- Rare Bottlenose Whales Spotted Near Nova Scotia Coastlines
- 93 Wildlife Projects Receive Funding from SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund
- Giant Oarfish Washes Up On Shore of Southern California Island
Two sightings of extremely rare and endangered bottlenose whales close to shorelines in Nova Scotia within the last week has marine biologists worried, as these cetaceans usually inhabit very deep waters of at least 800 meters.
The second bottlenose whale to be sighted and photographed appeared emaciated and is likely a female, two factors that don’t bode well for the estimated remaining population of roughly 200 individuals. Bottlenose whale expert Dr. Hal Whitehead said that the presence of deepwater species so close to shore is typically indicative of an injury or illness.
A team from Fisheries and Oceans Canada have attempted to reach the whale, but it had left the bay by the time they arrived. They hope to be able to help the animal if it is in trouble, and avoid beaching or further injury if at all possible.
Researchers with 93 wildlife projects around the world will rejoice over $1.2 million dollars in grants from the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund, given to projects that study wildlife, protect habitats, rescue animals, and educate the public about conservation.
More than $10 million in grants has been given to various conservation and wildlife projects since the Fund’s inception in 2003, and has helped projects that track penguin migrations to better plan for species management, documenting lighting around sea turtle nesting beaches and determining changes that need to be made to ensure hatchlings reach the sea, and long term dolphin monitoring in Florida’s Indian River Lagoon to evaluate the risks they face and improved management strategies.
Marine science instructor Jasmine Santana with the Catalina Island Marine Institute (CIMI) was snorkeling in the waters of Santa Catalina Island, about 25 miles off the coast of Southern California, when she spotted an 18-foot giant oarfish at 30 feet deep, and decided to bring it into shore.
Santana dragged the silvery beast for 75 feet in the water by its tail, until staffers jumped in to help finish the task. Fifteen people were needed to get the oarfish completely onto shore, where video footage and tissue samples were taken and sent to a lab at the University of California in Santa Barbara. It is set to be buried in the sand to decompose, after which its skeleton will be removed and reconstituted for display at CIMI.