WWF Russia volunteers will celebrate New Year saving birds in Kerch
A storm in the Black Sea's Kerch Strait sank four ships and an oil tanker on November 11. The incident resulted in about 2,000 metric tons of fuel oil spilling into the sea.
«The first group of volunteers has already begun work,» Alexander Levchenko said. «The volunteers turned down New Year's celebrations and decided to spend their holidays saving birds.»
He added that the birds continue to be affected by fuel oil, which has settled at the sea bed but each time there is a minor storm it emerges and washes up on the shore. Levchenko said that each shift will have a vet, ornithologist and specialist with practical experience dealing with oil slicks, adding that the work will continue until spring.
Earlier reports said thousands of birds had died as a result of the oil slick. The oil penetrates the bird's plumage causing hypothermia, they also ingest the oil which causes internal damage and without human intervention they usually die.
Water samples showed that oil contamination of the sea was 2.5 milligrams per liter, some 50 times above acceptable levels.
Last week Sergei Ivanov, Russia's first deputy prime minister, said all traces of the oil spill had been virtually eradicated.