Yesterday morning, we found a Spinner Dolphin (Stenella longirostris), 1.7m long and female, beached dead at the East Beach of Danjugan Island. I had to gather strength to respond, because I sometimes could get too emotional when being near marine mammals. The stranding response is to gather measurements and samples, and perform a necropsy to get further insight into the cause of death. Data gathered could support studies on the causes of stranding or other mortalities in cetaceans or marine mammals. I am quite relieved that we didn’t find any indication that the poor Dolphin died due to plastic trash ingestion or fishing gear entanglement – which have become increasingly common causes of stranding. Photos were taken during the necropsy for reporting, and thought I would post just these two for public awareness and education. Thank you very much to Dr. AA Yaptinchay of Marine Wildlife Watch Philippines, Dr. Ari Barcelona, and Kaila Ledesma for the guidance.

Source: Dave Gumban Albao Instagram

A female Spinner Dolphin, 1.7m long, beached dead at the East Beach of Danjugan Island in Negros Occidental yesterday. The animal was examined then buried.

Source: Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines Facebook

Thailand: The sad tale of the Tiger
28th January 2017;

The death of a Tiger (Panthera tigris corbetti) from Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary this month provides a stark illustration as to how our forest “management” has failed abysmally.

Before the death of “HKT-178” – which was caused by shotgun wounds – the seven-year-old Tiger was spotted on Jan 8 by villagers of Lampang’s Mae thot tambon, more than 300 kilometres away from his original habitat in the sanctuary. His ill-fated journey began with the search for food and ended on villagers’ farmland.

Wildlife authorities said they had tracked HKT-178 in the sanctuary, the largest habitat of Tigers, since 2011. Then he was captured on camera the following year in Mae Wong National Park on the northern border of Huai Kha Khaeng. Authorities lost track of him until this month.

The Lampang villagers found him suffering from exhaustion and hiding in a cassava plantation. They tried to save him from his wounds by calling for help from officials at the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation. Unfortunately, HKT-178 was too weak and eventually lost the fight for his life.

The wounds suggested it was not the work of hunters, wildlife authorities said. It was more likely he was shot by a terrified villager out of self-defence.

In fact, the Tiger was the victim of economic development altering his natural habitat. He was not the first, nor the last, creature to die from this change.

Before this, several Elephants (Elephas maximus indicus) were killed when roaming into villagers’ farmland and plantations to get some food.

The Tiger’s fate highlights the importance of natural forest as a habitat for wildlife. The creature might have survived, had he not been lost while seeking his own territory – an instinctive drive of a wild beast – into human habitat.

His fate also highlights the need to nurture natural forest as a home for wildlife creatures. The fact is we have lost a vast area of forest reserve for infrastructure development projects such as dams, roads and highway construction, as well as uncontrolled expansion of human habitats.

Some roads and highways, like those in the Khao Yai area, disrupt the routes used by wild animals, resulting in dangerous human-animal confrontations.

In some areas, roads simply cut the forest into small fragments of land, which makes it difficult for nature to maintain a balance. Shrinking habitats, with dwindling food sources, put wildlife animals in a difficult situation. That’s the reason they end up roaming plantations that are scattered around their degraded habitat.

Besides, we should not forget that Mae Wong National Park in Nakhon Sawan, which serves as the buffer zone for the Huai Kha Khaeng wildlife sanctuary, a world heritage site, is under threat from a dam project, proposed for decades by the Irrigation Department.

The dam will compromise the value of the park, which is now being nominated for a world heritage site in its own right. That means the home for Tigers will be further disturbed, and may no longer be suitable as a wildlife habitat.

Despite several public protests, the Irrigation Department has adamantly pushed for the controversial project, ignoring other alternatives, such as dams that are less destructive.

Now EIA studies for the Mae Wong project have been completed and are being considered by the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning’s expert committee. It is hoped those experts will treasure the park and keep it, not just for the Tigers’ habitat, but for the sake of balanced development.

Source: Bangkok Post

A Fraser’s Dolphin (Lagenodelphis hosei) with a wound stranded in Sitio Panubigon, Brgy. Lipata, Surigao City yesterday.

Source: Loel Joy Orzales Mesias, via Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines

STRANDED. Rescue workers help stabilize a wounded Dolphin stranded in a coastal village in Surigao City. Shell gatherers found the Dolphin trashing in knee-deep waters early morning Thursday (26 January 2017). The Dolphin eventually died late in the afternoon.
Photo: Roel N. Catoto

Philippines: Cause of stranded Dolphin’s death in Surigao investigated
By Roel Catoto, 27th January 2017;

Experts have started an investigation on what caused the death of the Dolphin which was stranded Thursday morning in Surigao City.

The Dolphin suffered a wound above its flukes and died Thursday after hours of efforts to resuscitate it.

Dr. Leona Nortega, a veterinarian at the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Caraga Region told MindaNews Friday via text message that they have made a necropsy on the mammal.

“We collected some samples for laboratory analysis, we will forward the samples to the central office for histopathology,” she said.

