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Not really any more information on this story Peru mass strandings currently around 600 animals. but it's an interesting interview with CNN showing the current situation.

 

I can't get the video to embed as it's CNNs own format but here is the link: http://edition.cnn.com/2012/04/22/world/americas/peru-dead-dolphins/

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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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179 animals in 39 days, that's a lot of work! Things seem to be easing up a bit now though, thank goodness!

 

 

“We saved more of them than we normally do,” she said. “Of the 179 only 71 were found alive and we successfully released 53 so that’s a 75 percent success rate. That was really high. In a great part that’s due to our fantastic volunteers and our ability to get to the animals quickly.”



Read more: Dolphin rescuers glad the tide of Cape Cod strandings is over - - Wicked Local Eastham http://www.wickedlocal.com/brewster/news/x587877869/Dolphin-rescuers-glad-the-tide-of-Cape-Cod-strandings-is-over#ixzz1oROEaORK

 

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A bit of an ongoing story here, back in November a dolphin was rescued near Alabama, the area has seen a massive increase in strandings recently, see my previous posts here: Further on the Gulf Coast strandings.

 

Well it appears the dolphin, named Chance is still alive and seems to be healing well although still has a long way to go. Sadly the write up doesn't tell us much about the strandings which have now been declared a "Unusual Mortality Event."


GULFPORT, Mississippi -- A nearly dead dolphin found in Alabama in November is recovering at the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies and yielding data that may help explain 630 dolphin strandings that have occurred in the northern Gulf of Mexico since February 2010.

 

Moby Solangi, director of the institute, said he is not at liberty to talk about details of what has been discovered as the dolphin named "Chance" has been nursed back from the brink of death after being rescued Nov. 24 from near a marsh at Fort Morgan.

 

"What we can say is it has revealed some significant information," Solangi said.

 

"Finding this live dolphin was like finding the black box from an airplane after a crash," he said.

 

 

dolphin-chance-food-b95bcd8b0fab52a5.jpg

 

Source: http://blog.gulflive.com/mississippi-press-news/2012/01/dolphin_found_in_alabama_is_yi.html

 

 

 

Massive fingers crossed for Chance and I hope they can work out whats happening and put an end to it soon!

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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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In this post  Fin whale in Co Sligo Ireland I mentioned that a dolphin had been discovered in a salt walter lake in Ireland, sadly according to the IWDG's website, it looks like the animal didn't find it's way back to sea after all.

 

IWDG have received a report from local whale watch expert, Colin Barnes, that he has just seen a dead dolphin washed up on the island on Lough Hyne this morning 1/12/11. He described it as a medium sized animal, and can confirm that it is a common dolphin.

 

This sighting brings to a close the mystery as to whether this animal succeeded in returning to open ocean. Alas, this outcome was predictable, and is yet another reminder that cetaceans are at high risk when they venture out of their "normal" habitats. Lough Hyne can now claim another first, as it can now add to its first cetacean sighting, its first cetacean stranding; albeit of the same individual.

 

Thanks to everyone on IWDG's facebook page who took a big interest in this story.

 

Source: http://iwdg.ie/article.asp?id=2507

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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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    Happy anniversary!

     

    I guess in an ideal world groups like this wouldn't have to exist at all, let alone to have to be around for 21 years. However as they are needed it's great when you get groups that are both professional and caring.

     

    The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) will celebrate its 21st anniversary at a special banquet on Saturday 19 November at the Grand Hotel in Malahide, Co Dublin.

     

    The evening will consist of a three-course meal and entertainment including music and dancing, a film show of IWDG activities over the years, an international guest speaker (to be announced) exploring the impact of the IWDG on cetacean recording.

     

    The marine wildlife conservation group's AGM will take place earlier in the day at the Grand Hotel at 2pm.

    Tickets for the banquet are €60 - book early as places are limited to 120. To book contact Shay Fennelly at shayfennelly@eircom.net or 087 642 8902.

     

    Overnight accommodation is also available at the Grand Hotel with special rates for banquet guests of €90 for a single room and €110 for a double/twin room. To book contact Hilary Fogarty, quoting IWDG as the reference, at 01 845 0000, 01 816 8281 or event@thegrand.ie.

     

     

    Source: http://afloat.ie/port-news/marine-wildlife/item/16958-iwdg-21st-anniversary-banquet-in-november/

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    I'd like to pretend I'm a bigger person than I am and say I'm in no way jealous of this lady, but I can't, what a cool job! Worth clicking the link to watch the video.

