The Scottish Marine Animal Strandings Scheme heeft vandaag een overzicht van de massastranding van Grienden bij Staffin op the Isle of Skye gepluviceerd.
Just to update you about the mass stranding event of Pilot whales at Staffin, Isle of Skye. A total of 21 Pilot whales stranded on the morning of Tuesday the 2nd of June. Medics and volunteers from British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) managed to refloat 18 individuals of the initial stranding, though 10 of them subsequently restranded on Staffin island a short while later. This added obvious logistical complications and serious thanks are due to the local wildlife tour operators and Marine Scotland who provided boat support for getting everyone out to the island. The animals were all given first aid by BDMLR medics and volunteers and Nick and Andrew attended the stranding site to assess the condition and likelihood of survival of each individual. Two juveniles died on the island, seemingly crushed by a larger animal in the stranding process, and after assessment it was decided to euthanize two others on welfare grounds due to a poor prognosis from the trauma effects of the initial stranding. Six animals were however successfully refloated from the rocks by the BDMLR team on the rising tide that evening.
We conducted necropsies on the seven deceased animals the following day. Amongst these was a heavily pregnant adult female with evidence of dystocia. This would be a plausible reason for the original stranding, however results and findings will be published as soon as bacteriological and histopathological examination is completed and reports can be finalized.
Many thanks to everyone who was involved with the stranding event and assisted us with necropsies; particularly all from British Divers Marine Life Rescue, Marine Scotland, the Maritime & Coast Guard Agency, Hebridean Whale Cruises, Stardust boat trips, the Aberdeen University’s Lighthouse Field Station crew, volunteers from St Andrews Sea Mammal Research Unit, as well as our CSIP colleagues from London and Wales. Particular thanks to Rod Penrose who drove a round trip of over 1000 miles to assist with the post mortem examinations.
The individuals that were refloated from Staffin island have not been observed since, and as time passes the likelihood that they have survived the physiological damage and stresses associated with becoming stranded increases. A small group of pilot whales has been spotted approximately 35 miles south of Staffin. Though initial observations do not provide evidence that these animals are currently in distress, volunteers from BDMLR are on site and are trying to get some photographs to identify whether these are possibly the same individuals that have been involved in the original stranding event. For those of you out around Skye and Torridon this weekend, please keep a lookout and please let us know if you see any further sightings or stranded animals.
Andrew, Nick and Mariel