Update: Striped Dolphins in Belmullet Re-stranding

20th Oct 2006 Report 6: 10:45 20/10/06

News just in……At 10:30 Am 20/10/06 we have just received a report from the Mayo Fire Service that 8-9 dolphins, likely to be among the original group of striped dolphins that stranded on Mon. 16th are currently live-stranding just south of the car park at Elly Bay on the Mullet Peninsula.

At this stage there is a strong argument that these dolphins be left to their own devices, or that the authorities consider euthanasia as a viable and more humane option. Repeatedly refloating them is simply not in the best interest of the stricken animals, which are now likely to be in a highly stressed state. Advise from colleagues in the UK is being sought.

As always, we'd caution that refloat attempts should only be undertaken after seeking best veterinary advice and after consultation with your local NPWS Conservation Ranger. We'd ask locals and IWDG members living in the area to remain vigilant and to keep watching this stretch of coastline, as there is a risk that more of this pelagic dolphin species will get into difficulty in Blacksod Bay's shallow waters, and their re-stranding is always a possibility.

At a minimum, we'd ask if anyone elects to refloat dolphins, to ensure that dolphins are lifted and not dragged backwards in to the water, and that once in the water we'd caution that they will likely need to be stabalized in the water for considerable periods to avoid muscle cramping. This requires numbers of well-equipped people, preferably in dry suits. Finally, we ask that any individuals be marked with non- abrasive material like cotton, silk or linen which can be tied around their tail-stocks. This simple measure will confirm which individuals have already been re-floated, in the event of their re-stranding.

For extensive information on the welfare of live-stranded cetaceans please click on the stranding toolbar on top of page and then click on STRANDING GUIDELINES or use the following

link http://www.iwdg.ie/categories.asp?cat=31

Pádraig Whooley

Report 5: 19/10/06

It now appears that at least 3 of the striped dolphins from the stranding at Bundola Bay, Belmullet (16 Oct), have washed up dead. These three were found at Elly Bay on the 17 October and have since been buried by Mayo Co. Co.

A fourth dolphin was found 19th October swimming in shallow water near Doolough Point. It was assisted into deeper water by local NPWS Conservation Ranger, Irene O'Brien and others and has not been spotted since.

Mick O'Connell

Report 4: 23:00 17/10/06

Following consultation with Pat Cowman of Elly Bay sub-aqua club, we are satisfied that the two dolphins found in Elly Bay this morning were part of the group which stranded yesterday. One was a female (c.2m) and the other a juvenile (c.1.2m) and they had both been refloated twice yesterday. The female, which appeared to be the largest of the pod, had a steeply arched tail stock, which suggested some sort of internal injury or deformation.

Report 3: 16:30 17/10/06

IWDG have just learned that two striped dolphins were found dead stranded at Elly Bay this morning 17/10/06. This latest twist is presumably linked to yesterday's live stranding event of c16 striped dolphins, during which locals prevented an inevitable mass stranding. Again, we'd ask locals to keep an eye out along the Blacksod Bay coastline, as there may well be more fatalities.

Should you find any more live stranded dolphins, we'd ask you to contact your local National Parks and Wildlife Service Conservation ranger and/or IWDG. We recommend that veterinary advise be sought before any decision be made to refloat any live- stranded dolphins. Dead stranded dolphins can also be reported to the IWDG who co-ordinate the All-Ireland cetacean sighting and stranding schemes. Contact Mick O' Connell on Phone: 087-6328106,email: mick.oconnell@iwdg.ie

Report 2: 09:00 17/10/06

Contrary to yesterday's news reports by "Coastguard" and Marine Mammal Rescue Te

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