News

December 18 2014

Sundarbans oil spill 18 December Update

A team of international experts has been deployed by the UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) unit  to the Sundarbans to support Bangladeshi cleanup operations. The team will also assess and advise on recovery and risk reduction measures.

December 17 2014

Some oil slicks reported near the M/V Rena salvage operation are actually krill swarms

Initial reports in early December 2014 from the area around Astrolab Reef where the M/V Rena ran aground in 2011 indicated there was oil leaking from the wreck. Salvage operators expected some discharge during the recovery process. Later reports indicated that there were krill swarms in the area.

December 11 2014

Oil spill in Sundarbans may affect habitat of endangered dolphins and tigers. Updated 12.12.2014

Latest reports indicate the oil tanker has been pulled from the river and of the six sections containing oil, two remained intact. Those sections held 100,000 of the 350,000 litres on board. First reports of wildlife losses mention dead otters, fish, and lizards in the water but no numbers are available at this time.

December 8 2014

The importance of long-term seabird monitoring to oil spill impact assessment

A pair of recent commentaries, one in Nature and one in The Scotsman, looked at the impacts of funding cuts in Scotland and Wales on long-term monitoring of seabird colonies. What does this have to do with response to oiled wildlife?

December 5 2014

Declining whale population puts Canadian oil export terminal on hold

A pending decision by the Canadian Minister of the Environment regarding the status of the St Lawrence estuary beluga whales is having an impact on construction of an oil export terminal.

December 2 2014

More than 120 birds dead after landing in oil sands tailings ponds during severe weather

Heavy fog and severe weather during fall migration may have played a role in the deaths of more than 120 birds in Alberta, Canada in early November 2014. The birds landed at three oilsand facilities' tailings ponds. Syncrude, Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNRL) and Suncor each reported oiled birds at their facilities.

November 24 2014

Dolphin deaths in Thailand may, or may not, be oil spill related

In late November 2014 an oil slick was reported off the coast of Thailand, suspected to be coming from offshore platforms in the Gulf of Thailand. A member of a local marine and coastal resource conservation club said that another spill inn February had killed 10 dolphins and a number of other marine animals. He also reported seeing dolphins swimming in the area of that earlier slick.

November 19 2014

Deepwater Horizon Deepwater Horizon Deepwater Horizon avian mortality study: Is it possible to estimate total losses?

A study modeling the possible track of birds who died at sea after the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) blowout suggests that the death toll may run as high as 800,000. BP America disputes the results, saying the numbers suggested did not correspond to what the Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) findings show.

November 10 2014

Oiled Wildlife Response Planning course offered by OSRL in 2015

Integrating plans for managing oiled wildlife as part of an overall spill response requires an understanding of the complexities that a wildlife response can entail.  Oil Spill Response (OSRL) is offering its Oiled Wildlife Response Planning course, designed for emergency planners, oil industry spill response teams, and others with a role in managing environmental resources during spill response, in two locations in 2015.

November 3 2014

Algal bloom affects birds in Oregon, USA

In mid-October 2014, the coast of Oregon in the US Pacific Northwest, experienced an increase in seabird strandings from a diatom bloom.  The diatoms were not toxic to the birds, rather they matted feathers, making preening difficult and allowing water to reach the birds’ skin, much the same way that oil damages avian waterproofing.