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Atlantic oil spill threatens endangered penguins

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 - 20:54

London: Conservationists say an oil slick from a wrecked ship is threatening endangered penguins on a remote British South Atlantic territory.

The cargo vessel MS Olivia ran aground on Nightingale Island in Tristan da Cunha last week and later broke up.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds says hundreds of penguins have been coming ashore coated in oil.

The territory`s conservation officer, Trevor Glass, said oil was encircling Nightingale Island and called the situation a disaster.

Located midway between Africa and South America, the territory is home to nearly half the world`s northern rockhopper penguins.

It also is home to 275 people who rely on lobster fishing for their livelihood. Environmentalists say the fishery is threatened by the spill.

Bureau Report

First Published: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 - 20:54

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