From Green Right Now Reports
That gushing BP oil well may finally be capped, but wildlife officials caution against too much optimism stemming from reports saying the worst is behind us and only a quarter of the oil remains in the Gulf of Mexico.
An increase in the number of oiled birds and turtles tells a very different story of the state of spill and its aftermath.
Before BP finally managed to get a temporary cap on the leak on July 15, an average of 37 oiled birds were being collected, dead or alive, each day, according to daily wildlife rescue reports from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Since then, the same daily reports indicate that the figure has doubled to nearly 71 per day as birds get stuck in the leftover goo and rescuers visit rookeries they decided not to disturb during nesting season.
Rescuers are in a race against the clock as the percentage of oiled birds recovered alive has dropped from 56 percent before the well was capped to 41 percent now. As of August 6, a total of 1,794 oiled birds had been recovered alive, as well as 1,642 that had died, with 73 percent of the birds coming from Louisiana.
Figures for sea turtles are even more alarming: More oiled turtles were recovered in a recent 10-day period than during the spill’s first three months. However, the prognosis for sea turtles has been much better than for birds, as just 17 visibly oiled turtles have died.