Saturday, August 30, 2008

Brazil reports at least 2 thousand penguins have died from oil spill.

Around 2 thousand penguins are found dead on the coast of SC

According to police, animals were victims of an oil leak. Boat spot and the fuel has not yet been found.

Since Sunday (24), approximately, two thousand penguins have been found dead on the beaches of Florianopolis. The police said that the contamination was caused by a fuel leak from a large vessel.

Businessman Adriana Santos found a penguin on a beach close to home.
"He was very weak, was with much oil.
" "There are boats patrolling throughout the coast for the penguins; people need to be aware what happened ."

Here, there is a route that passes hundreds of boats every day.
To find out what these boats did this is a complicated business, "notes the sergeant Marcelo Duarte, the Environmental Police.

In March, when the penguin is dirty with oil, it loses the impermeability of natural feathers and icey water enters into direct contact with the body of it; most could not resist it and died of cold. Those who manage to survive need help to recover.

In a rehabilitation center, the tiny gain by papinha in the mouth. "We're treating them with papinha of fish, mineral oil, water and activated charcoal to help detox the animals," says the veterinarian Jose Guilherme Silva.

So far, no bath. P. First, the penguins have to gain weight. . A complete recovery may take up to a month. Even with so much care: "we estimate that about 20% or 30% deses that we are working will eventually dying because of the problem with poisoning with oil," notes the sergeant Marcelo Duarte.

If you can understand the native language, then this video will be of interest to you.,,MUL739637-5598,00-CERCA+DE+MIL+PINGUINS+SAO+ENCONTRADOS+MORTOS+NO+LITORAL+DE+SC.html

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Penguins, originally uploaded by paulmcdee.

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MSNBC Reports 100's of "Oiled" Penguins Found Dead

Hundreds of oiled penguins die off Brazil

Dozens also being treated in latest incident of mystery oil

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil - More than 200 oil-slicked penguins have washed up dead on the beaches of a popular Brazilian resort, and officials say they are searching for the source of the oil.


Read the rest of the article here:

(I'll be reporting more as more news is available on this topic)


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Adelie Penguin Chase

Adelie Penguin Chase, originally uploaded by Deutsch Photography.

Korean Government Will Manage "Penguin Village" in Antarctica

08-28-2008 17:38
Gov’t Seeks to Manage 'Penguin Village' in Antarctica

By Kim Rahn
Staff Reporter

The Korea Times

The Environment Ministry seeks to designate as a special zone Narebski Point of Antarctica, also known as a ``penguin village,'' as part of efforts to protect the environment and conduct research.

The ministry said Thursday that it applied in June for the designation of Narebski Point as a specially protected area at the annual meeting of the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Party in Ukraine.

Narebski Point, about two kilometers away from South Korea's research post King Sejong Station on King George Island, is home to three kinds of penguins, including the gentoo and chinstrap. It is also abundant in South Polar Skua, a kind of seagull, and mosses, lichens and plants that reproduce through seeds.

``If designated, Korea will play a major role in protection of the area, as well as doing research on the region's ecosystem and natural resources,'' an official at the ministry's international cooperation office said.

A decision on the designation will come at the consultative party's meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, in April next year. If designated, the point will be virtually put under South Korean control.

Among 18 nations having research stations in Antarctica, 15 manage 67 zones. South Korea has none.

``Managing the special area will show our commitment to contribute to environmental protection of the polar region. Through the designation, we can show the world that we have the will and the ability to protect environments outside of our territory,'' the official said.

Antarctica belongs to no country. Forty-six nations are party to the Antarctic Treaty, which was designed for peaceful use of the continent and international cooperation for scientific study.

President Lee Myung-bak said in a speech earlier this month that his government will reinforce research and exploitation of natural resources in the Arctic Ocean and Antarctica. South Korea will also build a second research base there.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Penguin Plucked from Dogs

PICTURE: CLAIRE DE BARR: A rescued little blue penguin is now at Living Art Wildlife Park for rehabilitation.

Penguin plucked from dogs

by Alison King
Bay of Plenty Times

Swimming in the penguin rehabilitation pool is a slice of heaven for this little blue penguin.

The penguin, believed to be about a year old, was taken to Living Art Wildlife Park on Monday after being rescued from Mount Maunganui beach by an English couple.

Park owner Mark Paterson said the penguin had been harassed by a group of dogs before being plucked to safety and taken to Papamoa Veterinary Clinic.

"We'll have him for about a week to make sure it's all right before we return it to the beach," Mr Paterson said.

