Over 20 species of whales and dolphins , 5 species of sea turtles , dozens of fish species, and hundreds of species of birds live and breed in the Lease Sale 181 area in the Gulf of Mexico. Impacts of Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling on Marine Wildlife Defenders of Wildlife 1130 17 th Street, NW Washington, DC 20036 Contact Sandra Purohit at 202-772-0250 or firstname.lastname@example.org g Killer Whales Endangered Hawksbill sea turtles Endangered Sperm whales Spinner dolphins Sperm whale Bryde 9swhale Minkewhale Dwarf sperm whale Pygmy sperm whale Killer whale False killer whale Pygmy killer whale Blainville 9sbeaked whale Cuvier 9s beaked whale Gervais 9 beaked whale Sowerby 9sbeaked whale Melon-headed whale Short-finned pilot whale Bottlenose dolphin Clymenedolphin Frasier 9s dolphin Pantropicalspotted dolphin Spinner dolphin Striped dolphin Rough-toothed dolphin Risso 9sdolphin Atlantic spotted dolphin Loggerhead Green Hawksbill Kemp 9s ridley Leatherback Tuna (7 species) Swordfish Wahoo Shark (4 species) Oilfish Grouper Flyingfishes Molas Longtailbass Tilefish Snapper (2 species) Barrelfish Hake (3 species) Migrants (280 species) Waterfowl, Herons, Warblers, Raptors, Shorebirds, Orioles, Flycatchers, Hummingbirds Resident species: Storm-petrels, Gulls, Terns, Tropicbirds, Frigatebirds Marine Mammals Sea Turtles Birds Fish " The Gulf of Mexico is the heart of one of the most ... more. less.
important migration corridors in the world, traveled by hundreds of species of birds. " Government studies demonstrate that development of this area may result in a large increase in collision mortality in migrant species.<br><br> " Studies also show that birds are attracted to the lighted platforms during nocturnal migration; they circle the platforms out of confusion and die of exhaustion. " An MMS report cited a study showing that acute histologic lesions were observed in fish collected near drilling platforms. " Offshore rigs affect commercial fishing by making large sections of the offshore area unavailable, interfering with migratory routes, spawning, and feeding areas for target species, generating pollution that destroys crucial nursery habitat for larval and juvenile stages, and resulting in oil spills that reduce catches.<br><br> " Scientific reports cast significant doubt about any supposed habitat benefits of rigs, and, instead, point to potentially significant damage to fish around rigs . " Deep-divers, like the endangered sperm whale, spend large amounts of time resting at the surface of the ocean, increasing the risk of collision with vessels. " Oil can affect survival or the reproductive success of marine mammals through exposure to hydrocarbons and by affecting distribution, abundance, or availability of prey.<br><br> OCS Drilling: Effects on Wildlife * " Government studies suggest that vessel traffic around platforms may increase collisions with sea turtles. Sea turtles are difficult to sight from moving vessels and often rest on or just below the surface of the ocean. " All five species found in the Gulf are either endangered or threatened, making any adverse effects very significant to the overall populations.<br><br> Sea Turtles Marine Mammals Birds Fisheries Deepwater Gulf of Mexico Environmental and Socioeconomic Data Search and Literature Synthesis. Volume I: Narrative Report. 2000.<br><br> Minerals Management Service. Interactions Between Migrating Birds and Offshore Oil and Gas Platforms in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. Final Report.<br><br> 2005. Minerals Management Service. * All information provided was gathered from the following publications of the Minerals Management Service, Department of Interior:<br><br>