The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has reported the mass stranding of approximately 35 whales, of the long-finned pilot race, on the coast of Ireland. The group is expected to be the same formation of whales that has been spotted in risk of stranding at the Scottish coast last week.
On Saturday, the group of dead, mainly female whales, some of them lying close to their calves, was discovered in Rutland Island. The same group might have been observed in South Uist a week and a half ago already behaving stressed and out of orientation
Experts believe the whales navigational systems were disturbed by naval equipment which led them swim to close to the coast. Researchers are now aiming to examine the dead animal corpses and find out more about the group of whales.
A member of the IWDG, Dr. Simon Berrow, points out: “A team from the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology and IWDG are planning to record length, gender and obtain photographs to see if we can match them to the Scottish animals. Skin samples and teeth will also be collected for genetics and life-history studies”.
Scientists are still researching and debating on potential reasons why whales seem to loose their navigation skills and die in large groups on the beach.