27 May 2008
In the days since the mass stranding of pilot whales at Yoff beach, numerous individuals have restranded. One individual gave birth on the beach. The calf likely died very soon after birth.
Local people present at the initial mass stranding provided valuable information relating to cetacean strandings in this region. They reported that individual cetaceans strand throughout the year, and that in addition to pilot whales, a dolphin species with white or yellow markings, perhaps common dolphins, often strands. It is unknown whether such strandings are usually of live or dead individuals. Local sources also gave anecdotal information on possible migrational movements of dolphins along the coastal area, through the seasons.
Such local knowledge is invaluable in developing a better understanding of the spatial and temporal patterns of distribution and abundance of marine wildlife along Senegal's coasts. With the dramatic occurrence of this mass stranding now in recent memory, now is the time to develop the local capacity to monitor and conserve Senegal's cetaceans for future generations.
Photo courtesy of WWF WAMER.