July 12, 2011


Yellowstone River Spill Not Good for Wildlife, But Could Be Worse

The good news about the oil pipe that ruptured outside Laurel, Montana, last Friday and spilled up to 42,000 gallons of crude oil into the Yellowstone River is that the river is moving, preventing the oil from building up on larger animals like it did in the Gulf Coast spill. The bad news is that it's moving far too fast, spreading the oil as much as 240 miles downstream and splashing it onto shores.

... The animals of most concern are birds, wildlife biologist Kimberly Dickerson of FWS said in an e-mail, since they collect oil in their feathers, and are poisoned by it when they ingest it.

They can also pass it into their eggs. The International Bird Rescue has set up a shelter for oiled birds, which is happy to take other critters as well, adds toxicologist Karen Nelson. Due to the high waters, the cleanup crew has been mainly relying on aerial observations to pinpoint areas where affected wildlife might be. So far, oiled birds have been spotted and photographed, but none had been caught as of last night.

... But raptors such as eagles and osprey are spared a double-whammy: the fish they eat won't be badly affected. Fish, says Dickerson, are able to metabolize the oil and don't retain it in their systems. A bigger concern for fish is whether the oil will plug up their gills, suffocate them, or kill off the algae and insects that the fish eat.

Science Insider - news.sciencemag.org
07 Jul 2011
S Reardon
Location: Montana, USA

Other Yellowstone River Oil Spill News

1,000-pound whale, second found this week in Indian River County, to be part of study

A half-ton pygmy sperm whale found dead late Friday on the beach near Bermuda Bay on State Road A1A by a visiting Texas couple will be studied to determine why these deep ocean marine mammals are swimming to land and dying.

Scientists want to know whether a heart disease similar to one that affects humans is the cause, said Steve McCulloch, manager of the Marine Mammal Research and Conservation Program at Florida Atlantic University's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in Fort Pierce.

The whale was the second in three days to be found stranded on Indian River County beaches and the eighth this week to be found beached between North Carolina and the Florida Keys, McCulloch said.

"The last time we had this number of strandings in this amount of time was in 1998," he added.

Tresure Coast and Palm Beaches (TCPalm) - www.tcpalm.com
09 Jul 2011 J Kirley
Location: Indian River Cty, Florida, USA - Map It


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