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Whale, dolphin and porpoise strandings

3 Posts tagged with the scotland tag
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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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    We are getting rumbling rumours of a second sei whale stranding (no jokes about buses please), this time in Scotland. There was definitally a stranding yesterday but the species ID is a little uncertain.

     

    Details are all a bit vague, but I believe it was a live stranding that unfortunately died. I'm sure our Scottish team will be involved in the postmortem, the last one was quite badly decomposed so getting details wasn't very easy, sounds like this one should be better.

     

    Its a big shock if its is a sei, to get 2 in a year is unheard of but 2 in a week....

     

    Edit - chanced seemed a bit slim, the animal has been confirmed as a fin whale. It can often be the case that if you get a rare stranding every other stranding for a week or so after is reported as that species, I guess its in peoples minds.

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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.