Saturday, October 15, 2011

NZ's shipping 'deregulation' leads to environmental disaster


Right-wing ideology 1 - Birds 0

This is the famous bar-tailed godwit named E7 who has had books written about her. With transmitter attached she made the epic series of flights from New Zealand to Alaska and back that are the routine for this species of migratory bird.

Tracked by satellite, E7 made the longest recorded nonstop flight by a 'land bird'. Altogether she made a 29,000 km series of flights on her trip to her breeding grounds and back.

She has retired these days and is living in an estuary on the Bay of Plenty coast line.

Or she was, until last week. I haven't heard yet, whether anyone knows if she is one of the countless thousands of birds that have been killed by the horrific oil spill from the stranded container ship the Rena.

E7 is well known and has her tag on so the local bird experts will be keeping a look out for her. I almost don't want to know.

I can't imagine anyone reading the species statistics of the birds found dead so far without tears coming into their eyes.

This below was an early list of the dead birds that had been found and identified. It's only the tip of the iceberg of course.

At that stage there was only one bar-tailed godwit. I saw the dead albatross on the news and wept then as I weep now.


Mallard/hybrid duck 2

Little penguin 20

Antipodean wandering albatross 1

White-capped mollymawk 1

Northern giant petrel 2

Cape petrel 4

Grey-faced petrel 1

Mottled petrel 1

Antarctic prion 3

Fairy prion 12

Blue petrel 13

Buller’s shearwater 92

Flesh-footed shearwater 3

Sooty shearwater 13

Fluttering shearwater 198

Little shearwater 15

Common diving petrel 358

White-faced storm petrel 38

Australasian gannet 7

Pied shag 4

Little black shag 1

Spotted shag 2

Pukeko 1

Bar-tailed godwit 1

Variable oystercatcher 1

Rock pigeon 3

Tui 1

Australian magpie 1

Blackbird 1

Starling 2

And let us be clear. This was no 'accident'. This was an accident waiting to happen, and the 'blame' is not on one person. It can be sheeted home to New Zealand's right wing neo-liberal economic policy 'experiment' that puts corporate profits ahead of safety.

Further reading: The Standard on 'Key's Katrina'.

2 comments:

Isabel Doyle said...

Oh dear oh dear - for a Tabby, even one as refined as yourself, to be weeping for birds, speaks volumes. I am so sorry.

The Paradoxical Cat said...

Cats are among the most ardent of bird lovers...