MNN Galleries

10 animals at risk of extinction from the Gulf oil spill

By: Bryan Nelson on July 19, 2010, 12:35 p.m.
North Atlantic bluefin tuna

Photo: ZUMA Press

3 of 12

North Atlantic bluefin tuna

Critically endangered and overfished, North Atlantic bluefin tuna numbers have plummeted by 90 percent since the 1970s. Now the oil spill has the potential to erase the entire U.S. population because most of the fish use the Gulf of Mexico as their spawning ground.

Even worse, they typically arrive in the Gulf to spawn between April and July, coinciding perfectly with the oil spill. Adult tuna are additionally threatened by the large underwater oil plumes which occupy the same ocean layers where the fish typically travel.