falkland islands environmental research unit website - falklands .net
our work you can help flora and fauna picture galleries in the media links newsletters contact us Search
birdwatch magazine

"Penguin Man" by Jane - May 2003

Penguin expert Mike Bingham is being forced out of his job at a power station by the Falkland Islands' Government (FIG) after revealing that over-fishing killed 100,000 penguins last year.

FIG's formal reasons for refusing his application for Islander status and work permit paint an interesting picture of the Falklands regime and how it deals with criticism. They say Mr Bingham "sought to discredit and bring into disrepute the state of the Falklands Islands environment and the role of the Government in its protection". They also list his attempts to win support from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Outrageous behaviour for a conservationist!

In 1996 he lost his job at Falklands Conservation after going public with the findings of a penguin population census. He took work at a power station and continued to research independently, publishing studies in peer-reviewed journals.

Meanwhile he received anonymous phone threats and several bizarre trumped up criminal accusations that were abandoned once they came to court (Private Eye - January 2000).

Then, last May, 100,000 penguins were found dead. Falklands Conservation said further research was needed, but Mr Bingham told the BBC the penguins had undoubtedly died of starvation.

Then, in November, Mr Bingham's application was turned down. His work permit just ran out. With no unemployment benefit in the Islands, he expects to leave in June.

Surely this was the sort of heavy-handed dictatorship the Falklands War was meant to protect the islands from.


"Spot the eco-thug" by Rotten Boroughs - January 2000

Bromley's director of leisure Robbie Stoakes, who recently made a speech in favour of concreting over 12 acres of Crystal Palace Park to accommodate a 20-screen cinema, has the full backing of his former boss, Dr Michael Blanch.

Departing Chief Executive Dr Blanch, off to be Chief Executive of the Falkland Islands, took the opportunity of a farewell speech to councillors to smear peaceful protesters who have objected to the scheme as "eco thugs".

By an amazing coincidence, the Falklands has been having an environmental row of its own.

A Stanley conservationist, Mike Bingham, who pointed out that the local penguin populations had dramatically declined due to the depletion of food stocks as a result of industrial-scale fishing, has been subjected to an extraordinary sequence of abuse, anonymous phone threats and trumped- up criminal accusations.

Evidently the government of the Falkland Islands shares Dr Blanch's distaste for environmentalists. He should feel at home there.

You can read other newspaper articles about us our In The Newspapers page.

Adopt a penguin
penguin hatchling photograph

Adopt and name your penguin, and we will send you reports and photos of your penguin's progress. We will even send you a map to show you exactly where your penguin lives, in case you ever want to visit. (Visitors are welcome).

Learn More


buy our book

click here to read more about our book penguins of the falkland islands and south america by doctor mike bingham

The Falklands Regime by Mike Bingham - now available online here or from bookshops world-wide, ISBN: 1420813757

The Falklands Regime by Mike Bingham


make a donation
We are always pleased to receive donations in support of our work. If you would like to make a donation, click here.
copyright 2002 Environmental Research Unit and Doctor Mike Bingham Design by www.ethicaldesign.co.uk