10 Animals Most At Risk from Gulf Oil Spill
GlobalPost tracks the 10 animals most in danger from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. This story was written by Julia Kumari Drapkin
Oil is spreading across the Gulf of Mexico -- the result of the sinking of an oil rig last week. A spill of this magnitude so close to the wetlands, estuaries and national fisheries of south Louisiana is unprecedented.
Though it's unclear how badly wildlife along the Gulf Coast will suffer, the timing of the spill couldn't be worse. This is peak spawning and nesting season for many species of fish, birds, turtles and marine mammals. Many species remain in set breeding areas during this time and there's less instinct to move away from danger.
Disturbances to nests, fish spawning grounds or key links in the food chain might have lasting effects on species already at risk, commercial fish stocks and the people who make a living harvesting them. Minor oil spills are relatively common on the Gulf Coast, but this one has biologists, wildlife agencies, conservation groups and fishermen particularly concerned.
Here's a selection of animals at risk in the open water, along the coasts and in the wetlands.
More on the rig explosion:
Popular on CBSNews.com
- Man dead in "truly shocking" London attack 99 Comments
- Mexican volcano on verge of eruption 15 Photos
- N. Korea sends top envoy to China as tensions mount
- People cling to car in "sidewalk skiing" stunt Play Video
- 12 years post-Taliban, Afghan women's rights under fire
- Costa Concordia captain ordered to stand trial
- Visitors evacuate after suicide at Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral
- Graphic video: knife-wielding suspect talks to camera Play Video