NINTH-ISLAND rookery, the picturesque
abode of 12,000 penguins in southern
Australia may well turn out to be the
oily grave of these precious birds. Over
500 tonnes (t) of fuel oil leaked into the
seas near the rookery after a 37,500-t ore
carrier, the Iron Baron, hit a reef near a
river mouth ' on the north coast of
The carrier has now been floated off the reef, but the threat to local birdlife continues undiminished, as the oil slick has reached an uninhabited island fur- ther out to sea. According to Tasmania's wildlife authority, an estimated 2,000 birds, besides considerable numbers of marine life, have been struck by the oily scourge; pelicans, cormorants and sea eagles are're'portedly reeling under the oil-rush.
But the rescue operations by the concerned authorities have been successful beyond measure. So far only 6 penguins have died. Six hundred and seventy birds - all of them cleaned and dried at a special Centre set up at the mouth of Tasmania's Tamar river - are being kept in sand-floored shipping containers until the oil soaked rookeries are cleaned up.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.