Image: Wikimedia

Just a mere ten days after the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, Planet Earth has taken yet another hit thanks to the recent BP oil spill.

Though it’s still unclear just how badly wildlife along the coast has been affected, what is certain is that the timing for this disaster could not have been worse. This is peak spawning and nesting season for many species of birds, fish, turtles and other marine mammals and many of these creatures have just prepared their breeding and nesting areas right near the affected coastal areas.

Following are 7 of the beautiful, majestic creatures facing possible extinction due to the oil spill.

Image: Greenpeace

7. North Atlantic Blue Fin Tuna

Bluefin tuna in Atlantic Ocean

Already heading towards extinction, blue fin tuna travel across the Atlantic to spawn in the Gulf of Mexico between mid-April and mid-June.

The health problems these animals face are heartbreaking to say the least:

– hypothermia and drowning of birds.

– hypothermia in some seal pups as the oil destroys insulating fur.

– damage to the airways of birds and animals.

– damage to animal immune systems.


Image: flirt 321_209

6. Sea Turtles

The Gulf region is where five of the world’s seven sea turtles live, migrate and breed.

Here are some more health problems that all affected animals will have to face:

– interruption of breeding and fouling of breeding grounds.

– thinner bird and turtle egg shells and also damage to fish larvae, causing deformities.

– damage to sea grass beds and other shelter/feeding areas.

– tainting of algae, which perform a vital role in waterway ecosystems.