Impact of oil spills:
The environmental impact of oil spills has been researched for the past 30 years and a considerable amount has been learnt about the nature and duration of such effects. As a result, our predictive capability is probably better for oil spills than many other types of marine pollutant.
The range of biological impacts after an oil spill can encompass.
∑ Physical and chemical alteration of natural habits
∑ Physical smothering effects on flora and fauna
∑ Lethal or sub-lethal effects on flora and fauna
∑ Changes in biological communities resulting from oil effects on key organisms.
Effects of oil spills on wildlife:
Birds die from oil spills if their feathers are covered in oil. The bird will then be poisoned because it will try to clean itself. Animals may die because they get hypothermia, causing their body temperature to be really low. Oil may also cause the death of an animal by entering the animalís lungs or liver. The oil will then poison the animal. Oil also can kill an animal by blinding it. The animal will not be able to see and be aware of their predators. If they are not aware of other animals, they may be eaten
Fish: Fish are exposed to oil in many different ways. They may come in contact and contaminate their gills. Fish that are exposed to oil may suffer from changes in heart and respiratory rate.
∑ Birds are very susceptible to oil spills. Seabirds are in the greatest danger because they spend most of their time feeding off the top of the ocean
∑ Mammals that consist of sea otters, sea lions, walrus, dolphins, and whales. When they come to the surface of the ocean, they inhale hydrocarbon vapors that result in bad lungs.