Record Details

Wikelski, Martin;Wong, Vanessa;Chevalier, Brett;Rattenborg, Niels;Snell, Howard L
Marine iguanas die from trace oil pollution
Journal Article
Amblyrhynchus cristatus
An oil tanker ran aground on the Galapagos island of San Cristóbal on 17 January 2001, spilling roughly three million litres of diesel and bunker oil. The slick started to spread westwards and was dispersed by strong currents, so only a few marine animals were killed immediately as a result. Here we draw on the long-term data sets gathered before the spill to show that a population of marine iguanas (Amblyrhychus cristatus) on Sante Fe Island suffered a massive 62% mortality in the year after the accident, due to a small amount of residual oil contamination in the sea. Another population on the more remote island of Genovesa was unaffected.