Sunday, July 15, 2007

Dead baby dolphin found on the shore!

A baby dolphin was found dead along the shoreline at the coastal village of Tinago, Dumaguete City on Thursday morning.The dolphin is believed to be a pygmy killer whale (feresa attenuata), a specie of dolphins usually found in tropical waters.The carcass of the baby dolphin was brought to the Silliman University Marine Laboratory here for examination to determine the cause of its death.According to Leslie Callanta, a Masters in Biology student of Silliman University, the baby cetacean could have died of some illness as based on its appearance.

Callanta and two Indonesian students taking their doctorate’s degree in Marine Biology also at Silliman University have collected sample tissue from the dead dolphin for examination.After examination, the SUML will process the skeleton and bones of the dolphin to be included in the laboratory’s collection for future research.

Meanwhile, Dr. Hilconida Calumpong, director of the SU marine laboratory, has expressed alarm over the increasing number of dolphin and whale strandings in Negros Oriental.Records show 11 dolphin and whale strandings from July 2006 to July 2007.Reports reaching SUML also said at least two dolphins were allegedly butchered for its meat in Amlan town, about half an hour’s drive north of here.

Calumpong said the past year has recorded the most number of dolphin strandings in the province in her 30 years as a marine biologist.She said there are many possible causes of dolphin strandings such as being accidentally caught in fishing nets, increased fishing activity along the Tañon Strait between Negros Oriental and Cebu, and a seismic survey in the Strait which causes sound disturbance for marine mammals.

The Tañon Strait is a rich natural habitat for a wide variety of marine species and is famed for the dolphin and whale-watching tours of Bais City in Negros Oriental.

Quick "Facts about Dolphins"