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Whale, dolphin and porpoise strandings

16 Posts tagged with the uk tag
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Another pick up

Posted by Strandings Officer Dec 8, 2011

A little while ago CSIPs head honcho Rob went to Devon to get a dolphin and came back with 3 5 post mortem animals for 2 trips this time he went and only came back with the one, standards are obviously dropping (just joking boss!).

 

We got wind of a live strandings over the weekend from BDMLR, the local coastguard and one of my favourite volunteers David J. Despite some local surfers staying in the water with the common dolphin for what sounds like hours, the local vet had to make the hard decision to put the animal down. I know everyone on the scene worked really hard to keep the animal alive and were understandably disappointed at the outcome. It’s not the perfect end to the story but hopefully our post-mortem will help answer some questions about why the animal had to die.

 

David J just emailed me this picture of one of the guys trying to save the dolphin, such a shame it didn't work out.

 

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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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Good Halloween title for you there!

 

Apart from recording stranded cetaceans, we are also linked to various research project. One is run by Dr Adrian Glover here at the museum and in simple terms he studies what lives off whale bone that has sunk to the bottom of the sea.

 

 

Bone-eating ‘zombie’ worms may be good at keeping out of sight, living off dead whales in the darkness of the sea floor, but scientists have found out how to detect them, even if there’s no trace of their bodies or a few million years have gone by!

 

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There is an interesting artical about it on the front page but here is a link  http://www.nhm.ac.uk/about-us/news/2011/october/bone-eating-zombie-worms-can-no-longer-hide105243.html

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I've not updated for a few weeks as I've been on holiday and we've had a bit of a busy run of things.

 

A live stranded harbour porpoise on the Isle of Wight was picked up for pm by our team http://www.islandpulse.co.uk/b2/british-divers-attempt-to-rescue-porpoise-8756/

 

I went to Dorset on Friday to pick up another porpoise that stranded in Dorset last week, a massive thank you to Dave and Dorset council for all their help!

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Had a couple of animals coming in over the weekend at this stage they are all believed to be harbour porpoises, although I'm waiting on photos to confirm this.

 

1 came in on Berwick beach in Northumberland, thanks to the local council for all their help with this animal.

1 at Thurlstone beach in the Wirral, thanks to Gemma for reporting it and for still managing to find time to chat to me this morning dispite dogs and kids all wanting her attention!

Finally thanks to HM Coastguards at Happisburgh for reporting their porpoise that stranded at Cart Gap in Norfolk.

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We've had several reports of a fin whale at Lynmouth beach in Devon. Its on a very popular beach in the middle of summer so unsurprsingly the press is all over this one! The animal is approximatly 55ft and believed to be female.

 

Our CSIP collegues are also all over it and I believe will be performing a post mortem today.

 

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Photo by Apex

 

As always I'll up date this post when we get the pm results back.

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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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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.

 

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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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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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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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