Deepwater Horizon oil spill may have played role in dolphin deaths

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In the first four months of 2011, 186 bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) were found dead in the Gulf of Mexico, nearly half of them dolphin calves many of whom were perinatal, or near birth. Researchers now believe a number of factors may have killed the animals. Writing in the open-access journal PLoS ONE, scientists theorize that the dolphins died a sudden influx of freshwater from snowmelt after being stressed and weakened by an abnormally cold winter and the impacts of the BP oil spill.

Researcher with dead dolphin calf. Photo courtesy of the University of Central Florida.

According to researchers, oil leaking from the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon could have decimated the dolphin’s prey base, leaving a larger than usual number of dolphins suffering from malnutrition.

“Declines in planktivorous fishes over the shelf in summer and fall 2010 and evidence of genetic and physiological impairment of nearshore fishes support the hypothesis that bottlenose dolphins’ forage base may have been reduced,” the scientists write.

An harsh winter along the Gulf likely worsened matters. Then came high volumes of freshwater snowmelt into the Gulf of Mexico, which was the last straw for many dolphins and their calves, according to the paper.

“Unfortunately it was a ‘perfect storm’ that led to the dolphin deaths,” explains co-author Graham Worthy in a press release. “The oil spill and cold winter of 2010 had already put significant stress on their food resources, resulting in poor body condition and depressed immune response. It appears the high volumes of cold freshwater coming from snowmelt water that pushed through Mobile Bay and Mississippi Sound in 2011 was the final blow.”

However, the study argues that the dolphins would likely have survived the freshwater snow melt influx, if they weren’t already stressed and in poor condition. The question remains: just how responsible was the oil spill for the dolphins’ deteriorated health?

Bottlenose dolphins are listed as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List with a global population of over 600,000.

Read more:http://news.mongabay.com/2012/0722-hance-dolphins-bpspill.html#ixzz21jo8m8xt

 

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Greenpeace – Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf.

Comments Off on Greenpeace – Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf.

The White House and BP have been hiding the truth about the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf.

The (horrible) picture below is of a “critically endangered” Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle. It’s just one of many never-before-seen images we’ve obtained that paints a very different picture than what we were being told at the time. We have to act.
Demand the Truth. Take Action!
Other pictures show garbage bags full of dead sea turtles, a dolphin struggling to hold on for life in the poisoned water and sperm whales swimming through a sheen of oil. What else about the Gulf disaster is the White House and Big Oil hiding from the public before they finish the settlement?

It’s not too late. The government has yet to announce the amount of money BP owes for the damages caused by the disaster.

Take action and demand that the White House immediately make publicly available all the images, files and documentation before they reach a settlement with BP.

It’s important that the public know exactly what BP is being held accountable for and that the White House is holding the oil giant to it in the settlement.

President Obama likes to talk about how much land and coastal area his administration has opened up for drilling. The administration has even given oil giant Shell the green light to drill for oil in the pristine waters off the coast of Alaska this summer. Is this damage the risk that the administration finds acceptable with offshore drilling?

Enough. Tell the White House to publicly release everything they have around the Gulf disaster, make BP pay what they owe and put a stop to ALL new offshore drilling right now.

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