The penguin's arrival came 10 minutes after a $1500 donation was made specifically to run the pool, which is kept running year-round.

"We never know when we'll get a penguin brought in."

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Success and kudos for the Little Penguins of Derwent

Big success for Little Penguin project

The Department will used a special infra-red probe to monitor the penguins. (Annah Yard)

An infra-red image of Little Penguins inside the burrow. (ABC News: Andy Wallace)

Posted Tue Aug 26, 2008 12:49pm AEST
Updated Tue Aug 26, 2008 3:02pm AEST

Story courtesy of ABC News:

A project to protect Little Penguins nesting along the Derwent Estuary is having positive results.

Numbers of breeding pairs have increased significantly since the project began four years ago.

Over the years the Derwent Estuary's little penguin population has declined rapidly because of attacks by dogs and cats.

They have also suffered from the development of sea walls along a number of beaches which have stopped them getting to nesting grounds.

But a project to protect the penguins is having success.

Conservationists from the Department of Primary Industries and Water have been installing artificial burrows to provide a safe environment and monitor breeding patterns.

Four years ago there were only 90 breeding pairs.

There are now 190.

Monday, August 25, 2008

March of the Penguins... into my MOUTH.

Cream Cheese Penguins..mmmmmmmmm . Recipe here:


* 18 jumbo black olives, pitted
* 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
* 18 small black olives
* 1 carrot


1. Cut a slit from top to bottom, lengthwise, into the side of each jumbo olive. Carefully insert about 1 teaspoon of cream cheese into each olive. Slice the carrot into eighteen 1/4 inch thick rounds; cut a small notch out of each carrot slice to form feet. Save the cut out piece and press into center of small olive to form the beak. If necessary cut a small slit into each olive before inserting the beak.
2. Set a big olive, large hole side down, onto a carrot slice. Then, set a small olive onto the large olive, adjusting so that the beak, cream cheese chest and notch in the carrot slice line up. Secure with a toothpick.

Recipe courtesy of:

Fishing/Boating Threat to Penguins

Fishing and boating a threat to penguins
25th August 2008, 7:00 WST
The West Australian

Penguin Island’s future as a breeding ground for little penguins is in danger, with a local expert warning that fishing and boating are increasingly threatening the Rockingham island’s unique population.

“We are encroaching on their territory,” Murdoch University penguin researcher Belinda Cannell said. “If we impact it too much, then they don’t survive.”

Dr Cannell has worked on little penguins for 18 years and is completing a three-year research program with the University of NSW and partners, including the Department of Environment and Conservation.

The program will gauge the present and future threats to the little penguin colony, which is home to more than 1000 of the birds.

Dr Cannell said that despite years of study it was not known exactly how many penguins lived on the island and how the number had changed.

The project marks the first time the penguins have been studied in such detail, measuring the number of penguins on the island, as well as information on birth and death rates and diet.

Over the past two years Dr Cannell has micro chipped 850 penguins as part of a mark and recapture program, as well as satellite tracking adults as they venture out to sea and as they incubate eggs or guard chicks.

Dr Cannell said there were a number of threats to the Penguin Island colony.

“The biggest potential threats for the penguins are food availability, water craft strikes and fishing line entanglement,” she said. “There are also things like water quality issues, oil pollution and loss of nesting habitat.”

But Dr Cannell said her greatest concern was that a whitebait breeding ground which the colony relied on for food was under threat from a proposed boat ramp near Port Kennedy.

“We know that Becher Point at the bottom of Port Kennedy is a very productive whitebait nursery,” she said. “The birds feed on this whitebait and use it for their chick rearing.”

The threats to the penguins were likely to grow with the increasing population in the Rockingham area, the fastest growing coastal area in WA. The population was expected to increase by 65 per cent in the next 15 years, resulting in more people using the coast for recreation and the bays closest to the penguin colonies, she said.

Penguin Island was the most western colony of little penguins in the world and the most northern in WA and was an important colony in conservation terms, Dr Cannell said.

“The colony has been assessed to have the highest conservation value whilst under the highest relative threat compared to other major marine fauna found in the same region,” she said.

Research by Dr Cannell’s colleagues at Victoria’s Deakin University and the University of NSW had indicated the colony warranted protection.

“It is genetically different even from those in the South-West,” Dr Cannell said.

