MS Oliva Spill: 25 Mar Update

Update from the excellent “MS Oliva Tristan-Based Diary“, avaiable by clicking here.

“Report from RSPB Project Officer Katrine Herian 17.00 Thursday 24th March

Stabilising 473 Rockhopper Penguins: Reporting at 17.00 on 24th March, Katrine reports that after the first transfer of 473 rockhoppers this morning the team has begun stabilising them with fluid, vitamins and charcoal to absorb ingested oil. The first priority is to get food into them as the birds are very hungry. Islanders are trying locally caught five fingers, yellowtail and crayfish. In the last hour penguins have started taking small half inch squares of five fingers. The Sandy Point Express barge went out today catching fish specifically to feed the penguins which is being filleted ready to feed to the hungry rockhoppers.

Dangers of washing too early: Washing of birds hasn’t started yet. Birds are being stabilised first. Unfortunately heaters or infrared bulbs are not available to keep birds the birds warm after washing. There is a high risk of pneumonia developing if they are cold. The Tristan swimming pool has been closed for swimming and is being drained of chlorinated water to be partially refilled and used for birds that are not so badly oiled.

Second delivery of penguins from Nightingale, Alex and Inaccessible: 529 more oiled penguins are due to be brought to Tristan aboard MV Edinburgh at 19.00 today from Alex and Nightingale Islands. The Inaccessible Team have reported that they have 450 oiled penguins corralled from the two rookeries at Blenden Hall and Warrens Cliff, awaiting transport to Tristan.

Molly fledgling rescue: Head of Tristan’s Conservation Department Trevor Glass is bringing a fledgling Molly (Atlantic Yellow-Nosed Albatross) fledgling back with him that was found oiled after first flight. Reports indicate the young molly (you won’t get a yellow nose for a while!) has been successfully washed and is being kept warm near the vessel’s funnel.”

Like most others in the oiled wildlife community, the OWCN stands by to help if needed. For now, we offer our hopes and prayers to SANCCOB and the residents of the Tristan da Cunha Island community for a safe response in extremely difficult circumstances.

– Mike

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