impacts of oil on sea turtles in the gulf
Kemp’s ridley sea turtles, the smallest species of sea turtle, participate in one of the most intriguing nesting rituals, called arribadas, meaning “arrivals” in Spanish. During an arribada, huge numbers of female Kemp’s ridleys waddle up beaches simultaneously to lay their eggs.
These already threatened sea turtles are facing further obstacles from the Gulf oil spill. If you haven’t already done so, please sign the petition to stop offshore drilling to help protect these turtles and other crucial wildlife in the future.
From yesterday's Examiner:
“The spill was tragically timed for sea turtles that are nesting in the Gulf right now,” said Miyoko Sakashita, oceans director for the Center [for Biological Diversity]. “Newly hatched sea turtles are swimming out to sea and finding themselves in a mucky, oily mess. News that BP has blocked efforts to rescue trapped sea turtles before they’re burned alive in controlled burns is unacceptable.”
Sea turtles can become coated in oil or inhale volatile chemicals when they surface to breathe, swallow oil or contaminated prey, and swim through oil or come in contact with it on nesting beaches.
As of yesterday, 32 oiled sea turtles have been found in the Gulf of Mexico and more than 320 sea turtles have been found dead or injured since the spill began April 20.
While some dead and injured sea turtles are found by search crews or wash up on the beach, some never will. Ocean currents often carry them out to sea where they can sink or be eaten by predators.
Our report shows that the ongoing oil spill can have the following impacts on sea turtles: