The IWDG are looking for support toward our new scheme to examine rare and deep diving whale and dolphin species washed up in Ireland. The National Parks and Wildlife Service have provided some funding toward our Deep Diving and Rare species Investigation Programme (DDRIP), but we require additional funds to purchase specialized equipment, PPE, to cover fees associated with the collection and transportation of carcasses to Regional Vet Labs, supporting the biologists travelling around the country to assist in leading the examination, and increase the number of animals we are able to necropsy.
At present, species such as beaked whales and rare dolphins washed up in good condition are left to decompose, resulting in missed opportunities to learn more about their lives and try and establish what killed them. IWDG have launched this fundraiser to give people the opportunity to support this important work.
The IWDG Stranding Scheme has documented an increase in reports of rare and deep diving species, beaked whales in particular. Unusual Mortality Events (UME) of deep diving species have also increased, the cause(s) of which remain unknown, though they have previously been associated with offshore military exercises. This has led to an increased awareness of potential offshore pressures these species are experiencing, and represents a conservation issue due to small population estimates of beaked whales in the Northeast Atlantic.
When IWDG report on strandings (especially live strandings) there is often, understandably, public outcry to understand what happened – why is there nothing being done to investigate these strandings further?
This is your chance to help us answer this question.
When a fresh carcass of a species of interest washes ashore, a cause of death should be investigated wherever possible. We aim to carry out post mortem examinations on suitable carcasses to investigate their cause of death, while also gaining valuable information on the animal’s ecology, anatomy and life history.
Ireland’s offshore waters along the western seaboard represent important habitats for beaked whales, therefore, we as a country have an international responsibility to protect them. Currently, we require a further 10,000 EUR to carry out this project during the first year.
The IWDG hope that taking the lead on this project will result in the establishment of a post-mortem scheme covering all cetacean species which strand along the Irish coast.
Please do your part to make this happen – social media is great to express public opinion, now the public need to do their part to help us understand why these elusive animals are stranding, while also taking us one step closer to establishing a long-term cetacean post mortem scheme in Ireland.
Visit our website: www.iwdg.ie