Mass Stranding of Melon Headed Whales on Boa Vista

UPDATE 29/09/2019

People try to save stranded whales

Despite the efforts of all the people who volunteered their time to save the melon headed whales that were stranded, the majority of the animals came back to the shore. Since the event, Bios CV, the Ministry of Agriculture and Environment, and the City Council have been following the situation and report that a total of 136 out of the 164 whales were found dead on Altar beach.

Bios CV took samples and collected biometric data from 50 whales, and 4 are being kept frozen in the CMBV facilities. To prevent the possible spread of disease the remaining carcases are being buried by the MAA-BV Delegation. In collaboration with the MARCET, a European project, biologists from the Institute of Animal Health (USA), and the University of Las Palmas (Gran Canarias), are travelling to Boa Vista to perform necropsy on the carcases in an attempt to explain why this happened. They will also take the opportunity to train local scientists for the future.

Source: Bios CV

 

During a morning turtle patrol, at around 5:30 am on September 24 2019, 17 melon headed whales were found on the beach near Bofereira on the coast of Boa Vista. The staff and volunteers of Bios CV were immediately called for help. By 7:00 am 164 individuals were stranded on the beach.

Through the course of the day approximately 100 people from all over the island came to help return these animals to the sea including: members of the ministry of agriculture and environment, the national police, maritime authorities, fishing inspectors, the NGOs Fundaçao Tartaruga, Natura 2000, Bios CV, and Maralliance, tour companies and their clients, and community members from Bofereira, Norte, and Sal Rei. Unfortunately the rescue mission was unsuccessful as most of the cetaceans that were returned to the sea washed back up. Final mortality has yet to be determined.

Melon headed whales (Peponocephala electra) are highly social members of the dolphin family that live in groups of hundreds of individuals. They are known not to abandon their group members and this may be the reason that so many followed their companions onto the beach. Along with pollution and interactions with fishing vessels, a major threat to this species is oceanic noise. Loud noises cause them to flee areas that are important to their survival and has also been demonstrated to drive groups to stranding and ultimately death. This is unfortunately not a unique event on Boa Vista, yet the cause of the strandings is still unknown.

Source: fisheries.noaa.gov

Other interesting news

Corona Virus in Boa Vista – Cape Verde

UPDATE March 25, 2020: This Monday the 23rd, the first death was recorded by COVID 19 on the island, this is the first case on the island, the 62-year-old Englishman was buried on the island with strong security measures, the other Dutch patient who inspires care was evacuated to her country. UPDATE March 21, 2020: According to

Whales on the Boavista waters

 The new season off the whale reproduction in Cabo verde is coming, to give unique moments to the biologist and the tourist who come to watch it. In Boavista is possible to watch up close the whales:Groups of jubarte-whales from North Atlantic come to cabo verde to give birth, making here like a daycare for

Boa Vista Carnival 2020

Carnival is considered one of the most lively and representative popular festivals in the world. And the carnival on the island of Boa Vista, in Cape Verde, is growing and becoming more and more a popular party. This growth occurred with the help of masquerade balls and carnival parades. There is no denying that the

Kite Downwind 2020

A non-profit project like no other! Kite Downwind was created 4 years ago with the idea and motivation to raise funds for a kindergarten here on the island of Boa Vista. Each participant paid a "registration fee" for participation and what was left in the end was 100% invested in kindergarten, as will happen in

Professional training is now a reality in Boavista

Inaugurated on January 27, it is an investment of the Government through the Institute of Employment and Professional Training (IEFP), Luxembourg Cooperation Tourism Fund and City Hall of the City Council, to follow the island's demand and invest in people, in their qualifications , on their well-being and give them the tools to take care

Sea Turtles Thrive – Despite Our Mistakes

Sea turtles face a number of natural threats to their survival, from the time they are developing in their eggs up until adulthood. These threats include nest predators, beach erosion, severe storms, and terrestrial and marine predators. Despite these challenges, sea turtles have existed for over 100 million years, surviving a marine mass extinction, and