And continuing our update on San Diego Sea Turtle's relatives in the Gulf of Mexico, as of Sunday, June 27th, here are the numbers concerning turtles affected by the oil spill. Visit NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration for full details.
- total number of sea turtles verified from April 30 - June 27 within the designated spill area
- 98 or 17%
- of the 580, the number of live turtles actively rescued on-water
- 430 or 74%
- of the 580; the number of turtles stranded dead
- 45 or 8%
- of the 580; the number of turtles stranded alive
- of those 45, the number that subsequently died
- turtles currently in rehabilitation
- 110 or 81%
- total number of turtles that are in rehabilitation that were captured (98) and stranded (37) alive with visible external oil
Also noteworthy, a young sperm whale was found dead, 77 miles south of the spill site on June 15th. Like the most common species of sea turtle being found in the spill site (Kemp's Ridley), the sperm whale is an endangered species, and happens to be the only endangered resident cetacean (whale) found in this northern part of the Gulf. According to NOAA's same website, "There are no records of stranded whales in the Gulf of Mexico for the month of June for the period 2003-2007." Tissue samples taken from the 25-foot deceased sperm whale will be analyzed to try and determine cause of death and possible impact from oil.
Another cetacean impacted are dolphins. As of June 27th, 55 dolphins have been verified in the designated spill area, and all but 2 were already dead or subsequently died (96%).