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Louisiana’s Wildlife Refuges Before the BP Oil Assault

Posted by Laurie Frost on May 25, 2010

Deepwater Horizon 24Hr Trajectory Map Icon 2010-05-24-2000A good source of information about the areas in Louisiana where the BP oil spill has reached is the US Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS]. They have links to NOAA’s Emergency Response pages, which include PDF maps released daily showing the spread of the spill. To the right is a photo of one of these, not much use in itself, but if you go to this NOAA page, you’ll be able to download the PDF. There are some pictures at these sites of what is happening, but what I have today are images of what is being lost at a few of the 32 refuges FWS manages. 

The brown pelicans of Breton Refuge suffered from the natural disasters of Tropical Storm Arlene and Hurricane Katrina in 2005; what progress had been made in re-establishing their populations will likely be entirely lost by this manmade disaster.

Young brown pelican in nest. Breton National Wildlife Refuge. FWS photo by Donna Dewhurst. Item ID SL-03554

Royal terns in the Chandeleur Islands of Breton National Wildlife Refuge. FWS photo by Donna Dewhurst. Item ID: SL-03515

Lacassine, one of four refuges in the Southwest Louisiana National Wildlife Refuge Complex, is also in the path of BP’s spill. These wildlife refuges are meant to be places of safety for plant life, as well as animals.

Spider lily blossoms [Hymenocallis liriosme]. FWS photo by Steve Hillebrand. Item ID: 320.1.13 Hillebrand 2009

Bald cypress trees in swamp [Taxodium distichum]. FWS photo by Steve Hillebrand. Item ID:  320.1.13 Hillebrand 2009

Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge, Louisiana. FWS photo by John and Karen Hollingsworth. Item ID: WV-9565-Centennial CD

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