Herma van Gerner via Crowdrise
December 30, 2011
UPDATE FROM DR. PETER RYAN - FITZPATRICK INSTITUTE/CAPETOWN
Dr. Ryan has received permission from Tristan da Cunha to visit Inaccessible Island for 3 weeks in Sept-Oct - He will survey the 2 Rockhopper colonies known to be impacted by oil. Ryan last surveyed the colonies in 2009 and feels this will give him a good idea of the level of impact there. It is hoped that the Tristan Conservation Division will do the same on Alex and Nightingale Islands as they will have no time to visit those islands.
The tags will be deployed on Gough Island and are considered the First Tracking of the Northern Rockhopper species. Tristan/Nightingale tags will have to wait until 2012 - the upside is that this will allow the Rockhoppers "a chance to recover in peace following their harrowing last six months".
The largest colony impacted by the catastrophic M/S Oliva Oil Spill on 3/16 is on Nightingale Island. 98% of the 20,000 rescued died and/or were euthanized. It took three weeks for help to arrive and then only a handful from Capetown's SANCCOB - a very high profile, effective rescue organization. It should be noted the insurers were on Tristan within a few days. Also, the Rockhopper count was reportedly close to 100,000 pair on Nightingale - the majority of which dove into the oil following the molting season heading to their feeding grounds - only now just returning. It is the foundation's position that we will never know how many returned this month - the numbers that died have to be staggering. And, Dr. Ryan will not be allowed on Nightingale this year - it is hoped that some word will come from Tristan via Capetown - We move on to 2012 and will keep you updated. Be assured we are monitoring this closely.