April 18, 2011

Penguin rescue efforts after south Atlantic oil spill

A rescue operation is working to save endangered Northern Rockhopper penguins in the British Tristan da Cunha archipelago, a set of islands halfway between Africa and Argentina where an oil spill from a freighter that ran aground has already claimed the lives of about 300 penguins.

The islands are home to the second largest population of seabirds in the world, including nearly half of all the known Rockhoppers, which have declined 90% in numbers since the 1950s.

Rescue workers are using inflatable boats and vessels to ferry the penguins to rehabilitation centers on the main Tristan da Cunha island. Nearly 5,000 of a total estimated 10,000 oiled penguins have been transported, where rescuers and conservationists from groups like the Ocean Foundation are quickly trying to clean the penguins.

Environmental cleanup is also an urgent necessity, because even the birds successfully released to the sea will return to the islands in a few months.

We thank the rescue team members for your loving efforts as well as the hospitable islanders for opening your doors to welcome humans and recovering animals alike.
Our prayers for the protection of the rare Rockhopper penguins and their fellow sea bird friends as we strive to regard with greater care the fragile habitat of our fellow beings.

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/africa/04/02/atlantic.penguin.rescue.operation/index.html?hpt=T2
http://rt.com/news/line/2011-04-03/#id6961

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