Striped dolphins live strand in Kerry and Clare UPDATED

11th Nov 2012

A third striped dolphin was reported on 17 November.  A juvenile dolphin measuring just 1.32m was reported by Frankie and Marie Morris and was visited today, in the pouring rain, by Simon Berrow and family. Although badly eaten away the dolphin was fresgly stranded and probably associated with the striped dolphin stranding in Ballybunnion last Friday.

 

11 November 2012

Friday 9th November and Sunday 11th November saw two separate but similar live strandings of two individual striped dolphins Stenella coeruleoalba in counties Kerry and Clare. The Ladies Beach in Ballybunion, Co. Kerry was the site of the first stranding - in this case the animal appeared to be in relatively good visual physical condition and was refloated. There was no sign of the dolphin for some time but it restranded later in the day and was euthanased by a local vet.

On Sunday morning, another solitary striped dolphin was discovered live stranded at Lahinch in Co. Clare. This animal had many injuries caused by the rocky nature of the beach where it stranded and was euthanased by a vet to avoid further pain and distress. While these were two separate strandings in two different counties, it is interesting to note the similarities between them and the fact that they were only some 50km and two days apart. It may have been useful to have had a post mortem conducted on both of these freshly dead animals in an attempt to establish what may have caused them to strand and/or to establish any link between the two events.

Striped dolphins are found in warm and temperate waters, usually offshore. Records from Ireland are interesting for this species - a look at the IWDG Strandings database shows 151 strandings of 178 individuals whereas there are only 12 sighting records for this species on the sightings database. Of the strandings which have been recorded on the Irish coast, 26 have been live strandings involving a total of 48 animals. Live strandings of striped dolphins in Ireland account for about 17% of total strandings for this species, marginally higher than the similar common dolphin Delphinus delphis in which the figure stands at just short of 15%. As of 11th November, there have been six recorded strandings of striped dolphins in Ireland in 2012, three of which have been live strandings.

Mick O'Connell,

IWDG Strandings Co-ordinator