Headlines – News – Articles
29th March, 2011

Tsunamis drag newborn monk seal away from mother

Media Watch, Honolulu Star Advertiser, 28 March 2011

Laysan albatross chick washed ashore at Midway Atoll. Courtesy: US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Tsunamis generated by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake off Japan earlier this month swept up a one week-old Hawaiian monk seal pup and separated her from her mother at a remote atoll northwest of the main Hawaiian islands, but a state wildlife worker managed to reunite the pair shortly after.

The pup was crying for her mother after tsunamis hit Kure Atoll nearly 1,400 miles northwest of Honolulu on March 11, said the atoll’s field camp supervisor Cynthia Vanderlip, a biologist with the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources. But the mother was asleep about 150 feet away and didn’t hear her pup’s cries.

Vanderlip waited a while, then carried the tiny seal to her mother.

“The mom — she growled at me for that. She wasn’t very grateful. But they immediately nuzzled,” Vanderlip told reporters Monday. […]

Full Story: Honolulu Star Advertiser / Associated Press.

19th March, 2011

Tsunami hits Midway

Bonin petrel trapped in the sand. Courtesy: Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge

The US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has provided details of the severe impact to wildlife of the Japanese tsunami, as it rolled over the islands comprising Midway Atoll on Thursday March 10th.

A news release issued by FWS states: “Fortunately, Midway residents received approximately 4 hours of advanced warning and successfully implemented its tsunami emergency plan. All essential infrastructure and equipment were secured and all staff, contractors, and visitors evacuated to the third floor of the Charlie Hotel. Fortunately, no one was injured and no major damage occurred to the island’s infrastructure. Debris washed onto the airfield which caused its temporary closure for less than 24 hours.

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