Thursday, 27 January 2011

How Does Oil Affect the Wildlife, How Can the Wildlife Be Cleaned?

Oil spills take place when an oil tanker leaks oil into the sea due to the carelessness of the authorities concerned. Oil spills can happen when two countries are waging a war, or when dumpers dump crude oil as a cheap way to dispose their waste oil. It can even happen due to natural calamities like hurricanes, which cause the tankers to turn over resulting in a spill. The worst hit in this disaster is the wildlife and birds. Oil spill wildlife causes death and devastation of a large number of species.
Oil leaks can have devastating effects on the environment, causing great damage to wildlife, birds as well as marine creatures. For example, oil spill wildlife can cause hypothermia. The oil, when mixed with water, forms a matter that sticks to the furs of animals and to the feathers of birds. This in turn, affects the animal's capacity to regulate its body temperature. In the same way, birds get poisoned when they try to clean themselves when exposed to oil. The oil can also blind the animals. They fall an easy prey to predators and get killed. Due to oil spill, wildlife may even become endangered; and with the recent leak in the Gulf of Mexico, environmentalists are addressing this issue with more seriousness than before.
The long term effects of oil-spill wildlife can be ravaging. The leaked oil may spread to larger areas spreading toxic on the way, leading to recurring ecological change. Oil spill wildlife can have an effect on the reproduction pattern, thus reducing the population of the species concerned. Oil leaks can also have a serious impact on the ocean habitat, which is one of the worst hit. The oil can engulf several species of sea creatures. Since marine creatures consume the sea water for their survival, the oil can lead to damage of internal organs and can even poison them. This could result in illness and ultimately death. Oil spills have an adverse effect on the economy as well, due to the losses incurred by fishing, tourism and other industries that depend on the coastline and its wildlife for their survival.
With the recent debacle in the Gulf of Mexico, prevention and cleanup operations have come to the forefront. Some of the steps used to remove oil and to prevent it from spills, are booms, skimming techniques, vacuums, sorbents and shovels. These are physical methods to strain the oil and they prevent oil from spreading. Absorbents to suck up the oil are another method used. For large spills, chemicals and other biological agents need to be employed.
It is clear that oil spill wildlife has negative and long term implications. As it is rightly said, a day's disaster will take centuries to restore.