Galapagos Oil Spill: Technical Report 31 Jan - 01 Feb 2001
The Galapagos National Park Service (GNPS) continues to coordinate the clean up, monitoring and wildlife rescue operations throughout the archipelago. The latest GNPS press release gives information on their activities.
The Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS) continues to support the GNPS efforts, particularly through monitoring. Results of the various trips underway are starting to come in and fortunately the situation is largely under control.
The research team on board "Flamingo I", is still monitoring the southern coast of Isabela, and their systematic process of checking site by site has been successful. Previously, over-flights of the zone reported slicks in the area, and boats were sent to confirm the reports. When they arrived, no fuel was detected. The detailed investigation that the CDRS researchers are carrying out on Flamingo I is more effective because the coast is thoroughly monitored. They have examined twelve different sites, and three of these had traces of bunker fuel. The team is expected to return to Santa Cruz on Friday.
Researchers on Santa Fe, reported that some of the marine iguanas examined had patches of oil on their bodies, but fortunately no individuals had died. Further research and monitoring will take place to continue evaluating the conditions of the island's population.
In San Cristobal, over the last week, international experts, CDRS and GNPS personnel cleaned 21 heavily oiled pelicans. These birds will remain in captivity for a week or so and once their feathers have regained their impermeability they will be set free. Pelicans are numerous in Galapagos and because they are not in any danger of extinction, resources will be concentrated on monitoring other endangered species.
In San Cristobal, each morning a team of scientists has been counting the birds in the Wreck Bay zone. So far none of the endangered Lava Gulls have been oiled. Yesterday, the same biologists left Puerto Baquerizo Moreno by boat to monitor San Cristobal's southern coast, registering marine and migratory birds, and marking their location with Global Positioning System technology.