Reporting System

129 Dolphins Found in Largest Stranding in Northeast U.S. since 1999

More strandings are expected after 129 dolphins beached themselves on Cape Cod in the last three weeks, with 92 dying in “the single largest stranding” of dolphins in the Northeast since at least 1999, the International Fund for Animal Welfare reported Monday.

On Sunday, four dolphins were stranded along Cape Cod’s hook-shaped peninsula and were quickly helped back to sea. The Massachusetts peninsula sees many dolphin strandings each year, but the 129 since Jan. 12 is typically about what rescuers see over an entire year, based on records that go back to 1999, IFAW marine mammal rescue manager Katie Moore told MSNBC.

“This event started on the 12th and is still continuing,” she added at a press conference on Monday, noting that rescuers from IFAW and other stranding networks were deployed in “anticipation of more dolphins coming in.”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which manages the rescue response, echoed the concern.

For common dolphins, the species that has been stranding in Cape Cod, “this is the largest, most protracted stranding event in recent decades,” Teri Rowles, who coordinates NOAA’s Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program, told msnbc.com.

Most of the dolphins have appeared to be in good health, adding to the mystery of why so many have come ashore. Common dolphins are known to strand in groups due to their tight social structure, but given the large numbers this year, other factors such as weather and tides are being investigated.


February 7, 2012 - Posted by | Animals | , , ,

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