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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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    I try to steer clear of political cetacean issues, I'm making no comment on this story but I think it's important to post the link.

     

    It's not very nice I'm afraid: http://photoblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/11/23/8973679-sea-turned-red-with-blood-as-faroe-islanders-hunt-pilot-whales

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    It's been a busy week for pick ups, CSIP's head honcho Rob did a gallant round trip to Devon to pick up 2 animals and whilst on the road I got a call about a 3rd on Hayling Island beach. With a squeal of the brakes and a quick turn around Rob was able to squeeze the third animal in the back of his car.

     

    There was then a 'mass' stranding in Kent, nr Folkstone. I say 'mass' as it was 2 animals, probably not quite what you'd term as mass but scientific history states 2 or more animals to be recorded as 'mass'. Unable to get anyone to check the animals were still there and not being too far away myself, I headed there on the Monday morning. I had a fun time scouting what is possibly one of the larges beaches I've ever seen for 2 not very large harbour porpoises. With the help of a very lovely couple (sorry I didn't get your names) we managed to track down the animals and secure them for pick up by James (who was on his way from the museum).

     

    Unfortunately I've been unable to put up PM results so far as they all have to go to Defra first, but after talking to head honcho Rob he said we may be able to put up some basic results a bit sooner, fingers crossed!

     

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    Photo of one of the 'mass' strandings from New Romney, photo by Susanna Clerici

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    A baby bottlenose dolphin gets untangled from a fishing line in the USA.

     

    The baby dolphin would've eventually died, had a determined team of marine biologists and veterinarians not set off on this amazing rescue.

     

    "We were able to go right out and set the net around the animal, capture it, and the vets were able to disentangle it," said NOAA Biologist Jessica Powell.

     

    Several feet of tangled fishing line was digging deep into the calf, through its mouth, around his flipper, and dorsal fin. It could've been a slow and painful death.

     

     

     

    Source and video: http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/dpp/news/local/pinellas/dolphin-calf-rescued-near-john's-pass-11162011

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    I think New Zealand must see the most strandings of pilot whales (pure guess work, not based on data) and sadly there has been another one. 31 confirmed dead so far, this on the back of 22 sperm whales stranding in Tasmania.

     

    THIRTY-one pilot whales were confirmed dead today as the lives of 34 others hung in the balance after a mass stranding on a peninsula at the north of New Zealand's South Island.


    The remote location of the stranding meant rescuers were unable to help the marine mammals and their survival will depend on the tide, the Department of Conservation's area manager John Mason told the Nelson Mail.

     

     



    Not much info so far but read more here: http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/dozens-of-whales-dead-after-mass-stranding-in-new-zealand/story-e6frfku0-1226195572623#ixzz1dt0QiU9Z