Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

Posts Tagged ‘Australia’

October 31, 2009

Massive oil leak in Timor Sea off Australia

Half way around the world from the San Francisco Bay oil spill, a massive oil leak in Timor Sea, may turn into an ecological disaster if scientists’ warnings are correct.

Gilly Llewellyn, a World Wildlife Federation (WWF) biologist who led a survey team of the spill, is quoted in The Indepedent saying “If the oil were washing up on beaches, there’d be national outrage.”

Since Aug. 21, 2009, an estimated 400 barrels of oil a day have been spilling out of a ruptured drilling rig in a remote area some 155 miles off Western Australian. The company that owns it, PTTEP Australasia, a branch of Thai-owned PTT Exploration and Production Co. Ltd., hasn’t been able to cap the leak. News story

“Oil can be a slow and silent killer … so we can expect this environmental disaster will continue to unfold for years to come,” added Llewellyn. “This is going to have a huge footprint on an amazing part of our marine world, but it may take several years for us to detect.”

Already dead fish drifting have been spotted in Indonesia waters. Several dead birds and sea snakes have been found in oil and may have been killed by the slick, although official tests have yet to determine the deaths.

View Oil leak site in a larger map

May 15, 2009

Cleaned of oil, White Pelicans released in Australia

We got a nice note from our compatriot, Mike “Shorty” Short, from Australia this week. He’s sharing a photo and news of the successful rehabilitation of beautiful White Pelicans after the Moreton oil spill:

We released the 13 pelicans yesterday – from a total of 16 animals in captive care – rest released earlier except for 1 that was euthanased that was not in relation to the spill or captive care issues.

I am still involved with the spill dealing with environmental matters for the response though most now relate to one of the wetlands and cleanup up of staging areas and revegetation of damaged dune plant communities.

At week nine all is going well though looking forward to the down hill run to completion that should only be a few more weeks



Mike works for the Queensland government as the Manager – Incident Response Unit for the Department of Environment & Resource Management.

The pelicans were oiled in March at the Moreton Bay oil spill that struck in one of Australia’s worst oil disasters. A cyclone slammed cargo ship, Pacific Adventurer leaked 270,000 litres of fuel into Moreton Bay, blackening beaches on Moreton and Bribie islands and along the Sunshine Coast.