The worst effects of oil spills are being felt most by the animals whose habitats, eating patterns, and very existence are being threatened. Here's a list of the ten cutest animals that are being directly hurt/threatened by the effects of oil spills around the world.
Item 11 has information on what you can do to help wildlife in the event of an oil spill crisis.The 15 Smartest Animals on Earth, The Best Documentaries About Animals, and the Cutest Baby Animals.
WHAT OIL WILL DO TO THEM:
- Unlike most animals, oil does not stick to a Dolphin's skin because their skin is smooth, and hairless. That's good. One less thing to worry about in the heap of other problems that BP has made for these highly intelligent mammals. The dolphins of the Gulf of Mexico will encounter problems such as inhaling oil and oil vapor (which they do very well). This will inevitably damage the animals' airways, lungs, and mucous membranes. This, in turn, can lead to death. It's the circle of life, BP style, and the dolphins are panicking their way in circles to death. Oh yeah, just so you know, they can increase their exposure to oil harm if they're stressed or panicking. Wonderful.
- A dolphin's eyesight is also sensitive to oil exposure.
- It is also possible that oil pollution impairs a dolphin's immune system and causes secondary bacterial and fungal infections.
- The transfer of petroleum hydrocarbons through the mothers milk to suckling young is another way oil affects dolphins and may affect not only current dolphin populations, but f*ture generations.
- Dolphins are marine mammals that are closely related to whales and porpoises. They are found worldwide, mostly in the shallower seas of the continental shelves, and are carnivores, mostly eating fish and squid. They might consume oil-affected food or may even starve due to the lack of available food given that in the gulf area they are pretty much at the top of the food chain.
WHAT OIL WILL DO TO THEM:
- Impair reproduction. Studies have shown that 'microliter' quantities of fresh oil applied to the eggshell surface will cause death of the embryo. Birds exposed to sublethal quantities of oil during the nesting season can transfer oil onto their feathers, and then to their eggs, causing failure of the eggs to hatch.
- Underneath Mangrove, just inside the coast of Lousiana. The is home to hundreds of herons, brown pelicans, terns, gulls and roseate spoonbills.
- Almost all of these species are associated with water, they are essentially non-swimming waterbirds that feed on the margins of lakes, rivers, swamps, ponds and the sea.
- Majority found in tropics
- The diet includes a wide variety of aquatic animals, including fish, reptiles, amphibians, crustaceans, molluscs and aquatic insects
WHAT OIL WILL DO TO THEM
- Sea turtles such as loggerheads and leatherbacks can be impacted as they swim to shore for nesting activities. Turtle nest eggs may be damaged if an oiled adult lies on the nest. All species of sea turtles are listed as threatened or endangered.
- Dr. Solangi's center recovered 13 sea turtles that had washed ashore, said to be the first victims of the BP oil spill.
- Inhabitants in all areas of the ocean and beach/dunes, except the arctic. A lifespan of 80 years is feasible for sea turtles. Sea turtles play 2 critical roles in ecosystem types - oceans and beaches/dunes. Green sea turtles eat sea grass that grows at the bottom of the ocean. Sea grass must be kept short in order to remain healthy, and beds of healthy sea grass are essential in areas of breeding and development for species of fish and marine life; making sea turtles (in jeopardy now more than ever) an INTEGRAL part of the ecosystem in the Gulf.
- Beach dunes depend on vegetation to protect against erosion, and turtle eggs that fail make it to the ocean, hatched or not, are nutrient sources for vegetation. If sea turtles become extinct, there will be a negative impact in both marine and human life.
WHAT TO DO
- The Minnesota Zoo is sending the center toothbrushes, towels and cleaning brushes to help remove the oil caked on the turtles, one of which weighs over 100 pounds. Veterinarians, zookeepers and animal technicians offering help with resources like animal food and providing vehicles. Caretakers plan to rehabilitate them and then temporarily redistribute them to aquariums across the country.