Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Endangered Species of the Southern Ocean

  • The Southern Royal Albatross is a sea bird that feeds on squids and fish. It's threatened by long-line fishing.

  •  Fur seals are mainly found on the sub-antarctic islands. These seals face threats from habitat loss, overfishing, oil spills and entanglement in fishing nets.

  • Humpback whales are commonly known for their famous "singing". These whales face threats from oil whalers.

Endangered Species of the Arctic Ocean

  • Polar Bears travel across the snow and ice in search for food. Sometimes they swim have to swim out to sea to find food. Over-hunting and the melting of the ice caps are threats to these sea mammals.
  • The bowhead whale is an exclusive whale species that only inhabits arctic waters. It's population was almost decimated by whalers. It is estimated that only 450 whales endure today.

Endangered Species of the Indian Ocean

  • Dugongs are related to manatees and are similar in appearance and behavior. Poaching is the major threat to these animals.

  • The Southern Elephant Seal is a unique seal that is a victim to over-hunting. The seal gets its name from its great size.

Endangered Species of the Pacific Ocean

  • Steelheads are fish that are found on the Southern California coast and in the North Pacific Ocean. Their threats are predation by marine mammals and ocean drift-net fishing.

  • The Gray whale is put at risk by whaling. It's skin is gray and contains white patches due to whale lice and patches of barnacles attached to their skin.

  • The Borneo shark is a rare organism that lives in the shallow coastal waters of the South Pacific Ocean. This shark is currently threatened by fishing operations.

  • The white abalone is an benthic gastropod. A gastropod is a large class of mollusks which includes snails and slugs. Overfishing is a threat to this marine plant. 

Endangered Species of the Atlantic Ocean

  • The Blue Whale is the largest animal to inhabit the Earth. Their threats are entanglement in fishing nets, pollution , and illegal whaling.  

  • Bottle nose dolphins are social animals. The main threat to these dolphins is injury or death during the process of capturing tuna.

  • Manatees are found in Florida and live to 50-60 years of age. Manatees are herbivores. Major threats to manatees are humans and boat accidents. 

  • Sea turtles are found in warm waters. Threats for these turtles are ocean pollution, oil spills, and entanglement in fishing and shrimp nets. 

Why save these organisms?

Endangered animals are plants and animals that exist in small numbers that may be lost forever if we do not take quick action to stop their decline. This blog will provide a list of endangered species that live in each of the five oceans. Saving endangered species is critical to marine ecology. If a plant or animal becomes extinct, it could affect the survival of another organism. This could aid in disruption of a an ecosystem. Loss of a species could also potentially mean the loss of a cure for cancer or a new antibiotic drug. Each living plant or animal is critical to the environment in which they live in. Thus, endangered species should be protected and awareness about these organisms should be increased as well.