January 15, 2009

St. Helena penguins disappearing

Environmentalists say the British government is not doing enough to prevent the extinction of northern rockhopper penguins.

The birds are vanishing from the British territory of St. Helena in the South Atlantic at a rate of 100 birds every day. The Times of London said about 2 million northern rockhopper penguins have disappeared from Tristan da Cunha and Gough Island over the past five decades.

Ornithologists say they don't know why the birds are disappearing so quickly.

The newspaper said environmentalists think the British government cannot be bothered to put effort or resources into wildlife conservation on the overseas territories.

They are completely disinterested, said Sarah Sanders of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. It's ridiculous and embarrassing. We are meant to be world leaders in biodiversity conservation and we can't even decide who is responsible for the overseas territories.