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Over 60 dead oil-covered Magellanic penguins have been found along
Over 60 dead oil-covered Magellanic penguins have been found along the Uruguayan coast near the Argentine border following a recent oil spill, Uruguay's Espectador radio said on Monday.

Their deaths are being linked to last Wednesday's shipwreck when two boats, the Greek-registered Syros and Maltese-registered Sea Bird collided near Montevideo, causing an oil slick measuring 20 km (12 miles) long and 30 km (17 miles) wide along the penguins' migration route.

The birds, which migrate between southern Argentina and the coast of southeast Brazil, presumably died of oil poisoning. Some 34 penguins, also coated with fuel, were found alive on nearby beaches.

Scientists predict the number of dead penguins is likely to rise. Authorities are set to impose a large fine on the ship owners as the birds classified as having 'near threatened' status on the IUCN red list.

According to environmental groups around 40,000 adults and juvenile Magellanic penguins die each year off Argentina's coast as a result of oil spills.


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