Florida's Kemp's Ridley sea turtle is listed on a new report from the Endangered Species Coalition that names 10 species in jeopardy because of fossil-fuel development.
The turtle is seriously endangered because of the lingering impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, according to wildlife biologist Jan Randall, a fellow at the California Academy of Science and a member of the scientific advisory board that selected the 10 species most imperiled.
"Coal, all the oil exploration, development, transportation, the spills, and now there's the shale oil, and then you get into the fracking," Randall said. "We're paying a huge environmental cost."
Plants, birds and fish from around the nation are listed in the report, including a type of flower that only grows on oil-shale land in Utah. The report cites leaking pipelines and the Gulf oil disaster as examples where species have been devastated.
Making sure species such as the sea turtle are not wiped out is not just in the best interest of the animals and plants. She said every plant and animal plays a role in a healthy environment.
"Biodiversity is the basis of a stable environment, a stable community, because everything's interconnected - and I don't think people understand this."
Since the BP oil disaster, the report indicates 156 turtle deaths have been attributed to the spill.
The report, "Fueling Extinction: How Dirty Energy Drives Wildlife to the Brink," is online at fuelingextinction.org.