Gulf Oil Spill Could "Wipe Out" Sperm Whales with Only 3 Deaths
Sperm whales are unique creatures whose "long-term survival" is at risk in the Gulf of Mexico, even before the catastrophic BP oil spill. Only three deaths could put the 1,400 and 1,660 sperms whales in dire straits. National Geographic reports:
All sperm whales are considered endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. But the Gulf of Mexico population is thought to be especially vulnerable due to its relatively small size.
The whales are now at risk from the ongoing Deepwater Horizon oil spill, because they are likely to ingest or inhale toxic crude and noxious oil fumes. (See pictures of the oil seeping into Louisiana marshes.)
"We know there's going to be some [oil] exposure, and we know there's an endangered species. If you put those two thing together, there is reason for concern," said Celine Godard-Codding, an environmental toxicologist at Texas Tech University.
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Posted by Jennifer Lance at May 25, 2010 1:55 AM