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Dolphins and Whales and the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

 
 

bottlenose dolphins strand feeding
Bottlenose dolphins "strand feeding"
a normal dolphin behavior

Photo: NOAA Southeast Fisheries Science Center


Dolphins swimming along side oil booms deployed in the Perdido Bay Complex, Orange Beach, AL
Bottlenose dolphins swimming along side oil booms deployed in the Perdido Bay Complex, Orange Beach, AL
Photo: NOAA
(click photo for PDF fact sheet)


Report a Stranded Marine Mammal
If you find an oiled, injured, or dead marine mammal, please contact:

  • Dolphins and Whales
    1-877-WHALEHELP (1-877-942-5343)
  • Manatees
    FL: 1-888-404-FWCC (1-888-404-3922)
    LA, MS, and AL: 1-904-731-3079

Marine Mammals Documented in the Area
Species documented include those collected from directed captures and from strandings. They are documented by date observed as well as by disposition:

  • Visibly Oiled
  • Not Visibly Oiled
  • Pending Further Data

Blank cells in the tables indicate no effort that day (e.g., weather conditions may have prohibited traveling offshore), meaning there were no vessels searching offshore for sea turtles and marine mammals.

NOTE: Stranding response for marine mammals transitioned out of MC252 Spill Response and back to the traditional Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program on November 2, 2010. Only confirmed visibly oiled animals collected after November 2 will be added to the data spreadsheets below.

Cetaceans (dolphins and whales) Documented by Day, State, and Disposition, per day:
April 30, 2010-April 12, 2011
dolphin data table thumbnail

(click for more details in larger view PDF document)
NOTE: All data is preliminary. This data is continually being updated and will be considered preliminary until all necropsies have been completed.

A summary report is also available.

Dolphin and Whale Stranding Data by Species - updated through April 17, 2011

Note: This data represents marine mammal strandings reported within the specific MC252 Spill Response, data includes all marine mammal strandings from:

  • April 30, 2010-November 2, 2010 within the designated spill area, defined as the Texas/Louisiana border east to Apalachicola, Florida
  • December 3, 2010- May 24, 2011 within the reinstated Louisiana MC252 Spill Response Area, defined as St. Mary's Parrish east to the LA/MS border
  • On May 25, 2011, Marine Mammal MC252 Stranding Response has stepped down for central and eastern Louisiana. All marine mammal and sea turtle strandings in the northern Gulf of Mexico has now transitioned back to the traditional Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program and Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network.

Cetacean Species Alive Dead Condition
Unknown
Total

Bottlenose dolphin
(Tursiops truncatus)

9
142
4
155

Kogia spp.

0
2
0
2
Melon-Headed Whale
(Peponocephala electra)
0
2
0
2

Spinner dolphin
(Stenella longirostris)

3
3
0
6

Sperm whale
(Physeter macrocephalus)

0
2
0
2

Unknown species

1
2
1
4

TOTAL

13
153
5
171

NOTE: All data is preliminary. This data is continually being updated and will be considered preliminary until all necropsies have been completed.

Documented marine mammal strandings in the northern Gulf of Mexico from April 30-Nov 2, 2010
Note: On Nov 3, 2010 stranding response for marine mammals transitioned out of MC252 Spill Response and back to the traditional Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program
map of marine mammal strandings in the gulf from april 30-nov 2, 2010

(Click image for larger size.)

Documented mammal strandings in the reinstated response area from Dec 3, 2010- April 17, 2011
Note: On Dec 3, 2010, Marine Mammal MC252 Stranding Response was reinstated for central and eastern Louisiana.
map of marine mammal strandings in the gulf from dec 3, 2010-april 17, 2011

(Click image for larger size.)

More Information on the Oil Spill

Updated: March 15, 2013

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