Irish bottlenose dolphin saved

This video from Ireland is called Biodiversity in our Seas.

From Wildlife Extra:

First confirmed successful refloat of stranded dolphin

August 2012. A bottlenose dolphin that live-stranded in North Kerry and was refloated, was recently photographed from dolphin tour boats in the Shannon Estuary. This is one of just a few occasions when there is proof that refloating a dolphin had some long-term sucess.

Stranded in Co Kerry

A bottlenose dolphin live-stranded at Béal, Co. Kerry, on the shores of the Shannon Estuary, on 1 June 2012. The 3.5m female bottlenose dolphin was lying on the sand about 10m from the waterline, but appeared to be in perfect condition and had no signs of injury. She didn’t seem in a very distressed state despite her predicament and her skin was still moist, but she was starting to overheat.

Rather than wait for the whale pontoons to arrive from Kilrush in Co. Clare on the other side of the estuary, those present at the stranding decided to try using a tractor equipped with a large transport box on the back to lift her out of the sand and put her slowly into the water. Once in the water, they stabilised the dolphin for a few minutes and allowed her to become acclimatised, before she started to swim away from the shore. She quickly increased her swimming speed and was observed swimming for about 10 minutes before she was out of view.

Photographed 4 weeks later

On 27 June 2012, the same bottlenose dolphin was photographed from Dolphinwatch Carrigaholt’s tour boat during a dolphin-watching trip. She was with a group of adults with calves and looked to be in good health. Researchers from the Shannon Dolphin and Wildlife Foundation, who monitor the Shannon dolphins, were able to match a photograph taken of the dolphin’s dorsal fin to a photograph taken during the stranding event. She has since been photographed twice from the Kilrush based Dolphin Discovery tour boat on 5 June and 6 June 2012. On all occasions, she was seen in groups of individuals which included some of the same adults with calves. Her presence in these groups and her behaviour within them suggests that she is healthy and well.

Shannon Estuary dolphins

The Shannon Estuary bottlenose dolphin population numbers around 120-140 individuals and is thought to be genetically discrete. The loss of one dolphin, especially an adult female, could have a significant impact on this population, thus highlighting the importance of the prompt action on the shore at Béal.

September 2012. Marine law enforcement staff (NOAA) and US marine mammal experts received a report a bottlenose dolphin that had been found dead on Elmer’s Island in Louisiana. A necropsy revealed the dolphin died of a gunshot wound; the dolphin had been shot on the right side just behind the blowhole, probably with a small calibre firearm. The bullet was discovered lodged in the dolphin’s lung: here.

Bottlenose dolphins call out the specific names of loved ones when they become separated, a study finds: here.

July 2013. On Saturday 20th July, at approximately 3.30-4pm in the Camel Estuary, near the Port Hand buoy, off Daymer Bay and Trebetherick Point, reports were received of as many as 25 small vessels harassing a pod on Bottlenose dolphins. Very soon after, a carcass was reported to have been found at the scene. The death is believed to be as a result of the harassment: here.

New technology can identify individual dolphins: here.

September 2012. Three months after their release, Tom and Misha, two captive dolphins rescued from certain death in a filthy swimming pool in Hisaronu, are successfully adapting to life back in the wild. The Back To The Blue team made up of experts from the USA, Turkey and the UK, undertook twenty months of intensive rehabilitation, organised and funded by international wildlife charity, the Born Free Foundation, ultimately transforming Tom and Misha from lethargic dependent ‘captives’ who were close to death, into effective independent wild animals: here.

Bottlenose dolphins using sponges to protect their noses while foraging is a technique that the animals discovered in the 19th century, a study has found: here.

August 2013. Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 (as amended), an Unusual Mortality Event (UME) has been declared for bottlenose dolphins in the Mid-Atlantic region from early July 2013 through to the present day. A much higher number than usual of strandings of Bottlenose dolphins has occurred in New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia: here.

25 thoughts on “Irish bottlenose dolphin saved

  1. Rescue attempts fail to save stranded whale

    Tuesday 14 August 2012

    A sixty-five-foot whale died on a Cornwall beach after rescuers were unable to refloat her.

    The fin whale was discovered by walkers at Carlyon Bay near St Austell around 5pm on Monday evening.

    She had sustained injuries to her head, gashes to her body and was injured around one eye.

    Vets from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) said that there was no hope of helping the injured animal get back out to sea, especially given that she was “incredibly undernourished.”

    A BDMLR spokesperson explained that the difficult decision had been made to put down the animal for humane reasons but the whale died naturally and this was not necessary.

    Around 300 people gathered at the scene as a team of people tried to get the whale back into the sea.

    Inspector Dave Meredith, of Devon and Cornwall Police, tweeted: “The stranded whale has now passed away. Due to its injuries and poor condition there was no hope of rescue.

    “A very sad incident for us all.”


