Wildlife officials paint grim picture for life in gulf
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05/18/10 Kate Bradshaw
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday | Listen to this entire show:

Today, wildlife experts from several federal agencies had some bad news about the effects of the Gulf oil leak on marine life. There are five endangered sea turtle species that dwell in the Gulf, and nesting season began this month. Steve Murawski of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries division said there has been a higher number of turtle strandings this year.

Murawski said the apparent spike may be skewed, given that they are monitoring the coast more intensively than ever. He said that many of these are of the same species.

He added that 12 dead bottlenose dolphins have washed ashore since the leak began. Rowan Gould is acting director for the US Fish and Wildlife Service. He said that there have been more than 30 oiled birds, and more than twenty of those were dead.

He added that while his agency is gravely concerned with the number of animals that are already showing signs of being impacted by the spill, he’s extremely concerned about what can’t be seen.

NOAA’s Murawski also said that 12 dead bottlenose dolphins have washed ashore since the leak began. Officials also said that the oil may soon threaten upland habitats and that the sperm whales have been cited in the area.

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