Stranding Update: No patterns, depleting resources, yet teamwork still prevails

IFAW MMRR teams release two dolphins back into the Atlantic. c. IFAWMy team is responding to another live dolphin about to strand in Wellfleet as I write this from the Command Center. 

If this animal comes ashore, as it may since the tide is falling now, we will be there to respond immediately. 

Since January 12th,we have had 161 dolphins strand in less than a month. .  I think we are running on almost pure adrenaline now.  Our wonderful volunteers have been monitoring the beaches since sunrise today in anticipation of more stranded dolphins. 

We have colleagues from three other stranding networks, New England Aquarium, the state of Maine, and the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation in New York, on scene with us as well.

So far 57 dolphins have been found alive and 40 of these have been released.  That's a 70% success rate - our highest release rate ever! 

This is phenomenal progress and shows just how much we have learned about the medical needs of these animals. 

Unfortunately, the majority of animals (104) died before being discovered. The team is doing our best to rescue the live animals we find and collect as much data as possible to try to understand why these dolphins are stranding. 

So far no patterns have emerged, but the many lab analyses will take months to complete, we may yet find one.

Many thanks to our volunteers, the members of the Northeast Region Stranding Network, and all of you for your support as mini events within this larger event continue to occur. 

Our team resources continue to be depleted; personnel, supplies, and of course, funding.  Your continued support, in all its forms, allows us to continue our response.  Again, from the bottom of my heart, thank you all so much.


Comments: 7

6 years ago

Hi my name is Molly Ann Cardolino we should help dolphins. they are scaerd they don't like
too worm water. So we shold make on facebook to help dolphins out. I know about dolphins
in summer school long time ago I worked on all about the dolphins. I learned is dolphins need to be cool and give them a lot of love. No dolphins can't live forever/ We should be
the part of in dolphins life.

6 years ago

Katie Moore, I sent you and email and again I am going to ask you to honestly answer, were you aware that during the months of January and February the Navy was practicing live war games using low range sonar and other weaponry for sailor certification. On January 12th the Comptuex was training in the oceans off of Rhode Island which is only 80 miles from Cape Cod. Computex training continued through January and then Operation Bold alligator began in February. The Navy called it the largest Amphibious Naval live exercises in 10 years. The war games involve the use of low range sonar, underwater detonations, and other weaponry. Were you aware of these activities and if so why didn't you ever mention that the Atlantic was swarming with Naval warships, submarines, aircraft carriers, and air crafts?

6 years ago

I have read that the Navy is testing sonar and it is interferring with the dolphins' navagation. There have found some of them with bursted eardrums.

6 years ago


WAnted to ask have you guys looked into solar maximum and solar flares effecting the earth's magnetic fields so this may be causing some problems with the dophins sonar regulations?

6 years ago

Please advise to the world on how and to whom financial donations can be made as soon as possible to support your invaluable work!

6 years ago

Katie thank you for all of your hard work. Why is this happening? I refuse to believe it's due to the capes geography. Next to humans, these dolphins could be the most intelligient animals. In your opinion how do the dolphins look, meaning do they look sick, confused, scared, healthy?
Can anyone come volunteer? It says supplies are running low, what do you need?

6 years ago

Hi Katie,

My step-daughter Hailey will be having a 9th birthday party on March 11th. This weekend we are working on the invitations for her pool party at the Comfort Inn. I have suggested to her that in lieu of gifts, she ask for donations for IFAW to help with the dolphins stranding on Cape Cod. Is there any way I could bring her to your office so she could get a better understanding of your work? Or could we make arrangements to present you with the money we collect so she can feel like she did something special? I want to teach her to put others before herself and to be aware of what is going on in the world around her. Feel free to contact me via e-mail: Thank you!!

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Senior Program Advisor
Senior Program Advisor
Brian Sharp, Emergency Relief Officer, Stranding Coordinator
Manager, Marine Mammal Rescue and Research
Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
IFAW Veterinarian
Gail A'Brunzo, Manager, Wildlife Rescue
Manager, Wildlife Rescue
Katie Moore, Deputy Vice President, Conservation and Animal Welfare
Deputy Vice President, Conservation and Animal Welfare
Loïs Lelanchon, Animal Rescue Program Officer
Animal Rescue Program Officer
Shannon Walajtys
Manager, Animal Rescue-Disasters
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Consulting Senior Advisor to the CEO on Strategic Partnerships & Philanthropy