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World’s Most Endangered Sea Turtle Threatened by BP Oil Slick

The world’s most endangered species of sea turtle is threatened by an oil slick that’s expanding in the Gulf of Mexico as 5,000 barrels a day of fuel gushes from a BP Plc well.

The Kemp’s Ridley turtle only nests in the western Gulf of Mexico, with one of its main feeding grounds in the area of the oil spill, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website. The species is critically endangered, the highest degree of threat on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s “Red List.”
“Oil cannot be good for these animals because it’s toxic and can kill them,” Andre Landry, a marine biologist who runs the Sea Turtle and Fisheries Ecology Research Lab at Texas A&M University at Galveston. Oil nearing shore waters “will affect Kemp’s Ridleys from juveniles through to adults as well as their food and habitats.”
Read the full Bloomberg story here.

The leak, which began when a drilling rig burned and sank a week ago, would surpass the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska by the third week of June if it continues at the current rate. That imperils marine and coastal habitats, and creatures from whales and dolphins to shrimp and crabs.

Twenty-one species of protected marine mammals “routinely” inhabit the northern Gulf of Mexico, NOAA said. They include sperm and killer whales and the bottlenose dolphin.

“The greatest threat to whales from the oil spill is probably fouling of the baleen,” NOAA said on its website, referring to hair-like teeth some whales have. “If Bryde’s whales are skim-feeding in the slick or otherwise get oil in their mouths, the oil would quickly clog and foul the baleen. Fouled baleen could affect feeding, leading to starvation and death.”
The number of nesting females of the Kemp’s Ridley, which has only one major nesting beach — in Tamaulipas state in eastern Mexico — fell to as low as 350 in 1985, and has now climbed to about 8,000, according to Landry. In 1947, as many as 40,000 females nested in a single day, he said.

“Kemp’s Ridley turtles numbers have been reduced over a long period of time and here they are being battered again,” Richard Page, oceans campaigner with the environmental group Greenpeace, said in a telephone interview in London. “It’s the most endangered species of sea turtle that there is, and they’ll be ingesting oil and toxins. I’m sure there will be deaths.”
If you or a family member has been injured because of the fault of someone else; by negligence, personal injury, slip and fall, car accident, medical malpractice, trucking accident, drunk driving, dangerous drugs, bad product, toxic injury etc then please contact the Fort Worth Texas Toxic Injury Attorney Dr. Shezad Malik. For a no obligation, free case analysis, please call 888-210-9693 or Contact Me Online.

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