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You occationally get white whales and dolphins but for obvious reasons they tend to be young (predation). This animals looks like it's a fully grown adult, and is just beautiful!

 

Scientists have made what they believe to be the first sighting of an adult white orca, or killer whale.

 

The adult male, which they have nicknamed Iceberg, was spotted off the coast of Kamchatka in eastern Russia.

 

It appears to be healthy and leading a normal life in its pod.

 

iceberg.jpg

 

 

 

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17783603

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The Council of State has introduced a ban on the import of dolphins for entertainment purposes but has rejected a ban on them being kept in captivity, which means that current captive animals won't have to be released.

 

The Liberal Green deputy Isabelle Chevalley has managed to ban the import of dolphins into Switzerland with the help of Sea Shepherd Switzerland and the Swiss Cetacean Society-SCS.

 

Sea Shepherd Switzerland and the Swiss Cetacean Society-SCS have actively supported the Liberal Green deputy Isabelle Chevalley in her Swiss parliamentary motion calling for the ban on the import of dolphins into Switzerland.

 

On the 12th of this month, the Liberal Green deputy Isabelle Chevalley provided members of parliament with a briefing document drawn up jointly with Sea Shepherd Switzerland and the Swiss Cetacean Society.

 

On the 13th of March, following her convincing debate, the deputy succeeded in having her motion on the ban carried with 112 votes for and 60 against.

 

The Council of States then enforced the ban on the import of dolphins into Switzerland, but nevertheless rejected a ban on their captivity. The two associations are concerned by the fate of three dolphins, a mother and her two youngsters who are still being held in captivity in Switzerland’s sole dolphinarium, the  Connyland. This park organised a rave party last November, following which two dolphins died, raising the death toll of dolphins in Switzerland to eight in only three years.

 

The Connyland will reopen on the 31st of March and the show with the three dolphins will resume.

 

 

Direct from the Sea Shpherd website: http://www.seashepherd.org/news-and-media/2012/03/24/victory-for-the-dolphins-in-switzerland-1359

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You may remember way back in 2010 there was a campaign to rescue Tom and Misha from living in quite diabolical conditions in a small pool in a tourist town in Turkey. Thanks too Born Free Foundation and Turkish NGO Underwater Research Society they were successfully recovered and I'm pleased to report that their rehabilitation is going really well and the team are now hopeful that release will be possible! 

 

 

Jeff explains; "We have had and still do have many obstacles to overcome but, throughout, Tom and Misha have proven to be willing participants. We have been working hard to prepare them for life outside their sea-pen. Building up their fitness and stamina has been a crucial component. Their muscle strength was very weak when they first arrived and they were desperately underweight and lethargic as they had been confined to a ridiculously small and inadequate captive environment. They have since gained weight, their bodies are toned and they are clearly much fitter and stronger".


Misha_and_Tom__c__J_Foster_BFF.JPG


Some of the techniques adopted by the team were first tested during the rehabilitation of  the orca Keiko, star of the Hollywood hit ‘Free Willy’. Jeff recalled, "We ‘cut our teeth’ on Keiko, which was a hugely expensive and ambitious project.  We learned from that experience and this enabled us to go on and successfully release Springer, another orca ."

 

Jeff added, "Tom and Misha are different again, not only because they are a different species but because they have spent years in captivity and have lost a lot of their natural instincts, which is what makes this project so unique and pioneering. One of the challenges has been to change their focus from ‘above water’ and people, to below water and their natural habitat. If we can get Tom and Misha back to the wild, in my view, it will be one of the great release projects of all time."

 

Source: http://www.bornfree.org.uk/campaigns/marine/hisaronu-dolphins/update-march-2012/?&utm_source=express&utm_medium=press&utm_campaign=Hisaronu

 

Also if you have a bit of spare cash, even a fiver, you can donate here: http://www.bornfree.org.uk/shop/acatalog/Dolphin_Rescue.html

 

 

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This video is quite amazing, I think the thing I find the most amazing in some ways is the way the animals strand themselves. They are just swimming along in a straight line and they don't deviate, then before they know it they are in trouble and the waves are washing them further up the beach.

 

I'm not sure if there are any other videos of dolphins stranding themselves, would be intersested if anyone knows of any.

 

On a side note while I think this is an amazing rescue, I'd be a bit worried about the possible damage done by dragging them by the tail. I understand common dolphins are very heavy (I've had to carry a few in my time), but teaming up into groups of 3-4 people and carrying them would have been a much harder but safer way of doing it! Still, at the end of the day, they got the job done!

