Peru and Galapagos Abstracts
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Lessons Learned from Two Recent Spills in the Galápagos Islands and
Recommendations on Future Preparedness
Oiled Wildlife Care Network
Over the past 20 years there have been a few notable oil spills in the Galápagos Islands, a Worldwide Heritage Site, and an area of great ecological importance due to a high level of endemic species. The largest recorded spill in the Galápagos was the Jessica Spill in 2001, which spilled 400,000 gallons of fuel oil into the Galápagos Marine Reserve. Impacted species included Brown Pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis), Sea Lions (Zalophus wollebaeki), Green Sea Turtles (Chelonia mydas), and Marine Iguanas (Amblyrhynchus cristatus), among others. The most recent spill was in April 2022, where approximately 2,000 gallons of diesel from a sinking dive vessel were released on the south side of Santa Cruz Island, affecting many kilometers of coastline and an important feeding area for females, young adults, and juvenile marine iguanas. We are evaluating the presence of heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in marine iguanas’ blood at Punta Estrada and Academy Bay and six species of algae before and after the spill. Additionally, we counted the number of newly hatched iguanas, as hatching season is April and May. With the lessons learned from these two spills, we will present recommendations on planning and oil spill preparedness for future impacts to wildlife in the Galápagos Islands.
Responding to oiled wildlife in Peru: case study of the
Peru is a country with spectacular marine biodiversity, most of it located in protected areas. One of these areas include the “Islands of Group Pescadores” part of a national reserve system (RNSIIPG). It is colonized by various species of guano birds such as guanay cormorants (Phalacrocorax bougainvillii) and Peruvian boobies (Sula variegata). On January 15, 2022, an oil spill occurred during offloading operations to a refinery in Ventanilla, a district north of Lima. Faced with this scenario, Aiuká was called to assist in setting up the response. To expand response capacity, Aiuká had the support of International Bird Rescue (IBR), Proyecto Golondrina de La Tempestad de Collar, Centro de Recuperação de Animais Marinhos (CRAM-FURG) and Fundación Mundo Marino. The activities developed by the team were divided into field operations including boat and beach surveys between Ventanilla and Chancay, and islands of Group Pescadores, seeking to find oiled/debilitated animals or collect carcasses. The activities were developed in coordination with the local wildlife management authorities and applied international best practices of animal care, according to internationally accepted protocols (IPIECA, 2017). All animals collected were delivered to collection points managed by the authorities for documentation, first aid and transport. A Rehabilitation Center was set up at Parque de Las Leyendas Zoo (PATPAL) for stabilization, cleaning and reconditioning of rescued animals. Between January and May 2022, the field activities have recorded a total of 683 specimens (oiled and unoiled), of which 213 were live birds and 470 were dead, including birds and mammals. A total of 436 live individuals were admitted at PATPAL. The main species admitted were Phalacrocorax bougainvillii, Sula variegata and Sula nebouxii. Out of the total, 60% (263/436) were not oiled, while 36% (158/436) were oiled and 4% (15/436) were not categorized. Birds were released once approved health status and waterproofing. Until mid-May, 110 had been released, the remainder are still in care. This was the first time Peru responded to oiled wildlife. Many challenges were identified, such as the need for local protocols as well strengthening the oil industry contingency plans to protect wildlife. International experience and support are key to keep strengthening these processes.
Lessons learned from the first oil spill in the north coast
of Lima, Peru
Luis Alberto Delgado
de la Tempestad
Peru is one the most megadiverse countries. Its economy is based on various resource extraction activities like minerals, oil, and gas, among other resources. Before permit approvals for resource extraction nationwide, authorities require standard environmental impact studies to be developed by the interested companies. On January 15, 2022, the first major oil spill event occurred off the northern coast of Lima, affecting the ocean and beaches between Ventanilla and Ancón, setting two protected areas at high risk and also threatening the livelihoods of the local population. This presentation will describe lessons learned after responding to this event. One of the gaps identified was the unclear procedures for collecting live and dead animals after oil spills and their transport for rehabilitation or research. The wildlife and forest legislation N°29763 considers different procedures for wildlife management but does not consider specific actions during environmental emergencies. International experience has shown that time between rescue, rehabilitation, and release is of critical consideration and increased time in captive care diminishes the possibilities of release. The primary lessons learned to take into consideration in Peru include:
1. need for the development of dedicated permitting and policies to include oiled wildlife response in the industry contingency plans (considering dedicated staff, equipment, training and exercises),
2. guidelines for response and release of treated wildlife, including specific needs for infectious disease screening,
3. development of local professional capacity,
4. need for a dedicated rescue center for marine wildlife.
It is up to the authorities, private companies, academia, and civil society in Peru to be prepared for future events and to better protect wildlife.
Key words: lessons learned, Peru oil spill, rescue and rehab wildlife.
Risk of sediment relocation techniques on coastal birds during oil spill response operations
Focus Wildlife Canada, LLC
Extraordinary wave conditions during the M/T Mare Doricum offloading operations at the La Pampilla refinery, located north of Lima, Peru, on January 15th, 2022, damaged the underwater infrastructure of the refinery and resulted in the release of approximately 6,000 Bbls of medium crude oil (Buzios, 28.2° API) that impacted more than 100 km of shoreline. Some of the impacted areas coincide with very high density and diversity of resident and migratory coastal birds populations.
The shoreline cleanup operations were guided by SCAT best practices and procedures, including developing shoreline treatment recommendations (STR) based on net environmental benefits. Even though STRs focused on manual methods, sediment relocation techniques were approved for specific locations where deeply penetrated oil could not be effectively or efficiently removed by manual means.
Sediment relocation technique, also known as surf washing, involves the transport of oiled material from one section of a beach to another, where higher mixing wave energy accelerates the removal of oil from the sediments. Suspended mineral particles in sea water can interact with the oil from the sediment resulting in microscopic oil-mineral aggregates (OMA). The potential impact of OMA interrupting waterproofing of coastal birds was significant enough to triggered additional measures in the development of STRs to protect wildlife.
This presentation describes the need to increase awareness of the effects of oil on wildlife among OSR personnel in charge of developing STRs, and also the importance of increasing wildlife responder awareness about OSR techniques, including surf washing, and the risk of OMA to coastal birds