Understanding the major
causes of kills and spills in Texas allows conservation efforts to be focused
and limited state resources directed more effectively against threats to
fish and wildlife.