  2. Survey shows marine life thriving in Farne Deeps

    Published on Wednesday 15 August 2012 12:34

    THE sighting of more than 30 white beaked dolphins off the Northumberland coast helps to confirm the importance of the area to marine mammals, according to Northumberland Wildlife Trust.

    During a dedicated three hour transect survey of the Farne Deeps, experts were lucky enough to record, film and photograph 32 white beaked dolphins, four harbour porpoise, two minke whales and two grey seals. Seabirds including gannets, razorbills and puffins foraging offshore for food were also recorded.

    Experts and surveyors from MARINELife, the North East Cetacean Project and Northumberland Wildlife Trust embarked on a 12 hour voyage in a vessel supplied by the Northumberland Inshore Fisheries Conservation Authority.

    The Farne Deeps is a deep glacial tunnel located 20 miles offshore from the Northumberland Coast; its deep channels result in areas of nutrient upwelling and changes in tidal currents which bring with them rich supplies of food. As a result it attracts high numbers of travelling marine mammals as well as seabirds.

    Steve Lowe, head of conservation at Northumberland Wildlife Trust said: “I am delighted the white beaked dolphins chose to put in an appearance at just the right time.

    “This proposed Marine Conservation Zone, is such a productive area and is home to some incredible wildlife. This was a fantastic survey, combining skills and resources from a range of organisations and its results show that the North Sea has wildlife in need of protection.

    “The deep glacial tunnels provide foraging and breeding grounds for white beaked dolphin, a species which has been under-recorded in the past; with new data we can identify ways to best protect this species for future generations.”

    Martin Kitching, North East Cetacean Project, said: “The sea may all look the same on the surface but what we can’t see obviously is that the different heights of the seabed play a considerable role in what’s found there. Two weeks ago in this area we had 100 white beaked dolphins.”


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  11. US probes spike in dolphin deaths off East Coast

    KERRY SHERIDAN, Agence France-PresseAugust 10, 2013 1:36am

    WASHINGTON – At least 124 bottlenose dolphins have washed up along the Atlantic coast since July, a startling number of deaths that has prompted US officials to launch an investigation.

    Scientists are working to find out if an infectious pathogen may be to blame since several of the dolphins appeared to have lesions in their lungs.

    An “unusual mortality event” has been declared due to the “unexpected and significant die-off” that has spanned the coasts of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia since early July, said the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries unit.

    Eighty-nine were found in July and another 35 have washed up so far this month, a NOAA spokeswoman told AFP on Friday.

    A NOAA statement released Thursday said “preliminary testing of tissues from one dolphin indicates possible morbillivirus infection, although it is too early to say whether or not morbillivirus may be causing this event.”

    However, NOAA scientists say an “infectious pathogen is at the top of the list of potential causes.”

    Morbillivirus is similar to a marine mammal form of distemper, which in dogs attacks the central nervous system and causes breathing problems, vomiting, diarrhea, brain swelling and often death.

    Most of the dolphins were already dead when they were found, scientists said. A small number have been stranded alive, only to die shortly after.

    Typically an average of seven dolphins wash up in Virginia in July, so the 47 animals found last month is a significant increase.

    “It is an important issue,” said NOAA spokeswoman Connie Barclay.

    The last time morbillivirus was implicated in a mass dolphin die-off was in 1987 and 1988, when more than 740 bottlenose dolphins died from New Jersey to Florida.

    According to the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center, which has been collecting and studying the dolphin carcasses — 67 of which have come ashore in Virginia — most have been male.

    Spokeswoman Linda Candler told AFP they have been found in “all conditions from very fresh to badly decomposed, all ages and sizes.”

    She added that a dolphin that had recently died came in for analysis on Thursday and samples were sent off for analysis, which may take up to two weeks.

    Other potential causes for mass dolphin deaths could include stormy weather, ship strikes or pollution.

    Candler said scientists “don’t want to speculate, but the researchers feel comfortable in saying they do not believe that this is a result of human interaction, that it is some sort of biological event.”

    If it is a virus, there is not much that wildlife officials can do, she added.

    “It has to run its course,” Candler said. “You can’t immunize a wild population, unfortunately.”

    Recent studies have shown that dolphins have an unparalleled ability among animals to remember each other for decades, and that they call each other by name using whistles that are distinct among close friends and family.

    There are four distinct populations of bottlenose dolphins off the Atlantic coast, including about 22,000 living near the shore and nearly 82,000 in deeper waters.

    According to NOAA expert Fionna Matheson, little can be done to help the dolphins that are already sick.

    “However, we can work to minimize the stress caused to the dolphins by human activity,” she told AFP by email.

    “If there is a link to things humans are doing that may make the dolphins more susceptible to disease (e.g., exposure to pollution, malnutrition from lack of prey, stress from disturbance), then we can certainly strive to mitigate those threats.”


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