Surveying Oil for Sea Turtles
Picture by: Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission Picture taken on: May 31st, 2010
Scientists knew they needed to conduct surveys in offshore waters where the oil was spreading to search for and rescue some of the most vulnerable sea turtles, those in their young life stages found in Sargassum algae convergence areas. As oil concentrated in some of these floating mats of algae, sea turtles were found coated in oil here, some had ingested oil, and many were exposed to extreme temperatures as the sun heated up oil at the ocean’s surface. In addition to rescuing turtles, scientists documented the amount of oil in the turtles’ habitat and any changes in oiling they saw over time. The information they collected will later help evaluate the impacts of the oil spill on sea turtles at this vulnerable stage of life.
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