Falklands Conservation's Oiled Seabird Facility was opened official by His Excellency the Governor cutting the ribbon. The evening was attended by individuals and companies that have supported the development of the facility, including representatives from government veterinary, fisheries and agriculture departments as well as councillors of the Legislative Assembly. Also in attendance were a number of volunteers that have assisted with caring and rehabilitating seabirds, as well as local companies that have donated funds towards the facility, including Falkland Islands Company West Store.
The Oiled Seabird Rehabilitation Facility was developed in response to a review of the Islands’ ability to deal with oiled wildlife in 2010. At the same time, the Joint Services Dog Section from MPC, after visiting the vets at Stanley and being shown rehabilitated oiled penguins in care, initiated a campaign to raise money to help improve the existing facility (a basic shed with no water or electricity).
In 2011, the Defence Infrastructure Organisation and Interserve Defence Ltd relocated eight used corimec containers from MPC which were donated to Falklands Conservation by the Military Base at Mount Pleasant. The units were sited close behind the veterinary department in Stanley. A combination of fundraising by the military base and the local community, as well as voluntary support from local companies allowed us to refit the interior and outside space to the purpose of the facility.
Aims of the facility
Falklands Conservation, where feasible, respond to small-scale wildlife emergencies. This Oiled Seabird Rehabilitation Facility has increased the organisational capacity to deal with oiled seabirds, so that around 20 seabirds can be rehabilitated at one time (oiled penguins are currently the most common rescued wildlife we rehabilitate). The facility has been developed to cope with the frequency and size of most previous wildlife emergencies and will ensure that FC are effective at caring for seabirds that are rescued, as well as providing a safe and improved work space for its staff and the many volunteers that help care for the birds.
We have been working hard over the last few months trying to get the Oiled Wildlife Facility functioning ready for next year. The flooring has been laid to create an indoor pen area and a suitable cleaning room. Plumbing works have begun so that we have running hot and cold water, cleaning sinks and sprinklers for the pen.