Friday, June 25, 2010

Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle

There is a rumor on the net that betting sites are taking bets on the first creatures in the Gulf of Mexico to go extinct. I don't gamble but were I to place a bet it would be on the Kemp's Ridley sea turtle.

The Kemp's Ridley, pictured on a south Padre Beach on the Texas coast,  is the rarest of all sea turtles and one of the two living species of Lepidochelys kempii. The other being the olive Ridley sea turtle, the most abundant.

Kemp's is one of the smallest sea turtles and ranges from the north US seashore to Rancho Nuevo in Mexico. It spends much of the year around the Louisiana coast where BP's oil "spill" is wrecking havoc.

Reports are they are being swept up in the drag oil booms used in clean up and set afire. Environmental groups out in the Gulf of Mexico trying to rescue marine life, turtles included are outraged that BP officials are setting fire to the amassed oil before checking for turtles rounded up with the oil. Ergo the outrage on the net that BP is burning sea turtles.

As the oil "spill" (a term used with leak by BP to minimize the effect on the public of this undersea eruption) spreads along the Florida coast more Kemp's turtles will be endangered and also the Florida Manatee which has had other issues before this.

All the oil coated brown Pelicans are making the news because of their visibility. Once on the threatened list they have made a remarkable recovery but who knows where this destruction of their habitat and food sources will lead. I certainly would not be willing to bet on their survival after this disaster. Would you?

So while we talk about this $20 billion fund that the government of the United States has required BP to set up for aid to those people on the gulf whose way of life and incomes are threatened by BP's negligent rush to get oil and ergo profits, what has been provided for the rescue of the creatures that cannot listen to the news? What a loss it will be to future generations if these creatures vanish. Who pays for that.

I love the brown pelican and I thought I would end this rather sad blog with a picture of one like they should be - free of oil.