With more than 500 birds now identified as coated in the mystery goo first seen in the San Francisco Bay area of California in mid-January, officials are still unsure what the substance is, or where it came from.
21 January Update: Birds are now being found on western side of San Francisco Bay as numbers continue to climb. The latest reports include more than 300 birds found and more than 80 dead. No further information on the nature of the substance is available yet.
Less than a month after a tanker sank on the Shela River in the Sundarbans, the Bangladesh government has reopened shipping lanes through this environmentally sensitive region. Oil bearing traffic will, however, continue to be rerouted via other waterways.
Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research is responding, in cooperation with Nature’s Nursery, to hundreds of ducks and geese affected by an oil leak from a storage tank in Bryan, Ohio, USA.
A consortium of research institutes has developed a three year study, now in its second year, to assess of methods for measuring fish health, attempt to determine whether fish avoid contaminated waters and look at the longer term effects, if any, of dispersant treated oil on fish health.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.