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Last Updated: Tuesday March 22 2011 13:24 GMT

Rockhopper penguins caught in oil spill on small island

Rockhopper penguin

It's a bad time for these rockhopper penguins - they live on an island in the Atlantic ocean where there's been an oil spill...

Rockhopper penguins on Nightingale Island.

A lot of oil leaked out from a cargo boat that ran aground in the Tristan da Cunha islands and bird charity RSPB says hundreds of penguins have been coming ashore coated in oil.

Rockhopper penguins on Nightingale Island.

It's worrying because the islands are home to nearly half the world's northern rockhopper penguins.

Rockhopper penguin

A conservation officer from the islands said: "Members of the Tristan conservation team are doing all they can to clean up the penguins that are currently coming ashore."

Rockhopper penguins

The people living on the islands also rely on lobster fishing for their livelihood and environment experts say the lobsters are also threatened by the oil spill.