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Environmental risk: Life in the Gulf of Mexico

BIRDS

- Brown Pelican (Endangered species)

- Beach-nesting terns and gulls (Caspian Tern, Royal Tern, Sandwich Tern, Least Tern, Laughing Gull, Black Skimmer).

- Beach-nesting shorebirds (American Oystercatcher, Wilson's Plover, Snowy Plover).

- Reddish Egret

- Large wading birds (Roseate Spoonbill, Ibises, Herons, Egrets).

- Marsh birds – (Mottled Duck, Clapper Rail, Black Rail, Seaside Sparrow, Marsh-Dwelling Songbirds).

- Ocean-dwelling birds including the Magnificent Frigatebird.

- Migratory shorebirds (lovers, sandpipers and relatives).

- Migratory songbirds (warblers, orioles, buntings, flycatchers, swallows, and others).

SOURCE: Natural Audubon Society

FISHERIES

In 2000, the commercial fish and shellfish harvest from the five U.S. Gulf states was estimated to be 1.7 billion pounds (approximately 772 million kg), which represents almost 1/5 (19.4%) of the total domestic landings in the United States.

In the same year, commercial catches in the Gulf represented approximately 25% of the total U.S. domestic commercial fishing revenue and were valued at over $900 million.

There are three anadromous fish species in the Gulf: the striped bass; Gulf sturgeon; and Alabama shad.

SOURCE: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Texas A&M University Corpus Christi

SEA TURTLES

The Green, Hawksbill, Kemp’s Ridley, and Leatherback sea turtles are endangered, and the Loggerhead Sea Turtle is threatened.

SOURCE: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

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