The DEC said it was working with Dr Cannell to monitor the penguins. It had completed a sand renourishment program to ensure protection of nesting sites following winter storm erosion.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Pierre Sheds Wet Suit for Real Penguin Suit

Pierre hangs out with other penguins and Pam Schaller, a biologist at the California Academy of Sciences, Pierre's home. California Academy of Sciences

Pierre Sheds Wet Suit for Real Penguin Suit

All Things Considered,
April 25, 2008

Earlier this year, a penguin at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco was, arguably, the world's best-dressed penguin. In reality, he was probably the world's only dressed penguin — outfitted with a "wet suit" after he began to lose his feathers.

Bald patches started appearing on Pierre's tail and head in 2006.

The situation was dangerous, says Pam Schaller, a senior aquatic biologist at the California Academy of Sciences.

Pierre the penguin, who is now 25, struts his stuff in his neoprene "suit." California Academy of Sciences

Feathers keep penguins warm and enable them to identify each other.

"With the appearance of bald patches, [Pierre] was getting picked on by other birds, and he wasn't swimming very often because he was very cold," Schaller tells Robert Siegel.

After medical tests yielded inconclusive results, Pierre was fitted with a neoprene vest, which allowed him to move his wings and flippers.

After six weeks in his new clothes, Pierre's feathers began to re-grow, and he now has a new lease on life.

By penguin standards, Pierre is an elder statesman: In the wild, penguins live about 15 years; in captivity, they live to about 20. Pierre turned 25 in February.

"He is behaving as though he is, once again, the patriarch of the colony," Schaller says.

"Now he's standing tall and strong."

The Penguin Lady Vies To Help Penguins

Dyan deNapoli, aka The Penguin Lady, of Georgetown, is organizing a cruise to the Galapogos Islands that is open to the public. Courtesy photo

The Penguin Lady to search for endangered species at equator

By Katie Farrell
Staff writer
The Daily News

August 18, 2008 11:46 pm

GEORGETOWN — Albatrosses, sea lions, frigate birds and blue-footed boobies.

Oh my.

These are just some of the species Dyan deNapoli expects to see on her trip to the Galapagos Islands, but her mission is to witness the endangered Galapagos penguin, perhaps for the last time. She's putting the word out to the public, because there are a few seats left.

Having never been to the Galapagos Islands herself, deNapoli sees the trip as a chance to make a dream come true.

"I've always wanted to go there," she said. "I'm very excited about this trip."

Few can say their dreams include the waddling, flightless birds, but deNapoli has devoted her life to the species.

DeNapoli, 47, of Georgetown, ran the penguin tank at New England Aquarium for nine years, and is now running her own educational business, aptly called The Penguin Lady.

Through the company, she shares facts and knowledge about penguin behavior, biology and conservation in programs geared toward all ages.

In sharing that knowledge, she can also bring penguin fans up close.

DeNapoli will be on board a 10-day cruise through the Galapagos Islands this November and will give presentations about penguins, focusing on the rare and endangered Galapagos penguin that is indigenous to these islands.

The Galapagos are a chain of volcanic islands in the Pacific Ocean along the equator, about 600 miles west of Ecuador.

The cruise is aboard the 190-foot-long luxury class yacht, the M/V Evolution. The Evolution carries just 32 passengers, which makes accommodations more spacious.

Participants will be allowed to get up close and view the aforementioned albatrosses, sea lions, frigate birds, blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas and the endangered Galapagos tortoise in their own environment, as those animals have no fear or threat from humans or human presence, having never been hunted.

As a penguin expert, deNapoli is eager for the opportunity to see the Galapagos penguin. The population of the endangered species is in rapid decline due to the impacts of global warming and El Nino. There are only about 2,500 to 4,500 remaining.

"It might be the last chance I would have to see them; I hope not, but that's a possibility," she said.

An amateur photographer, deNapoli will be packing her camera.

"The photo opportunities there are just beyond comparison," she said.

It won't be her first trip abroad to aid penguins. She's currently writing her first book describing her experience working at a rescue of 20,000 penguins in South Africa after an oil spill in 2000.

There for three weeks, deNapoli said rescue crews worked from sunrise to midnight on the exhaustive mission. The entire rescue took three months and more than 1,200 volunteers, who flew in from all over the world.

"It was the most grueling, intense experience of my entire life," deNapoli said.

The book details the oil spill rescue and her own personal experience responding to it. A portion of the proceeds from book sales are donated to penguin rescue and penguin conservation groups.

While she always wanted to work with animals, deNapoli said she initially intended to work with dolphins. That goal sent her to Hawaii, where she worked as a volunteer on a research expedition and later returned as an intern.

In 1995, she got an internship at the New England Aquarium in the penguin area. It changed the course of events for her.

"I really loved it," she said. "They are pretty engaging animals to work with."

