Thousands of blackened and oiled sea-birds have been recovered from the sea and coasts surrounding the stricken container ship, MSC Napoli, which is beached off the Devon coast in South West England.

Some 200 tonnes of oil has formed a five-mile slick and local environmentalists are warning that the breeding population of the guillemot, which has local nesting colonies will be threatened.

More than 900 guillemots and 200 gulls have been washed ashore covered in the tar-like oil from the vessel; these figures may triple as other birds are recovered over a 100-mile stretch of coast. Dead dolphins, fish, including pollack, whiting and conger eels, have also been found.

For more information go to the RSPB website, Devon Wildlife Trust or Dorset Wildlife Trust websites.