Gulf of Mexico oil blowout increases risks to globally threatened species

Claudio Campagna, Frederick T. Short, Beth A. Polidoro, Roger McManus, Bruce B. Collette, Nicolas J. Pilcher, Yvonne Sadovy De Mitcheson, Simon N. Stuart, Kent E. Carpenter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Fourteen marine species in the Gulf of Mexico are protected by the US Endangered Species Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. As the British Petroleum oil spill recovery and remediation proceed, species internationally recognized as having an elevated risk of extinction should also receive priority for protection and restoration efforts, whether or not they have specific legal protection. Forty additional marine species-unprotected by any federal laws-occur in the Gulf and are listed as threatened on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) Red List. The Red List assessment process scientifically evaluates species' global status and is therefore a key mechanism for transboundary impact assessments and for coordinating international conservation action. Environmental impact assessments conducted for future offshore oil and gas development should incorporate available data on globally threatened species, including species on the IUCN Red List. This consideration is particularly important because US Natural Resource Damage Assessments may not account for injury to highly migratory, globally threatened species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)393-397
Number of pages5
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Gulf of Mexico
  • IUCN Red List
  • oil spill
  • threatened species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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