 

It was just another day at the beach--or so it seemed till dozens of dolphins suddenly swam in with the surf and got stranded in the sandy shallows. The dramatic video of the stranding in the Brazilian town of Arraial do Cabo--now a YouTube sensation--shows humans rushing to help their fellow mammals, pushing and pulling hard to help the animals reach deeper water.

 

 

 

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/08/dolphin-stranding-in-brazil-triggers-mad-dash_n_1333810.html

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Woo!

 

I particularly like this bit ‘"The porpoises have found a way to not only avoid the ships, but it's also the noise they make," says Keener.

 

Harbor porpoises haven't been seen in San Francisco Bay for more than 60 years. But now, they're coming back through the Golden Gate in growing numbers and researchers are trying to understand why they’re returning.

 

 

 

 

 

The best place to look for them is 220 feet above the water on the pedestrian walkway across the Golden Gate Bridge. That's where Bill Keener of Golden Gate Cetacean Research photographs them, holding a massive telephoto lens over the side of the railing.

 

 

 

"There's a porpoise right there, coming very, very close," he says pointing. A dark shape appears in the water. It's a harbor porpoise, coming up for air. "And here's a mother and calf coming straight at us."

 

 

Porpoise-11-300x168.jpg

 

Source: http://blogs.kqed.org/newsfix/2011/12/05/after-60-years-porpoises-return-to-san-francisco-bay/

 

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A few weeks ago I put up a post about the unprecedented numbers of bottlenose dolphins stranding off the Gulf Coast Dead dolphins still a concern on Gulf Coast

 

Further to this story, a live animal has been found, this will give the researchers a good chance to study the animal and hopefully see if they can untangle whats going on. Fingers crossed 'Chance' as the locals have named it, survives!

 

Four more dolphins washed up on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico this week. For coastal residents from Louisiana to Florida, the beached animals are a familair sight: hundreds of decomposing dolphin carcasses have turned up over the last two years.

 

But last week, Alabama residents came across a stranded dolphin that was still alive, though badly injured.

 

Moby Solangi, director of the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport, Miss., where the rescued dolphin is being cared for and studied, said the discovery presented the institute’s first opportunity in two years to examine a live dolphin that was ill.

 

The researchers hope that studying the dolphin will yield clues to the principal cause of the die-off. “People in Alabama call it Chance,” Dr. Solangi said of the survivor

 

 

dolphin2-blog480.jpg

 

 

Source: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/01/among-hundreds-of-dead-an-intriguing-survivor/

 

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This is a very cool project!

 

 

The people at St Andrews in Scotland, they have tagged 25 pilot and killer whales in various locations and recorded their calls. They are now asking volunteers to match up the vocalisations, to help them better understand their communication. 'Citizen Scientists' from around the world are being asked to listen to and classify the various calls.

 

The increasing size of current acoustic datasets and the large call repertoire make it very difficult for scientists to address these questions. A single person would take months to go through the data, and the outcome would still depend on a single persons’ interpretation.

 

For this reason we want to ask you to help us solve this problem, by categorizing the calls of killer whales pilot whales that you find on this website. The dataset generated by this project will allow us to address interesting questions, such as:

 

  • How well do different judgements of volunteers agree, and how well can we categorize calls of vocal species such as pilot whales?
  • How large is the call repertoire of pilot whales? (is size repertoire sign of intelligence?)
    • Do the long and short finned pilot whales have different call repertoires (or ‘dialects’?).
    • Does this repertoire change during sonar transmissions? if so, how does this related to changes in behavior of the individuals and the group as a whole?

     

     

    Go to http://whale.fm/ to take part!

     

    Write up from the BBC as well: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-15929295

     

     

    Right I'm off to match up a few more calls before lunch! (hope my boss isn't reading this!)

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    13m Fin whale washed up in Raughley, north Co Sligo yesterday. It's been a busy week for Ireland cetacean wise, with the first confirmed sighting of a dolphin in a lake. A common dolphin was spotted in a saltwater lake in Co Cork. It was seen for 2 days but has since moved on, assumed to have gone back to sea.

     

    Whale story


    The carcass of a whale yesterday lay strewn on a beach after it had been battered against nearby rocks.


    It was swept on to the rocks on Monday night in gale-force winds.


    whale_989226t.jpg

     

    Dolphin in Lake

     

    THE IRISH Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has confirmed the first sighting of a dolphin in an Irish lake, in Lough Hyne near Baltimore, Co Cork. This is the first time a cetacean has been found in such an environment.

