Skip navigation

Manage categories

Close

Create and manage categories in Whale, dolphin and porpoise strandings. Removing a category will not remove content.

Categories in Whale, dolphin and porpoise strandings
Add a new category (0 remaining)

Manage Announcements

Close

Create and manage announcements in Whale, dolphin and porpoise strandings. Try to limit the announcements to keep them useful.

Announcements in Whale, dolphin and porpoise strandings
Subject Author Date Actions

Blog Posts

72 Posts 1 2 Previous Next
0

The dolphin that recently appeared in the River Dee in Wales was fortunate to survive. Being a marine species, it was not used to a fresh water environment and very nearly perished after beaching on a sand bank. Fortunately, the RNLI were able to rescue the animal and return it to the sea where it could more easily hunt and find food.

 

Not all marine cetaceans that find themselves caught upriver are so fortunate. On Tuesday 27 August, at around 8.30pm, Greg Fonne took the following image from the Thames embankment, just east of Tower Bridge.

 

harbour-porpoise-river-dee.jpgThe animal in question appears to be a Harbour Porpoise, or Phocoena phocoena.


The Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (of which we are a part) records around 300 cases of dead Harbour Porpoise on UK coasts each year. On many occasions, we collect the bodies, and take them for post-mortem examination. This is because we want to find out the cause of death, as well as monitoring levels of disease, toxins and pollutants, parasites, and all kinds of things that can only be discovered from taking a look inside the animal.

 

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Museum's whale and dolphin strandings monitoring programme. This porpoise found in the Thames will add to our data which shows us how populations are changing.

 

Cetacean statistics

 

Our data shows that in recent decades, the number of reports has increased dramatically. This could be explained by an increase in strandings, as well as an increase in communication methods and their ease of use and, of course, by the ever increasing human population with their eyes on the coast.

 

While the death of these beautiful animals seems a somewhat tragic event, an increase in the number of strandings is not necessarily a bad thing. It is evidence that the animals are living in UK waters, and surviving to breeding age. Through our work, which is government funded, we can keep watch on the effects of human behaviours on cetacean species.

 

Please help us to continue our work by spreading the word about the UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme, and by following us on twitter @WhaleStrandings.

 

Find out more about the Museum's Cetacean strandings project

 

Meet us in person at the Oceans Station at Science Uncovered on Friday 27 September

0

Exactly one hundred years ago a scheme was implemented to record all of the strandings around the UK coast. The first animal to be recorded was a Cuviers beaked whale which stranded in Ireland. Below is the actual card index which details where and when the animal was found, the species and its size and sex. It also notes that some of the skeleton was recovered for the Museum.

Picture1.jpg

The first card index detailing the stranded Cuviers beaked whale, 100 years ago

 

The animal was first reported by HM Coastguard, and 100 years later they still continue to pass on reports. Since then the Museum has been gathering this data about the animals and we now have records of over 15,000 cetaceans that come ashore. Where possible we collect rare animals to join our historical collection of over 2,500 cetacean skeletons. These specimens provide an invaluable time series going back 400 years that can be used for present and future research.

0

This year the Museum celebrates 100 years of collecting data about the porpoises, dolphins and whales that strand on our shores.

 

Although the Museum was collecting specimens of cetaceans for many years there was a lack of information about animals around the shores of the British Isles. So in 1911, to increase the numbers available for collection from around the UK coast, the Keeper of Zoology, Mr Sidney Harmer, suggested to the Museum's trustees and the Board of Trade (the goverment department whose responsiblity included wrecks and other things washed ashore)  that the Museum should be notified about any cetacean that came ashore.

 

After some debate, in June of 1912, the Board of Trade agreed to issue instructions to the Receiver of Wrecks to send 'telegraphic information' to the Museum regarding any cetacean that was reported to them. This was followed by a leaflet being sent in January 1913 to coastguard stations. The leaflet was a basic identification guide to improve the information being returned to the Museum.

 

In the first annual report published in 1914 there is a section bemoaning the fact that some reports were probably sharks and that the measurements taken 'were not completely uniform' - one early Fin Whale was reported to have measured 80 ft (about 25m) which would have made it a very large individual indeed.

0

On Friday evening the Natural History Museum will be hosting the annual Science Uncovered evening in which many of the museum's scientists will be talking about their research. If you are in the area come along and find about science at the museum.

 

http://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit-us/whats-on/after-hours/science-uncovered/index.html

 

As part of the evening some of the strandings team will be in the whale hall (where else would we be!) to chat about what we do and why its important.

We will be there from 4 pm to answer any your questions about how and why cetaceans around the UK end up on the shore.

