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.


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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
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