What happens to marine wildlife during hurricanes?
When a big hurricane hits, the animal living underwater search for refuge ... if they can.
September 8, 2017, 3:31 p.m.
Mother Nature Network
Hurricanes are incredibly powerful storms that wreak havoc on marine and coastal ecosystems as they work their way from deeper water toward land. The force of the storm churns up water, mixing warmer water at the surface with cooler water from farther down the water column. In all this churning, what happens to the wildlife living in the storm-tossed waters?
While some species can sense the approaching danger and head to safer areas, those that cannot escape the path of the hurricane are displaced or don't survive.
"When Hurricane Andrew hit Louisiana the government estimated that more than 9 million fish were killed offshore. Similarly an assessment of the effect of that same storm on the Everglades Basin in Florida showed that 182 million fish were killed. Hurricane Katrina also had a huge effect on dolphin species," wrote the National Wildlife Federation.
Meanwhile, those species that survive may find their ecosystem dramatically altered, with new threats to livability ranging from increased silt to decreased salinity.
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