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Hundreds of long-finned pilot whales die

  • IASbaba
  • September 25, 2020
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Hundreds of long-finned pilot whales die

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Conservation

In news

  • Over 450 long-finned pilot whales have died in Australia’s largest recorded mass-stranding event. 
  • The whales were beached at a remote beach in Tasmania’s west coast.

Important value additions

Beaching 

  • It refers to the phenomenon of dolphins and whales stranding themselves on beaches.
  • There are around 2,000 strandings each year worldwide, with most resulting in the death of the animal.
  • Whales strand themselves on beaches either singularly or in groups. 
  • While individual strandings are mostly attributed to injury or sickness, it is not clear why exactly whales beach themselves in groups.

Long-finned pilot whales

  • Scientific Name: Globicephala melas
  • These are one of two species of pilot whale, along with short-finned pilot whales.
  • These prefer deep temperate to subpolar oceanic waters.
  • They have been known to occur in coastal waters in some areas.
  • They have been documented near the Antarctic sea ice and associated with the colder Benguela and Humboldt Currents, which may extend their normal range.
  • Protection Status: (1) CITES: Appendix II; (2) IUCN: Least Concern

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