The thought of thousands of dead rockhoppers serves as a sobering reminder of how human mistakes have widespread implications for the environment.
Monday, May 23, 2011
Sad news for rockhoppers
Bad news on the penguin front - it seems that penguins affected by the oil spill in the South Atlantic in March aren't doing very well. Very few of them have survived despite a valiant rehabilitation effort, and the survival rate has been lower than that seen in other oiled seabird rescue operations. The reduced success rate is thought to be due at least in part to the remoteness of the oil spill's location, which delayed the arrival of rescuers and gave birds time to preen and consume more toxic oil. The penguins affected were Northern Rockhopper Penguins, which are listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List, so the next few years will be a tense time as researchers assess the impact of the spill on the overall population.