0

The team had a great time at Lyme Regis, although the weather could have been warmer.

 

Many thanks to all those hundreds of visitors who came to our stand to talk about whales and dolphins along the Dorset coast. Our collection of parasites collected from post-mortemed animals was avidly examined by many young boys, while the girls (young and old) were generally less impressed by them.

9-55-14 insert.JPG

On Friday it was schools day, we had many groups from local primary schools. Below is a group of kids preparing to carry away a stranded (inflatable) dolphin that they have just bagged up ready to go off for postmortem. Our volunteer Sarah seems to have everyone under control.

 

 

2012-05-04 10.55.09-2.JPG

Saturday and Sunday were open to everyone and we had lots of locals and visitors asking about animals they had seen along the Dorset and Devon coastline. All were amazed at the number of stranded animals on the NHM and CSIP databases and the variety of dolphins, porpoises and whales that have stranded.

 

We look forward to next years Lyme Regis festival when we will celebrating 100 years of recording the cetaceans that come ashore around the UK

0

This weekend (5th and 6th May) is the Lyme Regis Fossil Festival and as part of the festival many of the Natural History Museum's scientists will be in the Grand Marquee on the seafront at Lyme Regis talking about fossils and lots of other things.

Members of the cetacean stranding team will be there to chat about the stranding project and some of the research that we do.  We have nearly 300 records from the Dorset area, from over a dozen different species of whale and dolphin that have stranded on the Dorset part of the channel.

We will bring along some interesting bits for you to see and if the weather is good we will be putting our Remotely Operated Vehicle into the water.

We will be there all weekend so come along if you are in the area, talk to us and find out more about these wonderful animals that end up stranded on our shores.

Hope to see you there.

0

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/

0

White Orca spotted

Posted by Strandings Officer Apr 23, 2012

You occationally get white whales and dolphins but for obvious reasons they tend to be young (predation). This animals looks like it's a fully grown adult, and is just beautiful!

 

Scientists have made what they believe to be the first sighting of an adult white orca, or killer whale.

 

The adult male, which they have nicknamed Iceberg, was spotted off the coast of Kamchatka in eastern Russia.

 

It appears to be healthy and leading a normal life in its pod.

 

iceberg.jpg

 

 

 

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17783603

0

I've just downloaded my copy from Amazon, looks very intersesting.

 

 

GetImage.jpg

 

The Sounding of the Whale is a remarkable book, an astounding piece of research that presents subtle, original arguments in a stylish and readable (if sometimes mannered) prose. Burnett's subject is the development of whale science in the 20th century, which takes in the work of zoologists, paleontologists, biological oceanographers, ecologists, neurologists and mathematicians, among others. The individual scientists are brought to life and their work is beautifully contextualised. Burnett shows us the many ties that bound whale scientists, disastrously, to the whaling industry. He also does a wonderful job of placing the science of cetology in its institutional settings, both academic and political

 

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/apr/12/david-blackbourn-graham-burnett-whales?newsfeed=true

 

0

The Council of State has introduced a ban on the import of dolphins for entertainment purposes but has rejected a ban on them being kept in captivity, which means that current captive animals won't have to be released.

 

The Liberal Green deputy Isabelle Chevalley has managed to ban the import of dolphins into Switzerland with the help of Sea Shepherd Switzerland and the Swiss Cetacean Society-SCS.

 

Sea Shepherd Switzerland and the Swiss Cetacean Society-SCS have actively supported the Liberal Green deputy Isabelle Chevalley in her Swiss parliamentary motion calling for the ban on the import of dolphins into Switzerland.

 

On the 12th of this month, the Liberal Green deputy Isabelle Chevalley provided members of parliament with a briefing document drawn up jointly with Sea Shepherd Switzerland and the Swiss Cetacean Society.

 

On the 13th of March, following her convincing debate, the deputy succeeded in having her motion on the ban carried with 112 votes for and 60 against.

 

The Council of States then enforced the ban on the import of dolphins into Switzerland, but nevertheless rejected a ban on their captivity. The two associations are concerned by the fate of three dolphins, a mother and her two youngsters who are still being held in captivity in Switzerland’s sole dolphinarium, the  Connyland. This park organised a rave party last November, following which two dolphins died, raising the death toll of dolphins in Switzerland to eight in only three years.

 

The Connyland will reopen on the 31st of March and the show with the three dolphins will resume.

 

 

Direct from the Sea Shpherd website: http://www.seashepherd.org/news-and-media/2012/03/24/victory-for-the-dolphins-in-switzerland-1359

1 2 Previous Next

Actions

Notifications