NewsWorldAustralia: 200 cetaceans die stranded on Tasmanian beach

Australia: 200 cetaceans die stranded on Tasmanian beach

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Published on: 09/22/2022 – 05:10 Of the approximately 230 cetaceans – pilot dolphins or pilot whales – discovered stranded on a beach in Tasmania on Wednesday, barely 35 survived, according to a report provided Thursday. About 200 pilot dolphins or pilot whales perished after being stranded on a beach in Tasmania, an island located south of Australia, two years after a similar disaster which had occurred on this same part of the western coast. 35 of the approximately 230 cetaceans discovered on the beach the day before were still alive, Brendon Clark, director of operations for the state wildlife department, told reporters at the scene Thursday (September 22). dozens of shiny black mammals washed up on Ocean Beach, along a wide sandy beach in contact with the cold waters of the Southern Ocean. “On the beach, we still have about 35 animals still alive and this morning the main objective will be to save them and free them,” said Brendon Clark, who heads up operations. “Unfortunately, the mortality rate for this stranding is high. It’s mainly due to the conditions on Ocean Beach,” he said. “Environmental conditions, the undertow on the exposed west coast, Ocean Beach, certainly have an impact on the animals,” he added. water to keep them alive after they were found on the beach. The cetaceans were stranded near Macquarie Harbour, the scene almost two years ago to the day of another massive stranding, involving nearly 500 stranded pilot dolphins. More than 300 of them were dead by then, despite the efforts of dozens of volunteers who struggled for days in the freezing Tasmanian waters to free the animals.Brendon Clark said conditions this year are tougher than two years ago, because the animals were then in “much more sheltered waters”. “Today the focus will be on salvage operations and their release.” The causes of these large groundings are not fully known. Researchers have suggested that they could be caused by groups of cetaceans straying after feeding too close to shore. As these pilot whales, which can grow up to six meters in length, are very social animals, they can follow members of their group who stray and find themselves in danger. This sometimes occurs when old, sick or injured animals swim towards shore and other cetaceans in the group follow them, attempting to respond to distress signals trapped animals. Gently sloping beaches Other researchers believe that gently sloping beaches – such as those in Tasmania – interfere with the sonar of pilot dolphins and trick them into thinking they are offshore. This event occurred hours after that a dozen young sperm whales were found dead, also stranded, on King Island, between Tasmania and mainland Australia. The cause of the death of the sperm whales could be a “misadventure”, as the organic writes Kris Carlyon of the island state’s conservation agency to local newspaper Mercury. This is “the most common reason for strandings”, he explains. “They may have been looking for food near the shore (…) they may have been caught at low tide.” With AFP

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