The terrible oil spill of the Exxon Valdez on March, 1989, which killed many animals, occurred in Prince William Sound. Many species of the animals effected are listed either not recovering, recovering or recovered. Harbor seals and killer whales are not recovering even ten years after the accident.
Exxon Valdez Oil Spill
The harbor seals have lost 80% of their population in the last 20 years; 43% of them were killed because of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. A pod of killer whales off the coast of Alaska lost 13 out of 36 whales, and others left and went to a new pod, very unusual for killer whales. Females and children were the majority of what was killed. Some animals, tragically, were on their way to recovery like sea otters and pink salmon.
Pink salmon and sea otters are recovering slowly, but surely. The pink salmon had two main things happen to them that are still in effect. Number one is that the young were found to be smaller in oil spilled waters. Number two is that egg mortality increased in oil spilled streams. One hundred thousand sea otters live off the coast of Alaska, and 13,000 of them live in Prince wIlliam Sound. Two thousand eight hundred of the sea otters were killed during the oil spill, which made them the symbol of the oil's destruction. Unlike the pink salmon and the sea otters, some species of animals are completely recovered from the oils spill, like the bald eagle and the river otters.
The river otters and bald eagles have met their recovering objective. About 6,000 live in Prince William Sound. Even though about 250 bald eagles died from the oil spill they rebounded very quickly and were fully recovered by 1996. The approximate population of the river otter is unknown which makes it difficult to estimate the population drop. The river otter's body size dropped and it's territory size grew. The river otters were announced fully recovered in 1999 because of large disappearances in these defects. There aren't many animals that are fully recovered, but many are recovering and, unfortunately, many are not recovering.
Although some animals
are recovered, many species may never be. River otters and
bald eagles are very lucky to be fully recovered, but many others are not
so lucky like killer whales, harbor seals, pink salmon, and sea otters.
The horrible spill is still in effect, and it's still killing animals.
|Mount St. Helens||Home|