Press Esc to close
Sunday 31 May 2015
News updated at 1:28 AM IST
Weather
Max: 32.4°C
Min : 22.3°C
In Bengaluru
Sunny day

Biggest oil spill causes highest number of dolphin deaths

Washington, ,July 21,2012Agencies

The largest oil spill ever caused the highest number of dolphin deaths in the Gulf of Mexico, concludes a two-year scientific study.


Most troubling to scientists was the exceptionally high number of young dolphins that made up nearly half of the 186 dolphins that washed ashore from Louisiana to western Florida from January to April 2011.


The number of “perinatal” (near birth) dolphins stranded during this four-month period was six times higher than the average number of perinatal strandings in the region since 2003 and nearly double the historical percentage of all strandings.


“Unfortunately, it was a ‘perfect storm’ that led to the dolphin deaths,” said Graham Worthy, University of Central Florida, Orlando and professor of biology and study co-author, the journal Public Library of Science ONE reports.


“The oil spill and cold winter of 2010 had already put significant stress on their food resources, resulting in poor body condition and depressed immune response. It appears the high volumes of cold freshwater coming from snowmelt water that pushed through Mobile Bay and Mississippi Sound in 2011 was the final blow,” said Worthy, according to a Central Florida statement.


The cold winter of 2010 was followed by the historic BP Deepwater Horizon disaster in April 2010, which dumped millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, likely disrupting the food chain.


This was in the middle of the dolphins’ breeding  season. A sudden entry of high volumes of cold freshwater from Mobile Bay in 2011 imposed additional stress on the ecosystem and specifically on dolphins that were already in poor body condition. “When we put the pieces together, it appears that the dolphins were likely weakened by depleted food resources, bacteria, or other factors as a result of the 2010 cold winter or oil spill,” said Ruth Carmichael.


Go to Top

Photo Gallery
An Indian eagle which was struck inside the fallen tree near Bengaluru Press Club...

An Indian eagle which was struck inside the fallen tree near Bengaluru Press Club...

India's Khalin Joshi tees off on the first hole during the final round of the Bashundhara...

India's Khalin Joshi tees off on the first hole during the final round of the Bashundhara...

Tobacco farmers and workers holding a protest in Vijaywada against anti-tobacco campaigns...

Tobacco farmers and workers holding a protest in Vijaywada against anti-tobacco campaigns...

An elderly woman smokes a Bidi on the eve of 'World No Tobacco Day' in Ahmedabad...

An elderly woman smokes a Bidi on the eve of 'World No Tobacco Day' in Ahmedabad...

Models walk the ramp at Indore Fashion Week in Indore...

Models walk the ramp at Indore Fashion Week in Indore...

Ramkumar Ramanathan of India play a backhand shot against Vishnuvardhan during ITF Mysuru Open...

Ramkumar Ramanathan of India play a backhand shot against Vishnuvardhan during ITF Mysuru Open...

Bollywood actress Sonakshi Sinha poses next to the newly launched BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe...

Bollywood actress Sonakshi Sinha poses next to the newly launched BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe...

Foreigners dance during Millionaire Bhanwar Lal Doshi's Diksha ceremony for becoming a Jain monk...

Foreigners dance during Millionaire Bhanwar Lal Doshi's Diksha ceremony for becoming a Jain monk...

A man takes a nap inside a car on a hot summer day in Ahmadabad...

A man takes a nap inside a car on a hot summer day in Ahmadabad...

A shepherd going with sheep to the next village near Jaliya Village in Beawar, Rajasthan...

A shepherd going with sheep to the next village near Jaliya Village in Beawar, Rajasthan...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523