BP oil still kills, five years after Gulf disaster

This is a seaside sparrow video from the USA.

From National Geographic in the USA:

Deep Impact—The Gulf Spill’s Legacy

Is Gulf Oil Spill‘s Damage Over or Still Unfolding?

Scientists tracking Gulf sparrows, insects, and seabirds try to unravel the mysteries of a landscape changed by oil.

By Craig Welch, National Geographic

PUBLISHED April 14, 2015

Editor’s Note: This is the first of four stories marking the fifth anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Read our other story: How Oil Spills Can Literally Break Fish Hearts.

Every spring, scientists tromp through Louisiana‘s mud and waist-high grass, hunting for the hidden nests of a palm-size bird called the seaside sparrow. Their goal: to see whether the massive oil spill from a broken Gulf of Mexico rig known as Deepwater Horizon has hurt creatures that don’t actually inhabit the water.

Five years after the worst oil spill in U.S. history, early reports from this and other research suggest that the ecological damage lingered in unexpected ways. But scientists say cataloging what that means for the Gulf’s future grows more complex with time.

Amid the rushes and cordgrass of the Gulf’s fragile salt marshes, for example, scientists say they made a surprising discovery: Two years after the spill, in meadows once tarnished by soupy petroleum, flies, crickets, spiders, and the seaside sparrows that eat them were less abundant than in areas untouched by the oil.

“There’s very little question that our oiled plots had greatly reduced sparrow densities,” says Stefan Woltmann, an assistant professor of biology with Austin Peay State University in Tennessee. “Nest success was miserable out there.”

Many of these marsh creatures never came in contact with spilled crude, so the connections between the oil spill and their fate are poorly understood. Some scientists suspect that insects important to wildlife were snuffed out by oily residue that released toxic fumes.

Special Report: Five Years After the BP Oil Spill. Wildlife still suffering in the Gulf of Mexico: here.

How the Gulf Coast oil spill clean-up method could have further dispersed oil.

37 thoughts on “BP oil still kills, five years after Gulf disaster

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