Oddsmakers say sea turtle will be spill's first extinction
I suppose this falls into the dark humor category: PaddyPower, Ireland's largest bookmaker, is listing odds of 4/5 that the critically endangered Kemp's Ridley sea turtle will be the first species to become extinct as a direct result of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
The second-most likely species to go extinct, according to the bookmaker, is the bluefin tuna.
It seems there's literally nothing this company WON'T lay odds on. (By the way, you can "take the risk out of volcanic ash spoiling your summer holiday. Simply place a bet on your departure airport closing on your travel date due to volcanic ash," the site proclaims.)
Not long ago, they were saying BP's CEO, Tony Hayward, would resign before the year is out. Now, they're taking bets on who will be next. (Three-to-one for Iain Conn.)
Alas, the Kemp's Ridley sea turtle does, indeed, seem to be at considerable risk. According to a National Marine Fisheries Service web page on the species, 95 percent of the worldwide nesting for the species occurs in the state of Tamaulipas, Mexico, on the Gulf of Mexico. Until now, the greatest cause of decline and the continuing primary threat to Kemp's ridleys, the service says, is incidental capture in fishing gear, primarily in shrimp trawls.
Other species and odds on the PaddyPower list:
6/4 Bluefin Tuna
8/1 Leatherback Sea Turtle
8/1 Brown Pelicans
12/1 Loggerhead Turtle
16/1 Sperm Whale
16/1 Blue Whale
20/1 Gulf Sturgeon
20/1 Smalltooth Sawfish
20/1 Elkhorn Coral