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Thorpness porpoise

Posted by Strandings Officer Aug 8, 2011
Massive thankyou to Tim Kenny for reporting a harbour porpoise to us that had stranded at Thorpness in Suffolk. Sadly due to a mix of vets on holiday/being exusted from the pilot whales in Scotland and no space in the fridge or freezer, we were unable to collect this little guy for post mortem.
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A few weeks ago we had a report of one harbour porpoise in Waxham and one unidentified (rather smelly) cetacean in Brancaster harbour.

 

A massive thanks to the coastguard for forwarding this information to us!

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If you missed it, you can catch up with Inside Natures Giants on 4oD, it shows a post mortem of a sperm whale, so probably not best for lunch time viewing!

 

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/inside-natures-giants/4od#3219787

 

All the guys in red with ZSL on their arms are our gang from Cetacean Strandings Investigation Program, I'm like a proud mum!

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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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A dead common dolphin was found at Egremont Promenade in Liverpool.

 

Not got a lot of info but thanks to Jane at WDCS for forwarding on the email.

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Just had a record of a rather decomposed harbour porpoise at Rossall beach, nr Fleetwood, Blackpool, I shall save you and not post the photo. First spotted a few weeks ago.

 

A second was seen at Blackpool South Beach a week later.

 

Thanks to David for these and many, many, many other reports!

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On Wednesday we had a report about a dead white beaked dolphin stranded at Druridge Bay Northumberland. Its very fresh and as it's a quite an unusual species, we have rallied the troops and it is being picked up for post-mortem. We generally only see around 10 strandings of white beaked dolphins each year, and they are normally in Scotland or Northern England.

 

 

I honestly think the white beaked is one of the most beautiful of the dolphins. They are distinguished by their very clear, white beak (as seen in the pic), which is nice and easy to remember.

 

wbd.JPG

 

The animal should be pm'd in the next few weeks, but results can take a little while to come back but I'll up date when I get them.

 

Massive thanks too Claire Carey and Iain from the Berwickshire and North Northumberland Coast European Marine Site who have been a great help with animal.

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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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Some interesting research into feeding behaviour in Guiana dolphin.

 

Dolphins are famous for their ability to hunt prey via echolocation. Now, scientists have discovered that at least one dolphin species, the Guiana dolphin, can also detect fish by tuning into their electrical fields. It is the first time this sense has been reported in a marine mammal—or in any placental mammal. The researchers expect that electroreception, as this sense is called, will be found in other cetacean species. Until this discovery, it was known only in fish, amphibians, and two egg-laying mammals, or monotremes, the platypus and echidna.

 

All animals generate weak electric fields from the activity of their muscles and nerves. Species with electroreceptors can sense this bioelectric field and use it to spot prey that they can't see. And visibility is a real problem for Guiana dolphins, which live off the western Atlantic coast of Central and South America and hunt fish in turbid water and muddy sediments.

 

sn-dolphins-thumb-200xauto-10611.jpg

 

More infomation: http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2011/07/guiana-dolphins-can-use-electric.html

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Some alive dolphins!

Posted by Strandings Officer Jul 27, 2011

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.

 

 

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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

 

 

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Beautiful new book from Charles 'Flip' Niclin now available form Amazon!  Among Giants: A Life with Whales.

 

"This is not only a book of extraordinary pictures, which it is, and the story of an extraordinary life, which it is; this is the story of the man who opened the window on a world we barely knew existed before his work. A compelling, engaging adventure story, well told. I can't recommend it highly enough." -Christopher Moore, author of Fluke"

 

NicklinPicture1.jpg

Humpback whale female with cooperating males around her. She just slapped her pectoral on the surface which caused the bubbles. ©Flip Nicklin, from Among Giants.

 

 

Nicklin hit the ocean swimming. His father Chuck, an underwater cinematographer, naturalist and one-time San Diego dive shop owner, had taught his young son to dive by the age of eleven. The elder Nicklin provided the impetus for his son’s cetacean photographic habit, in 1963 when a picture of Chuck riding astride a Bryde’s whale was published in a number of national magazines and caught the eye of National Geographic photographer Bates Littlehales who wanted to swim with the whales.

 

Report and more info from: http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/aroundthemall/2011/07/flip-nicklin-whale-photographer-extraordinaire-tells-tales-at-the-ripley-center/

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Harbour porpoise stranded at Bridlington on Monday, looked like it hadn't be dead long but sadly we were unable to pick it up for post mortem.

 

Thanks to BDMLR for the report.

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