Update on Mass Dolphin Stranding in Bazaruto Archipelago National Park, Mozambique
We regret to share that there has been a recent mass stranding event of spinner dolphins on the Northern point of Bazaruto Island.
On the morning of February 21st our Bazaruto community turtle monitor found 32 stranded spinner dolphins, and while immediate actions were taken by our park rangers, only seven were able to be saved by being pushed back out to sea. Assessments were made and samples from each carcass were taken to help determine what may have contributed to this stranding. Unfortunately, before any clear conclusions could be reached, this event was followed by a second stranding whereby on the morning of Tuesday February 23rd, another 86 dead spinner dolphins were found by members of the Madivadje community, where most likely they had beached during the night. So far, a total of 111 dolphins have died. We are continuing to take samples and carcasses are being safely disposed.
We are working in coordination with the National Administration of Conservation Areas (ANAC), the IUCN Cetacean Specialist Group as well as a broader network of marine experts to help understand what may have triggered this mass stranding, which are rare events in this part of the world. While we are able to rule out any fisheries-related circumstances at this time, initial hypotheses include possible tidal fluctuations, algae blooms, or magnetic or geological disturbances.
Given what has transpired in the past two days, we recognize that there could be additional events of beached individuals; therefore we are continuing to monitor the situation and do what we can to prevent further strandings. To our fellow stakeholders of Bazaruto Archipelago National Park, please do not hesitate to contact us with any information you might have to aid in this situation.
We will keep you updated as details unfold and thank all of you for your support.