18 Mar 2011

Wildlife staff to check tsunami impact on birds on Hawaiian chain

11:01 am on 18 March 2011

U.S. wildlife officials are planning to fly over the northwestern Hawaiian islands to see the full extent of damage to birds and wildlife from last week's tsunami.

Thousands of seabirds on Midway, at the end of the Hawaiian archipelago, were killed from tsunamis generated by a massive earthquake off Japan.

The Hawaiian and Pacific Islands National Wildlife Refuges says at least 1,000 Laysan albatross perished, along with thousands of chicks, after being drowned or buried under debris.

The refuge's project leader, Barry Stieglitz, says their information is still limited to islands with staff.

"We have some damage reports for the occupied islands and none at all from the unoccupied islands. We do hope to work with the US coastguard on Monday and conduct an overflight of those islands and get a better idea of the overall damage."