Udayavni Special

What is the cause of whale deaths in Australia?

Team Udayavani, Sep 24, 2020, 3:16 PM IST

Around 400 whales have died in what is suspected to be Australia’s largest stranding on record

A team of about 40 trained rescuers began to “re-float” a small number of whales using equipment to push the animals off a sandbar into deeper waters.

Rescuers had managed to save 50 on Wednesday, and they were trying to help the remaining estimated 30 whales.

Tasmanian government officials said the rescue effort would continue “as long as there are live animals”.

Experts claim that around Australia and New Zealand different kinds of whales make seasonal migrations every year in pods as large as a 1,000 animals.

They follow a leader and their strong social bonds can lead to whole groups beaching themselves. It might have been a single misadventure by one or two of them and because pilot whales are such a social species, that may have drawn the other animals in

Also, It is said that another reason could be panic from being trapped by a predator such as killer whales or sharks or whales might be drawn to land by prey-rich currents

According to BBC, the shape of the beach and the coastline could also have a role to play i.e if the beach has gently-sloping shorelines, whales that are dependent on echolocation for navigation can be deceived.

Australia’s Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment claim that the species that most often get stranded on Australian beaches are those that use echolocation or sonar for navigation, such as pilot and sperm whales.

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