Displaying items by tag: Whales
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group's (IWDG) recent workshop on the post-mortem examination of stranded dolphins and whales is hoped to encourage the building of much needed experience for Ireland's vets dealing with marine animals.
More than 20 veterinarians from across the country attended the workshop in Athlone, where they were shown how to carry out a post-mortem from a research perspective and taken through the post-mortem protocol, as well as the collection of samples for various parameters from bacteriology to genetics.
"The IWDG have long advocated that the post-mortem examination of stranded cetaceans should be carried out by veterinary pathologists to determine their cause of death and provide samples for life-history studies," said the group's Dr Simon Berrow.
The pod, which had been observed in waters between Arranmore Island and Burtonport during the week before they stranded themselves on a beach on Rutland, were also believed to be the same pod monitored off the South Uist, off the Hebrides. Shortly before that it was feared that the whales may have also attempted to beach themselves.
Dr Simon Berrow of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) said he could not rule out sonar interference for confusing the whales and leading to their beach deaths. For information on the IWDG logon to www.iwdg.ie
New figures to be released this week on marine animals point to a whopping 25% increase in whale and dolphin strandings in the UK and Ireland.
BBC News reports that data collected by the UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP) show reported strandings have risen by a quarter since records began 20 years ago.
The news comes just weeks after the shocking mass stranding of pilot whales in Co Donegal.
It's also reported that at least 500 dolphins, porpoises and whales have been found stranded on British beaches this year.
Commenting on the rising numbers, Ian Enlander of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) told BBC News: "It may be a sign that awareness of strandings is increasing, or perhaps something else is going on."
The BBC News website has more on the story HERE.
A new pontoon intended to refloat marine animals such as beached whales and dolphins along the Atlantic seaboard was demonstrated at the weekend ahead of the Galway Science & Technology Festival.
The Irish Times reports that divers, scientists and local volunteers were among those participating in the training exercise on Gurteen beach, near Roundstone, which involved rescuing and refloating a dummy pilot whale.
Dr Simon Berrow of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) which ran the exercise said he hoped other coastal communities would follow the example with their own training sessions, given the growing number of strandings along Ireland's west coast.
The new pontoon - which was put on display in the festival exhibition at NUI Galway on Sunday - was purchased with funds raised by the local community and a BBC television team producing the latest series by popular adventurer Monty Halls.
A humpback whale has broken the world record for long-distance travel by any mammal.
The female whale swam at least 9,800km from the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Brazil to Madagascar in the Indian Ocean in search of a mate, marine biologists reported earlier this week.
Humpback whales are known for long-distance migrations between their feeding and breeding grounds, but such journeys do not usually take them east or west, or much further than 5,000km.
Scientists as yet do not know whether the female's incredible journey was intentional or the result of a navigational error. Previously recorded long-distance movements have all been of male whales.
Renowned diver Monty Halls is set to present a public talk on his marine animal work filming whales, sharks and dolphins around the world tomorrow night (7 October).
Halls, who has been in Ireland since April making his latest documentary series for the BBC, has been assisting the Irish Whale and Dolphin group (IWDG) with its research on whales, dolphins and basking sharks in Irish waters.
The diver, filmmaker and former Royal Marine, who is also a popular motivational speaker and performance coach, will talk on his experiences filming and diving with marine mammals around the world, and will surely provide some great entertainment.
The talk, part of the Tales of the Whales Lecture Series organised by the IWDG and the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT), begins at 8pm on Thursday 7 October in Lecture Room 1000 at GMIT, Dublin Road, Galway. The event is free and all are welcome to attend.
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group believes that the whale spotted off Howth and Dublin Bay last week may be the same marine animal spotted at the foot of cliffs on Rathlin Island. The whale is thought to be moving down the Irish Sea, a rare behaviour for a humpback. Pictures of the sighting have allowed the IWDG identify it as a humpback, but they are waiting for higher-resolution images to match it with its counterpart in Howth.
The whale was spotted off Rathlin on July 11, three days before it surfaced near Dublin. The IWDG has said: "This is an extremely important sighting as it is only the second validated sighting of this species in N. Irish waters.
"In fact, as the previous sighting was closer to Colonsay, Islay, Scotland, we could easily argue that this is in fact the 1st record of a humpback whale in N. Irish waters."
Whales can cover more than 50 miles a day and migrate more than 5,000 miles in a year.
More info on the current crop of sightings can be found on the IWDG website, HERE.
Anyone spotting a whale is required by law to give them at least 100 metres room and travel parallel to their track, unless you want to end up like an unlucky pair of South African sailors, dismasted by a breaching Right Whale off Cape Town this week.
Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) Sightings Co-ordinator Pádraig Whooley will be presenting at this weekend's TEDX event in the West Cork Hotel, Skibereen, Co. Cork tomorrow which will be streamed live on the internet and can be viewed here.