Members of the public are being warned about handling distressed birds on the south coast.
During the past 24 hours, a number of live birds have washed up on beaches covered in an unknown substance.
While the substance is being identified, agencies are urging people to avoid coming into contact with the birds and to keep pets away from the shoreline.
If anyone spots an affected bird or animal, they should report it to the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.
It could be days before the true scale of the pollution spill affecting sea birds on the south coast is known, wildlife experts said today.
A change in wind direction could have killed thousands more birds after scores were found washed ashore along England's south coast.
Increasing numbers of birds are washing up on the south coast after being covered in a mysterious substance.