What causes whale strandings?



  1. 0 Votes

    Scientists have tried to validate the reason why cetaceans (whales, dolphins, etc.) beach themselves by giving several explanations. According to the Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine (1982), whale strandings are due to behavioral health or poor physical health such as an illness or a severe disease. There also may be a variety of external or environmental conditions that may cause whale strandings such as a tidal wave, hurricane, or ocean currents. Biological conditions may also contribute to whale stranding; perhaps the animal was trying to get away from a predator or a mass feeding. Studies have also shown that a whale stranding can be based on the animals’ instinct as a way of dealing with stress (Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, 1982).

  2. 0 Votes

    In addition to nellieliz4’s reasons, some animals are washed ashore posthumously.  Also, larger cetaceans can become trapped in shallow waters due to a low tide.  In this event, a whale or dolphin may send out a distress call to other whales who inadvertently beach themselves while trying to help the distressed whale.

  3. 0 Votes

    Navy sonar has also been linked to whale beaching. While the exact cause and outcome are not conclusively known, the evidence was strong enough that in 2008 the US Supreme Court ruled that the Navy needed to begin factoring whale behavior into their practices, and research cited in an article on sciencedaily.com found that navy sonar did in fact disrupt the behavior and movement of whales.

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