     

     

    Next year Dr. Herzing plans to begin a new phase of her research, something she says has been a lifetime goal: real-time two-way communication, in which dolphins take the initiative to interact with humans.

    Up to now, dolphins have shown themselves to be adept at responding to human prompts, with food as a reward for performing a task. “It’s rare that we ask dolphins to seek something from us,” Dr. Herzing said.

    But if she is right, the dolphins will seek to communicate with humans, and the reward will be social interaction itself, with dolphins and humans perhaps developing a crude vocabulary for objects and actions.

     

     

    Source with a really good video: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/20/science/20dolphin.html?_r=1

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    When they say 'found' they don't mean as in down the back of the sofa, didn't know it was there. More, they though it was something else but research and DNA shows its a new species.

     

    Previous research had shown that the DNA found in the dolphins differed from that of the known bottlenose speciesTursiops truncatus and Tursiops aduncus.

     

    But in order to define a new species, more evidence is needed. Kate Charlton-Robb of Monash University in Melbourne and her colleagues studied dolphin skulls found in a number of museums, as well as more detailed analysis of DNA, to show that T. australis is clearly a different animal.

     

     

    new species.jpg

     

     

     

    Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14921665

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    Sadly I have to report that 'Mama' the gray whale in California has passed away. I know a lot of people would have worked very hard to get the best possible result, and that the animal was much loved by the locals so it's all the more heartbreaking.

     

    I believe she was originally in the water with a calf, who did go back to sea, so hopefully its the start of a long, happy but no doubt adventurous life for him/her.

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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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    The sonar vs. strandings debate has always been a very contentious one, and one I'm not going to comment on. However it is fantastic to see the US Navy taking the problem seriously and conducting some research.

     

    That’s why a team of marine mammal specialists, engineers, acousticians, and biologists were placing suction cup tags on whales and dolphins from the Santa Monica Bay to the Orange County Coast these past few days.

     

    The tags gather a plethora of information including how deep the whales dive, their exact route and location and their response to loud underwater noises.

     

    This is the second year of this Navy funded study called SOCAL-11 and it seeks to determine how different species in different scenarios react to sonar.

     

    Of course the overall goal is help the Navy become environmentally compliant.

     

    “The Navy has been wonderful as they really want to discover where and when they should not be using sonar,” said senior scientist Brandon Southall from SEA and the University of California at Santa Cruz.

     


    Source: http://lagunaniguel.patch.com/articles/united-states-navy-seeks-to-understand-possible-reasons-for-whale-strandings

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    Very sad news filtering through, I'm actully on holiday at the moment so I'm not to sure of our level of involvment in this but I'd suspect the Scottish arm of CSIP will be involved in at least the post-mortems. Amazing work from British Divers again, such a fantastic charity, if you are moved by the story make a donation!

     

    Rescuers returned 44 pilot whales to open water yesterday after a mass stranding in the estuary of a sea loch in the Scottish Highlands. Twenty-five whales from the pod died at the Kyle of Durness when they beached at low tide.


    Attempts to refloat the whales began on Friday night. British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) medics, the coastguard and the Royal Navy managed to rotate whales that were upside down to prevent them from drowning when the tide came in.

     

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/jul/24/rescuers-race-to-save-whales


     

    Stranded-pilot-whales-in--007.jpg

     

    UPDATE 27/07/12: Just spoke to one of the CSIP vets who has just got back from Scotland. Details still need to be cleared up and confirmed, but latest numbers are, 40(ish) animals stranded and rescued, 25 died and 16 were pm'd.  I'll add more information as I get it.

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    SeaWorld Orlando is preparing to open a new medical facility for stranded dolphins, two decades after the marine park stopped taking in wild dolphins that washed ashore because of fears that viruses could spread to its captive-animal populations.

     

    In the southeastern corner of the park, far out of sight of the more than 5 million people who visit SeaWorld every year, crews are putting the finishing touches on the complex — a kind of quarantined dolphin hospital, with its own water-filtration and sewage systems, food-preparation areas and employee showers.

     

    The facility's 40,000-gallon pool is large enough to hold cetaceans as large as a 13-foot pilot whale or as many as five bottlenose dolphins at once. It has been built on the piece of land that once held stables for Clydesdale horses that belonged to Anheuser-Busch Cos., SeaWorld's former owner.

     

    More:

    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/travel/attractions/os-seaworld-dolphin-hospital-20110716,0,1943188.storyhttp://www.orlandosentinel.com/travel/attractions/os-seaworld-dolphin-hospital-20110716,0,1943188.story