1 Tahrcountry Musings: Complex topography disorients whales?

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Complex topography disorients whales?

The death of 110 whales last week following beaching in the Marion Bay area, Tasmania, Australia, has again brought up the question of why it happens. Initial figures were 60 but casualty went up as another incident followed suit. Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service officials say the most likely reason for the stranding was the complex topography of the area, which disoriented the whales. Treacherous frequently changing water depths, sandy spits and rocky outcrops, as well as a narrow opening to the ocean could have upset the navigation prowess of whales. Environmentalists have long held that use of sonar by navy cause whale and dolphin stranding. Oil industries’ seismic testing has also been blamed for stranding.

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