     

    The group’s sightings co-ordinator Pádraig Whooley said: “The IWDG frequently documents cetaceans in bays, occasionally in estuaries, rarely in rivers, but to the best of my knowledge, and I’m open to correction, this is the first validated record of a cetacean using an Irish lake.”

     

    Whale story: http://www.independent.ie/national-news/carcass-of-13m-whale-beached-by-gales-2949431.html

     

    Lake story: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2011/1130/1224308334281.html

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    We ladies have been known to go to great lenghts for softer skin but new research suggests killer whales may be showing us all up!

     

    A new study for the first time shows that some killer whales wander nearly 10,000 kilometres from Antarctica's Southern Ocean into tropical waters - but not to feed or breed.

      
    Rather, these fearsome predators at the apex of the marine food chain traverse the sea at top speed, slowing as they reach warmer climes to exfoliate, the study speculates.
      
    They are driven, in other words, by the urge or need to make their skin all shiny and new.
    killer whale.php
    Durban and Pitman suspect that killer whales move into warmer waters in order to shed a layer, along with an encrustation of single-celled algae called diatoms, without freezing to death.
      
    Orcas are the smallest cetaceans, a group including whales and dolphins, which live for extended periods in subzero Antarctic waters. Replacing and repairing outer skin in waters where the surface temperature is minus 1.9 degree Celsius, may be dangerous, even lethal.
      
    Surface temperatures at the killer whales' tropical destinations, by contrast, were a balmy 20.9 to 24.2 C.

    Original source: http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/1599657/latest-from-wire/

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    It's not unusal for bottlenose dolphins to attack harbour porpoises, it's something we've known about for years and is often their largest cause of death here in the UK. I wanted to put the link up for this as I know it's not very commonly known about outside scientific cetacean research circles and also as it's very rare to get pictures.

     

    It had two badly broken jawbones, fractured ribs on both sides and a broken scapula, evidence of a sadistic attack. Worst of all, the female porpoise, which had been seen twice before and identified by researchers in Monterey Bay, was lactating when she was killed, according to marine biologists.

     

    It was a clear case of what scientists are calling "porpicide," the deliberate slaying of a harbor porpoise by a surprising and, to most people, unlikely culprit.

     

    "We suspect that it was a bottlenose dolphin," said Bill Keener, a researcher for Golden Gate Cetacean Research.

    The brutal battering wasn't an isolated incident. Scientists say there has been a dramatic increase in dolphin attacks on harbor porpoises along the California coast over the past few years, including an attack Wednesday off Half Moon Bay.

     

    porpoise bnd attack.jpg



    Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/09/16/BADK1L3JVQ.DTL#ixzz1YOpvZF00

     

     

     

     

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    You can catch up with this animals day to day adventures and see some amazing photos of it in photographer Ashala Tylors blog.

     

    Its been an amazing 50 days for the animal, after attempts to get it back out to sea with killer whale song and noise failed. The scientists gave up and decided the best course of action was to simply monitor it.

     

    I love these stories as its often the human behaviour that is the most interesting!

     

     

    Surely, no river whale beforehand has been so showered with so much affection, especially since scientists have abandoned attempts to drive the whale to sea. People have swum alongside the whale; they've also canoed and kayaked with the leviathan.


    She has been serenaded not only by ukulele but by flute and violin. Poems have been written about and for the whale. Song and chants have been issued and prayers read in the hope that Mama will leave before the water level drops much farther, placing her in jeopardy.

     

    grey whale.jpg

     

     

    Link to: Photo and quote

     

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    Fingers crossed the wee thing finds it's mum again!

     

    NB: Sadly it doesn't appear to have found it's mum and was reported to have restranded 2 days after it's refloat. Unfortunatly dispite everyones best efforts the animal had to be put down.

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    Ah, now this is pretty cool!

     

    When Michael Fishbach, co-founder of The Great Whale Conservancy, was boating in the Sea of Cortez, he and his family came across a stranded humpback whale.

     

    The massive whale was dying, tangled in a mess of plastic fishing nets. Fishbach and his family spent over an hour freeing the giant cetacean, which then swam off. Hey, if you're a stranded whale, Fishbach is exactly the guy you'd hope to meet.

     

     

    Souce: http://www.nowpublic.com/environment/humpback-whale-thanks-rescuers-video-2819162.html

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    This job can get a bit depressing so it's nice when people hook me up with some happy and healthy dolphins! A friend just sent me this lovely video of common dolphins in Cornwall, taken yesterday by Marine Discovery in Penzance.