May 17, 2012

Today's Wildlife Disease News Stories


Cape Cod Dolphin Deaths: Symptoms of a World-Wide Tragedy

In Cape Cod, a total of 214 common dolphins, stranded over a period of a few weeks; 73 were successfully reintroduced to the ocean. In a normal year, 37 is the average number of common dolphins that strand. ...So what accounts for this year's high numbers?

It's a question that researchers are trying to answer. Michael Booth, a Communications Officer at IFAW informed this reporter in an email that research is ongoing.

"The one constant thread among all mass stranding is that like humans, common dolphins involved are highly social animals that depend upon the safety and resources of the group in order to survive," Booth wrote. "This group mentality that is so helpful to these animals at sea can unfortunately cause otherwise healthy animals to strand en mass when they are near shore. When one animal enters shallow water or strands, the entire group may follow."

One factor that likely played a role, Booth wrote, is that the waters in the area were unseasonably warm. The dolphins that did strand appeared healthy and likely stranded due to natural events, rather than human causes.

Topography may also play a part. The area has complex inlets and hook-shaped areas, Booth wrote. While Cape Cod's topography may have played a part, it doesn't account for the drastic increase in numbers.

The tragedy is even greater in Peru. Possibly as many as 2800 dolphins have stranded along a 137 mile stretch of the north coast. Again, most were common dolphins.

News -
16 May 2012
M Hamilton

Coral model predicts bleaching

Curtin University researchers have used computational fluid dynamics and powerful supercomputers to create new models for understanding and predicting coral bleaching.

A phenomenon that has increased in magnitude over the past two decades, coral bleaching is attributed to an elevation of sea surface temperatures combined with the sun’s irradiation.

While bleaching is generally expected in response to a one to two degree temperature increase over a prolonged period, the new models consider phenomena such as coral porosity and permeability, morphology, mass and most importantly water flow and heat transfer.

Science Alert -
17 May 2012

More Coral News 

[Investigate mass death of birds in Santo Domingo]
[Article translated]

Gray petrels, pelicans, boobies, and Humboldt penguins guanays are the species that are part of the 2000 dead birds found within a radius of six kilometers on the beach of Santo Domingo. Most sprains and bruises present, and some contain fish in their stomach.

According to Jose Luis Brito, director of the Museum of Natural History and Archaeology of San Antonio, "the birds to migrate north took to the seas to hunt for food. They were caught in the nets, drowned, and then the bodies were thrown overboard from boats by fishermen. "

...In a meeting on Friday, the authorities explained that this was a known position and that he had records of similar events in previous years. In 2002 more than a thousand birds died in the nets of fishermen in the central coast. And in 1999 a hundred Humboldt penguins were killed by the same cause.

La Tercera -
13 May 2012
JL Perez
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