I had a message from Jamie Rappaport Clark, the Executive Vice President of the Defenders of Wildlife informing me that imperiled loggerhead sea turtles are the most visible victims of the disaster as they were in trouble before the incident occured. The number of females nesting on beaches in Florida has declined by 50% in the past year. Both scientists and government officials have flagged this up asking what could this mean for the future of the loggerhead. The National Marine Fisheries Service is proposing to upgrade protection from threatened to endangered under the Endangered Species Act.
The oil spill has happened at a crucial time for the loggerhead turtle as they are currently at the peak of their nesting season. This is also the case for other sea turtles and shore birds. As you can imagine, oil is extremely toxic and dangerous to animals. Exposure to this can cause skin loss, poisoning, drowning and ultimately death. The worlds second largest nesting area of the loggerhead is on the beaches of south east USA and this area is expected to be threatened by the oil slick depending on how much of the slick is picked up by the Loop Current. The Loop Current is a powerful current which may bring the oil slick around the south and through the coral reef and mangrove areas then into the Gulf Stream and up to the East Coast of Florida.
How to Help?
Click on this link in order to contact the National Marine Fisheries Service to ensure that loggerheads are protected under the Endangered Species Act. When you come to enter your postcode the website won't recognise anything non-American or Canadian so enter 10242 instead (The New York zip code) and then the message will send.