She spent nine years working at the aquarium before leaving to start The Penguin Lady educational company.

Now, she's also a published author who compiled the penguin article for Scholastic Publishing's newest edition of the "New Book of Knowledge" encyclopedia, a book geared toward 7- to 12-year-olds.

A portion of the educational programs that she conducts goes toward penguin rescue groups, as well.

"My mission is to raise both awareness and funding to help protect these unique seabirds and their environment," deNapoli said.

For more information about deNapoli's programs, visit

Cincinnati Zoo News

Robin Williams Shows Some Love to Penguins


Meet Nils Olav--that's Sir Nils Olav to you. :)

Military penguin becomes a 'Sir'

Penguin Nils Olav inspects the guardsmen at the zoo

A penguin who was previously made a Colonel-in-Chief of the Norwegian Army has been knighted at Edinburgh Zoo.

Penguin Nils Olav has been an honorary member and mascot of the Norwegian King's Guard since 1972.

Over the years, he has been promoted through the ranks after being adopted by Royal Guard who visited the zoo.

During the ceremony, Nils had a sword dubbed on each side of his head, where his shoulders should be, to confirm his regimental knighthood.

A crowd of several hundred people joined the 130 guardsmen at the zoo. A citation from King Harald the Fifth of Norway was read out, which described Nils as a penguin "in every way qualified to receive the honour and dignity of knighthood".

The guardsmen come to see Nils every few years while they are in Edinburgh performing at the city's Military Tattoo.

The proud penguin was on his best behaviour throughout most of the ceremony, but shortly before the ritual was concluded and possibly suffering a bout of nerves he was seen to deposit a discreet white puddle on the ground.

'Extremely proud'

Drawing a polite veil over that, Darren McGarry, animal collection manager at the zoo, said afterwards: "It went extremely well and we are delighted that the Norwegian Guard honoured Nils Olav with a knighthood.

"We all enjoyed the occasion and Nils was a perfect penguin throughout."

British Major General Euan Loudon officiated at the ceremony.

Mr McGarry, added: "Nils always recognises the Norwegian guardsmen when they come to visit him.

"He loves the attention he receives at the ceremony and takes his time inspecting the troops."

Nils has also received medals for long service and had a 4ft bronze statue built in his honour.

Guardsman Captain Rune Wiik said: "We are extremely proud of Nils Olav and pleased that an enduring part of the Royal Guard is resident in Scotland helping to further strengthen ties between our two countries."

However, the penguin honoured on Friday is unfortunately not the original Nils Olav.

He died in the 1980s and was replaced by a two-year-old penguin at the Zoo.

Norway presented the zoo with its first king penguin in 1913, the year of its opening.

David Windmill, chief executive of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, the charity that owns Edinburgh Zoo, said: "We have a long-standing history with the Norwegian King's Guard and it is something we are extremely proud of."
Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2008/08/15 14:11:44 GMT


Penguins Wash Up Closer to Equator in Brazil

Penguins Wash Up Closer To Equator In Brazil
Last Updated:
07-30-08 at 3:59PM

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil -- Penguins from frigid waters near the bottom of the world are washing up closer to the equator than ever before, Brazilian wildlife authorities said Wednesday.

Adelson Cerqueira Silva of the federal environmental agency said that about 300 penguins have been found dead or alive in recent days along the coast of Bahia state, better known for sunbathers in bikinis than for seabirds native to Antarctica and Patagonia.

Its capital of Salvador is roughly 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) closer to the equator than Miami is and temperatures in the current Southern Hemisphere winter are in the mid-70s (low 20s centigrade).

"This is unheard of. There have even been reports of penguins washing up as far as Aracaju," Silva said, referring to a beachside state capital even closer to the equator.

Silva said biologists believe stronger-than-usual ocean currents have pulled the birds north. Others have suggested the increase might be due to overfishing near Patagonia and Antarctica that has forced the penguins to swim further in search of food.

Silva said the environmental authority was receiving hundreds of phone calls reporting penguin sightings.

"We're telling people if the penguins don't appear to be injured or sick to leave them alone so they can swim back," Silva said in telephone interview from the Bahia state capital of Salvador.

Rescued penguins have swamped a triage center for rescued birds, and Silva said about 90 of the birds found alive have since died.

Penguins have been sweeping up on Brazilian shores in ever greater numbers this year, for reasons that are not entirely clear.

While penguins commonly wash up as far north as Rio de Janeiro state in July and August - hundreds have done so this year. Bahia is roughly 750 miles (1,200 kilometers) northeast of Rio.

