Science

Baby dolphins, porpoises and seals wash up dead on Welsh beaches after storms

Large numbers of marine animals have been found washed up on Welsh beaches following the storms that have battered the UK over the past week.

In recent days, 13 dead seals, dolphins and porpoises have been found washed up on west Wales beaches after struggling to cope with strong swells and huge waves.

All the animals were reported to Marine Environmental Monitoring (MEM), a group run by Matt Westfield with veterinary support from London Zoo.

read more:Storm Dudley destroys 70ft tree at Gower animal sanctuary

North Wales Live reported that the group has collected common dolphin carcasses from Ynyslas, Ceredigion, and Aberdesach, Gwynedd after visiting a number of sites, from Pembrokeshire to Anglesey.

Post-mortem examinations are due to be carried out on the animals this afternoon (Tues, Feb 22) by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL).

The two dolphins recovered by MEM showed few signs of injury but had varying degrees of scavenger damage. One dolphin was recovered from Ynyslas beach on Thursday after storm Dudley, while the second was found on Aberdesach beach and was reported to MEM last Friday.



The young dolphin found at Ynyslas beach, Ceredigion, was injury free



A dolphin found at Aberdesach beach, near Pontllyfni, Gwynedd, had been gnawed by scavengers

However, due to Storm Eunice, the group couldn’t collect the carcass until Sunday morning.

The first dolphin was a young male, measuring 1.45m long, with some scavenger damage around the left eye. The second was a young male at just over 1.50m and, as it had been on the beach longer, it suffered greater scavenger damage.

Matt Westfield told North Wales Live: “It’s hoped these two common dolphins will give us a better understanding as to what happened to them during the storms,” ​​said Matt.

“A few of the animals found dead may have died of natural causes at sea, and were brought ashore by the storms.

“We suspect most were young and inexperienced animals who died in the storms.”

Wildlife Trust Wales and the British Divers Marine Life Rescue helped with the recovery at Aberdesach beach.

Matt added: “Reports of marine carcases and strandings always increase following storms.

“What was unusual this time was the passage of storms Dudley, Eunice and then Franklin in quick succession.

“It means that instead of being busy for 48 hours, we expect to be responding to calls for at least seven days.”

In Pembrokeshire, thousands of starfish were spotted washed up on a beach in the aftermath of Storm Eunice.



The stranded starfish had been thrown onto the beach by huge waves

Piles starfish were discovered by locals walking their dog along Wisemans Bridge, a rocky stretch of coastline near Tenby on Saturday.

The phenomenon is thought to have resulted from the recent storms Dudley and Eunice.

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