Fw: [capebirdnet] Penguin News 4 --- 28 June 2000

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Subject: Fw: [capebirdnet] Penguin News 4 --- 28 June 2000
From: Carol de Bruin <>
Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2000 17:00:45 +0200
Update on the oiling problem in Cape Town.

-----Original Message-----
From: Les Underhill <>
To:  <>; 
<>;  <>
Date: 28 June 2000 03:39
Subject: [capebirdnet] Penguin News 4 --- 28 June 2000

>Wednesday 28 June 2000
>The late afternoon flight around Table Bay yesterday revealed that
>the oil was perilously close to the most important breeding colony
>of African Penguins at Dassen Island, about 40 km north of Robben
>Island. The latest news is that Dassen Island is now surrounded by
>oil, so it is expected that many birds are being oiled there as
>As of today, 8500 oiled penguins have been collected for cleaning by
>the SANCCOB Cleaning Centre: 6500 are already at the centre.  A
>satellite centre has been established. It is expected that at least
>the same number will become oiled and collected over the next few
>days, and quite possibly many more. This will make it the largest
>single cleaning operation for the species to date, hugely stressing
>SANCCOB's capacity. A rough estimate is that as much as 20% of the
>species' global adult population is likely to be oiled.
>Unoiled penguins are being fenced in on Robben and Dassen Islands to
>stop them going to sea and becoming oiled.  Large chicks are being
>taken into captivity for hand-rearing. 40 are already at SANCCOB, and
>1000 more will arrive later today.
>140 unoiled penguins from Robben Island were successfully transported
>to the Eastern Cape by road last night for release in the unoiled
>waters of Algoa Bay, in the expectation that the 10-14 days it will
>take them to swim home will be enough time to clean up the oil.  To
>our knowledge, this is the very first time that such a translocation
>exercise has been tried for any seabird.
>There is an urgent need for experienced volunteers with knowledge of
>handling birds, cleaning oiled seabirds, and most importantly, in
>organizing untrained volunteers to transport, clean and feed captive
>birds, etc.  Wildife vets are also needed. This expertise does exist
>in Cape Town, but the pool of volunteers needs to be larger for a
>disaster of this size.
>From the Avian Demography Unit side we also need bird ringers
>experienced with handling penguins, because we are aiming to ring
>all birds relocated to Algoa Bay, Port Elizabeth, so that we are in a
>position to assess the effectiveness of this strategy.
>Offers of help on the SANCCOB side should be directed to Dr Rob
>Crawford, Marine and Coastal Management, Department of Environmental
>Affairs and Tourism  Offers for help
>with flipper banding should be made to Dieter Oschadleus, Ringing
>Coordinator at SAFRING 
>One small way anyone can help is by Adopting A Penguin. The
>application form for this is contained in the ADU website. URL below,
>click on "What is new".  The website was updated yesterday, and will
>be updated again 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
>Click here for savings: beMANY!
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