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​Biting flies mean recovery from BP oil disaster

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  • ​Biting flies mean recovery from BP oil disaster

    Biting flies mean recovery from BP oil disaster

    Updated 8:02 AM; Posted 8:00 AM
    By Tristan Baurick, | The Times-Picayune

    The Louisiana coast is again buzzing with big, green blood-hungry flies. And that's a really good thing, according to Claudia Husseneder, a biologist tracking the recovery of horse flies after the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster.

    "This blood-sucking nemesis is a sign of a healthy coast," she said. "They're a bio-indicator of ecosystem health after an oil spill."
    The disaster harmed nearly every species in the Gulf, from dolphins to shore birds, but the horse fly hints at trends in wider ecosystem recovery. They're the top predator of marsh insects and many tiny invertebrates. A marsh with few horse flies is usually a sign that the food chain is out of whack or there's something toxic in the environment.
    Other species are not faring as well. Bottlenose dolphins, sea turtles and deep-sea coral are among the marine animals still still struggling after the disaster.
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