P. Dee Boersma, a conservation biologist at the University of Washington who works with penguins in Argentina, said that while she has heard of penguins occasionally washing up as far north as Bahia, the numbers washing up this year are extremely high.

"The last time that you got a lot of penguins was in 2000, mostly in Rio but some further north. That year the sea surface temperature was a degree lower than the 30 year average so the penguins just keep swimming in search of food without noticing where they're going," said Boersma in a telephone interview from Seattle.

She also said overfishing near Patagonia and Antarctica could be a factor. In the past decade, penguins have had to swim an average of 40 miles (60 kilometers) further north to find food, Boersma said.

The majority of penguins turning up are baby birds that have just left the nest and are least able to outswim the strong ocean currents.

News courtesy of:

Photo credit:
Goleta Natural History Museum
2001 Brian Lockett

Gus and Waldo-a new penguin site debuts




August 18, 2008 12:00am

WHEN a very hungry, injured and exhausted Snares penguin found itself at Eaglehawk Neck a few weeks ago, it could not have hoped for a better saviour than David Pemberton.
The adult penguin was a couple of thousand kilometres from home and suffering a deep cut to his back.

The yellow-crested species is endemic to the Snares Islands off the south coast of New Zealand and it is very unusual to see one in Tasmania.

"He was very skinny and in a bad way," said Dr Pemberton, the project leader of the Wildlife and Marine Conservation branch of the Department of Primary Industries.

Dr Pemberton took the penguin to a specially designed compound at his home, south of Hobart, where it has been treated to a few weeks of recuperation.

"Basically, we feed him squid and fish, walk him and swim him in the bathtub," Dr Pemberton said. "He gets food, exercise and minimal handling, so he remains a wild bird."

Now Dr Pemberton believes the penguin is ready to re-join his relatives.

"I think he's looking good, he's fat, he's porky and he's already swum the Tasman Sea, so I think he's ready to do it again," he said.

Dr Pemberton had planned to release the penguin at an isolated beach on Thursday, but put it off until early this week because of stormy conditions.

First King Penguin Born in Spain

First King Penguin born in Spain
• 21 Aug 2008 •

King Penguin: Successfully bred in Spain.The first King Penguin born in Spain arived at the Selwo Marina Park in Benalmadena in June. This penguin forms part of the European Star Book programme, which includes the reproduction and maintenance of King Penguins. The newborn, an example of the total adaptation of this species, coincides with the celebration of the International Polar Year that started in March 2007 and focuses on Arctic and Antarctic scientific research.

The chick was born after a 56-day incubation period in which the father was the one in charge of looking after the egg. Once the chick is four months old, he will join the rest of the penguin groups in Selwo. Now he has to be under his parents’ protection as it is very common among this species for the chick to be kidnapped or adopted by other penguin couples. He will not be completely independent until he is 12 months old.

News courtesy of

Penguins Blamed for Accumulation of Arsenic in Antarctic Soil

Penguins blamed for accumulation of arsenic in Antarctica soil



Fri, 22 Aug 2008:

London, August 22 (ANI): Penguin guano has been accused of dumping arsenic in Antarctica soil by Chinese researchers.

A research team led by Zhouqing Xie of the Institute of Polar Environment at the University of Science and Technology of China studied at how much arsenic was found in the droppings of tee bird species, and two seal species that live on Ardley Island, off the Antarctic peninsular.

The researchers discovered that the droppings of the gentoo penguin contained far more than those of the other species - about twice as much as the droppings of the southern giant petrel, and up to three times more than the local seals.

They also said that sediments from another Antarctic island, which has no resident penguins but has a similar geology, contained half the levels of arsenic compared with sediment sampled on Ardley Island.

To find out how arsenic levels change with the number of penguins in the area, Xie's team took a 34 centimetre mud core from the bottom of a lake on Ardley Island.

It allowed them to measure how arsenic levels have fluctuated over the past 1,800 years, and also to estimate how the local penguin population changed.

The researchers found that changes in the local penguin population were followed by changes in the arsenic levels in the lake.

Xie said that more penguins meant more arsenic.

The researchers say that arsenic present in the water is absorbed by krill, and then accumulates in the food chain, passing to predators such as penguins.

According to them, it is not known why the contaminant should be excreted more by penguins than by other top predators, such as seals.

"It may be related to how arsenic is metabolised by penguins," says Xie.

Based on their findings, the researchers came to the conclusion that Gentoo penguin populations could be used as a gross indicator of arsenic levels in Antarctic soil.

Their study has been published in the journal Environmental Geology. (ANI)

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