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Whale, dolphin and porpoise strandings

8 Posts tagged with the mass tag
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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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There are some very confusing and contradictory stories coming through about the mass strandings going on in Peru. I have done some digging and this seems to be the best source for information https://lists.uvic.ca/pipermail/marmam/2012-April/004248.html

 

I’ve highlighted some of the main points below:

 

Numbers are always uncertain in these cases but it sounds like several hundred animals have washed up in the last month, with still more coming in. The strandings have taken place on the southern border of Illescas National Park, in Piura state.

 

Peru strandings.bmp

 

There are 2 species involved, Long beaked common dolphin (Delphinus capensis) and Burmeister’s porpoise(Phocoena spinipinnis).  Unoffical figures put strandings numbers as high at 3000 animals (these figures may be taking a larger area and/or time frame in to account), although these more offical figures show less with dolphins have taken by far the largest hit of around 600 dead animals, with numbers of porpoises being much lower at around 20 animals. They are all in various decomposition states but they all seem to have washed up with in the last 5 weeks.

 

The necropsies performed on site show two main causes of death (although they are waiting for further results, so this isn’t conclusive yet), most of the results seem to be leading towards a potential epidemic outbreak of morbillivirus brucella (which has been linked to many mass stranding events, including in Europe in the 90s) with some animals showing signs of acoustic impact and decompression syndrome.

 

 

 

 

 

In related but other news, the Cape Cod strandings Cape Cod strandings finally easing seems to still be dwindling on (even though the end of the mass stranding has been announced), but sadly still no results.

 

So far no patterns have emerged, but the many lab analyses will take months to complete, we may yet find one.

 

 

 

Source: http://www.ifaw.org/us/news/stranding-update-no-patterns-depleting-resources-yet-teamwork-still-prevails

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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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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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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

 

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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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Why two pygmy whales washed up within a week on Indian River County beaches, and six more were found on southeastern shores, remains a mystery; one researchers are hard at work to solve.


At this stage of the analysis of the bodies, said Steve McCulloch, manager of the Marine Mammal Research and Conservation Program at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in Fort Pierce, "there's no common denominator, no smoking gun. The data is going to take some time to analyze, but so far we haven't seen any signs of trauma, such as a shark attack or entanglement in fishing lines or nets. The animals weren't emaciated, either. So this is going to take some deeper digging."

 

More: http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2011/jul/11/2-beached-whales-in-indian-river-county-within/