Responsive Travel Blog

Environmental Disaster Endangers Northern Rockhopper Penguins

Nearly a month ago, on March 16, the Oliva bulk carrier wrecked at Nightingale Island. Tragically, this lead to the leak of almost 300,000 gallons of heavy marine fuel into the surrounding ocean.

All photos courtesy of the Ocean Doctor website.

Elevate Destinations’ partner, The Ocean Foundation, has made a commitment to assist in the desperate rescue and aide of the endangered Northern Rockhopper penguins. These precious birds call the neighboring Nightingale and The Wold Heritage Site Inaccessible Islands their home and are in dire need of aide.

There have been around 2,300 penguins transported for rehabilitation to the island of Tristan da Cunha. It is truly an “Environmental Disaster.”

The efforts to collect, transport, and aide these endangered birds is no easy task. The remote island community of Tristan da Cunha, which has fewer than 300 citizens, has completely devoted itself to aiding these penguins. The crew of the wrecked Oliva has also been assisting with operations.

Given the remote location of Tristan da Cunha and the fact that there is no airstrip on the island, the supplies for this rescue take roughly a week to arrive. The rough seas and high winds have hindered many relief efforts.

The community swimming pool on island as well as other outdoor spaces, sheds, and warehouses are serving as rehabilitation centers for the penguins. The residents of Tristan da Cunha have been outstandingly devoted assistants and have emptied their freezers and donated their own fish supplies for the penguins.

The biggest challenge is the lack of global awareness of this environmental disaster and the fact that it is having a direct disastrous affect on the second largest population of seabirds in the world.

Penguins are not the only ones affected. Other seabirds have been oiled as well as seals; sadly, for some of these animals, their exposure has been fatal. In addition, the island of Tristan da Cunha’s economy depends on the crayfish and fishery exports and this industry is currently closed.

Elevate is proud to be partners with the Ocean Foundation, a phenomenal supporter of disasters such as these.

The Ocean Foundation has established the Nightingale Island Disaster Penguin and Seabird Rescue Fund. To learn more about this disaster and how to help please look here: Nightingale Island Disaster Penguin and Seabird Rescue Fund

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