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Sometimes the only evidence of an oil spill are its victims

More than 200 oil-soaked Magellanic penguins washed ashore in Southern Argentina two weeks ago.

No oil spill was reported. But the penguins are proof enough.

At least 11 penguins have died. But we’re talking about hundreds of miles of coastline, much of it uninhabited. It’s impossible to know exactly how many penguins were affected.

All naturalists can do is rescue the ones that come ashore, shivering and sick. The oil ruins the heat-retention of their feathers. The birds will try to clean themselves and end up ingesting the oil.

These are the penguins I wrote about in The Tourist Trail. The ones that nest along the shores of Punta Tombo.

And this is the type of accident that Angela, the main character, dreads. One oil spill is all it takes to wipe out so many of the penguins she has tracked for years. One oil spill and the colony of penguins gets a little bit smaller, a little bit faster.

To support penguin research, support these organizations:

Link: Penguin News Today

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One Comment

  1. Great post John – it’s so important to raise awareness about the threat of oiling that Magellanic penguins (and many other species) face on a regular basis. Looking forward to reading your novel about the penguins and the researchers working to protect them!

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