the centuries, human development of these areas has made nesting areas harder
to find, and contamination by oil washing ashore will only lower the chances
that some of these marine turtle species can survive in the Gulf
Dangers to sea turtles from
spilled oil include contamination of the fish and other small animals they eat,
as well as damage to underwater seaweed beds where they feed. When dispersants
are used to drive floating oil to the bottom of the Gulf, these seabeds become contaminated. All of the turtle species
in the Gulf use the soft sand beaches in the region to build their nests.
. The most endangered of these species, the
Kemp’s ridley turtle, nests along the beaches of the Gulf in the early summer,
and the area immediately surrounding the damaged oil pipe was one of this
turtle’s last remaining feeding grounds in the Gulf.
Inhalation of toxic fumes from the BP oil spill when
the turtles surface to breath can also prove deadly. Of the seven
remaining sea turtle species on Earth, five are present in the Gulf of Mexico.
Already listed as endangered
around the globe, the turtle species that inhabit the Gulf
of Mexico are further threatened by the oil spill
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