Cetacean Strandings Down?

30th Mar 2010 As March draws to a close, records of cetacean strandings around the Irish coast are down by around 60% compared to recent years.

Up to 30 March 2010, IWDG has received reports of just 14 cetacean strandings involving 5 identifiable species. This is a remarkable reduction when compared with the same time period in recent years: 2009 - 40 strandings/12 species, 2008 - 40 strandings/6 species, 2007 - 45 strandings/9 species and 2006 - 45 strandings/8 species.

As ever, we are left wondering if this reflects the actual situation on our beaches, although it would be difficult to blame a reduction in recording effort for such a large decrease. We could also speculate that the prevalence of northerly and easterly winds over the past few months may have kept dead floating animals away from our shores - unlike our more normal southwesterly breezes!

It will be interesting to note if this trend continues over the coming months or if there will be a return to more average figures.

Mick O'Connell

IWDG Stranding Co-ordinator

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