Fw: [SEABIRD] Penguin News 5 --- 29 June 2000

To: birdchat <>, birding-aus <>, EBN English <>, UKBirdnet <>
Subject: Fw: [SEABIRD] Penguin News 5 --- 29 June 2000
From: Carol de Bruin <>
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2000 08:33:46 +0200

Update on Penguins - this is a huge disaster

Carol de Bruin

-----Original Message-----
From: Les Underhill <>
To:  <>; 
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Date: 29 June 2000 11:08
Subject: [SEABIRD] Penguin News 5 --- 29 June 2000

Thursday evening 30 June 2000

I've not kept pace with the big picture today, and no one who is able
to help me is at home this evening yet! Rene Navarro has put today's
joint press release onto the website.

An ADU team ringed about 160 unoiled birds at the MCM Sea Point
research aquarium again this morning, in preparation for their
release at Port Elizabeth. They watched the satellite transmitter
being fitted to a penguin making the same journey. Three satellite
tags are being sponsored by SAP Africa. We are putting a SAPmap onto
the ADU website, and (subject to us getting the position information
daily from France) we will all be able to follow the progress of
this penguin (hopefully) back to Robben Island. The other two
satellite tags are due to go onto penguins to be evacuated from
Dassen Island.

I helped to ring 120 babies being raised to fledging at Tina
MacDonald's impressive facility. I was hugely impressed at the
morale of the workers feeding the penguins three fish each, and the
music teacher whose pupil kept telling her about the penguins down
the road and who came to investigate bringing loads of cooldrink to
keep us all going. These chicks are looking really good. We know that
this concept works, because (a) we did it after the Apollo Sea spill,
and some of those "orphans" are now part of the breeding population,
and (b) fledgling African Penguins don't appear to go to sea with the
parents, and have to discover for themselves what is food.

We took a dismally oiled penguin that had come ashore near Koeberg to
SANCCOB at 18h00. Everything there was humming along at a great pace,
but things looked very much under control. Out of the 10 000 (ball
park) oiled penguins that have been admitted, my understanding is
that there have been about 40 casualties. This is outstandingly

The big evacuation of Dassen Island is scheduled to start tomorrow.

A company has been found in Cape Town which is tooling up to make
penguin flipper bands. Thanks to the many people who offered
help and suggestions.

Phil Whittington has put together information about the first 20
"retraps" (oiled birds that arrived at SANCCOB with flipper bands),
and this is on the website. It is an important read.

Rene Navarro has updated the website extensively once again, and
there are some more pictures, including a couple at the MCM aquarium
and several taken at SANCCOB . Thanks, Rene for your help way beyond
the call of duty at the ADU doing this.

A WWF press release about the satellite tags will go onto the website
during tomorrow.


Professor Les Underhill
Director: Avian Demography Unit
Department of Statistical Sciences
University of Cape Town
Rondebosch 7701 South Africa
Phone +27 21 650 3227  Fax +27 21 650 3434

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