Oil Spill Causes Thousands of Turtle Eggs Not to Hatch... Not in the Gulf of Mexico

olive ridley photo

photo: Brandon Schabes via flickr.

Though at the time a month ago it went largely unmentioned in the world press, there being other disasters occurring at the time, an oil spill off the coast of the Indian state of Orissa has had a pretty bad impact on wildlife. The Deccan Herald reports that thousands of eggs of the Olive Ridley sea turtle have failed to hatch because of the April 12th spill.According to Rushikulya Sea Turtle Protection Committee the number of turtle hatchlings have decline 40-50% this year after their nests got soaked by oil from a ship which leaked near the port in Gopalpur.

Rabindranath Sahu, secretary of the Committee:

The authorities cleaned only 2-3 km stretch of the beach. The rest of the 5-km nesting site remained contaminated for days as a layer of oil was found on the beach. Many eggs were damaged due to the toxic effect of oil deposits. Moreover, many baby turtles failed to move out of the nest as the soil also got harder.

Some 155,000 Olive Ridleys had been nesting on the beach since March. Mortality of the hatchlings is naturally high, with only about three quarters of eggs hatching and one in a thousand living to adulthood.

Read more: Oil spill spoil thousands of turtle eggs
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More on Oil Spills:
Canadian Environment Minister Gloats While Gulf Oil Spreads
The Anatomy of an Oil Spill Cleanup: What Works and What Doesn't
Gulf Oil Spill: The Black and Oily Demise of Wildlife (Slideshow)

More on Sea Turtles:
Endangered Sea Turtles Face Death by a Thousand Hooks
4,000 Baby Loggerhead Sea Turtles Get a Helping Hand Out to Sea
Moonlight Walks on the Beach Can Be Perilous (For Sea Turtles, That Is)

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