These strandings could be due to disease, navigation errors, predators or even human activity.
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Time is counted. The New Zealand authorities are mobilized Monday February 22 to try to save dozens of “pilot dolphins” trapped on a coastal barrier in the far north of the south island. The Department of Conservation (DOC) said the 49 mammals were discovered on Farewell Spit, a sandy tongue 90 km north of the town of Nelson. By mid-afternoon Monday, at least nine pilot whales were dead and around 60 people were scrambling to keep the rest alive in the hope they could get back out to sea with the tide.
Farewell Spit has witnessed a dozen cases of pilot whale group strandings over the past 15 years. In February 2017, nearly 700 of these mammals had stranded at Farewell Spit, including 250 that had perished.
– Checkpoint (@CheckpointRNZ) February 22, 2021
There is no certain scientific explanation for this phenomenon. There are hypotheses about disease, navigation errors, the presence of predators, extreme weather conditions or problems related to the topography of certain places. But others implicate human activity, and in particular disturbances generated by high frequency sonars.