(Manatees swim close to the surface and frequently come up for air. They also come to Florida in the summer months. Manatees will probably run into the oil spill in the Gulf, and there could be very serious results. Photo by Jim Reid, USFWS.)
Here is a list of animal species already affected or have the potential to be affected by the oil spill if the circumstances are right, as provided by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Many of these species’ populations are already fragile, if not endangered. Having to battle the oil in the Gulf only serves to weaken them further, making their survival more difficult, if not impossible.
This is the worst part of the spill (outside the fact 11 men lost their lives). This is the real tragedy.