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  What the oil spill means for animals
Updated 19 November 2002, 16.57
It's hard work cleaning up after the birds
The northwest coastline of Spain is full of marine and bird life - almost all of which is threatened by the oil spill.

And experts are worried that if oil reaches some parts, it could be many years before certain species recover.

  • Fish

Beach
Spanish soldiers are cleaning up the beach
The area is very rich in fish, and they are food for seabirds.

The oil isn't likely to damage the amount of fish in the area, but when seabirds swoop down to the sea to feed they may get covered in oil.

  • Birds

So far, volunteers have found 18 different types of seabird affected by the oil.

Scientists are really worried about one species called the Balearic shearwater which is already facing extinction.

  • Shellfish

Mussel
Shellfish like mussels will struggle
The oil isn't just a problem for animals living in the sea. It also causes bad damage to animals living near the coast.

Shellfish that live in the mud or sand are really under threat because they could be smothered under the oil or suffocated by it when they try to breathe.

Shellfish can be affected by the oil over a large number of years, which could harm other animals that feed on them like birds and humans.

More InfoBORDER=0
WorldOil tanker sinks in sea near Spain
PicturesHow oil-covered birds are cleaned up
PicturesPix from the Spanish oil spill
GamesPlay SOS Emazonia
ClubEveryone can help the environment

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Past StoriesBORDER=0
Oil spill threatens Spanish wildlife

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Oil spill: your comments
opening quoteIt is stupid that we're not thinking of how our everyday resources affect the environment.closing quote
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