Beautiful systems vulnerable to oil

I recently had the wonderful opportunity to assist some biologists in collecting blood samples from Brown Pelican nestlings, and to help survey for Ornate Diamondback Terrapins. The Brown Pelican was recently removed from the endangered species list, and terrapins have experienced steep enough declines to elicit proposals for endangered status. Both of these species rely on a healthy coastal ecosystem for their survival. If oil covers their habitat, they have no where to go.

Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) on nest

Brown Pelican nesting colony with Gulf of Mexico in background

Brown Pelican nestlings

Male Ornate Diamondback Terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin macrospilota)

Female Diamondback Terrapin swimming in shallow water

Female Diamondback Terrapin with barnacles growing on shell

Marsh Periwinkle snails (Littorina irrorata) that make up large part of terrapin's diet

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