Norteg identified the distressed mammal as a Fraser’s Dolphin (Lagenodelphis hosei), not a Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops sp.) as reported Thursday.

Jordan Mendoza and three companions found the Dolphin as it was struggling in knee-deep waters off the sandy beach between sitios Panumbuyon and Panubigon in Barangay Lipata around 5:30 a.m. yesterday. It had a wound on the upper rear part of its body near its tail flukes.

The four, who were gathering shells then, immediately contacted authorities for help.

Chief Insp. Joel V. Liong, of the Surigao City Police Station, measured the Dolphin at 7 feet and 1 inch long, a body circumference of 43 inches and width of 13.5 inches at its widest part.

He said the five-inch wide wound was being swarmed by sand fleas locally known as “bukto.”

Rollie Dizon, a resident of Panubigon who were among the first few who responded to the call for help, said the Dolphin looked frail and kept on vomiting blood.

Some Surigaonons felt sad over the death of the mammal.

Enna Batalzar, a college student, said there should have been a facility and competent personnel who could handle stranded sea animals.

Megan Villasor, a resident of Barangay Washington, said she cried upon seeing the dead Dolphin.

AA Yaptinchay, director of Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines, a nongovernment organization advocating awareness on the conservation and protection of marine wildlife in the country told MindaNews that dolphins are among the many sea creatures that have been affected by marine environmental destruction and pollution.

“There are potentially more than 30 marine mammals in the Philippins. However, populations of Dolphins, Whales and the Dugong (Dugong dugon) have declined due to threats such as poaching, bycatch, pollution, and habitat destruction, among others. Moreover, a lot of the marine mammal stranding seem to be human-induced,” MWWP said.

“If humans are the cause of such threats and stranding incidents, humans could also be part of the solution. The Aquatic Marine Wildlife Rescue and Response Manual on Marine Mammals will benefit people working in coastal resource management programs, marine protected areas (MPA), and MPA networks by helping them rescue and release marine mammals back in the wild where they can continue to make significant contributions to the health of the marine ecosystem,” the group said.

Yaptinchay added more and more threats are present in Philippine seas, affecting already dwindling populations of marine wildlife. It is expected that vulnerable species will be affected by threats such as trash, habitat degradation and increasing boat traffic.

Incidents such as Dolphin stranding are expected to occur more often, he said.

“These protected species need to be handled properly in terms of the response such as rescue, data collection, crowd control and awareness raising. Procedures for the response to marine mammals, marine turtles, and sharks and rays can be found in manuals published by Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines with the Department of Agriculture and the DENR. All manuals are free to download from the MWWP website,” he said.

The response manual to marine mammal incidents can be accessed at http://mwwphilippines.org/2015/04/14/philippine-aquatic-wildlife-rescue-and-response-manual-to-marine-mammal-incidents/.

Source: MindaNews

  1. Rescue workers help stabilize the wounded Dolphin
  2. The Dolphin’s wound.
  3. STRANDED. Rescue workers help stabilize a wounded Dolphin stranded in a coastal village in Surigao City. Shell gatherers found the dolphin trashing in knee-deep waters early morning Thursday (26 January 2017). The dolphin eventually died late in the afternoon.

Photos: Roel N. Catoto

Philippines: Rescued wounded Dolphin in Surigao City dies
By Roel Catoto, 26th January 2017;

The wounded Bottlenose Fraser’s Dolphin (Lagenodelphis hosei) rescued in the shallow waters of a coastal village here earlier today died around 4:30 p.m.

This was confirmed by Pinky Amarille of the City Quick Action Response Team and Racquel Curtis, barangay captain of Lipata where the Dolphin was found.

Necropsy was reportedly conducted on the Dolphin, which was then buried at the shoreline of Sitio Panubigon in Lipata.

The Fraser’s Dolphin was found by Jordan Mendoza Abapo and three companions as it was thrashing in knee-deep waters off the sandy beach between sitio Panumbuyon and Panubigon in Barangay Lipata around 5:30 a.m. The shell gatherers immediately contacted authorities for help.

It had a wound on the upper rear part of its body near its tail flukes.

“It was a pitiful sight, the dolphin Dolphin to keep alive. We immediately tried to rescue it and called the attention of the authorities,” Abapo said.

Abapo said the Dolphin was cooperative. “We told him that we will help him and he responded with his sounds,” he said.

Chief Insp. Joel V. Liong, of the Surigao City Police Station, measured the Dolphin at 7 feet and 1 inch long, a body circumference of 43 inches and width of 13.5 inches at its widest part.

He said the five-inch wide wound was being swarmed by sand flea locally known as “bukto.”

“The wound is old and seems to be healing,” Liong said.

The Surigao City Quick Action Response Team stayed by the Dolphin’s side to nurse it back to health, but to no avail.

Rollie Dizon, a resident of Panubigon who were among the first few who responded to the call for help, said the Dolphin looked frail and kept on vomiting blood.

“It has a few scratches on his face and body. I hope it survives,” he said then.

Dr. Leona Nortega, a veterinarian of Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Caraga Region based in Surigao City, advised those helping the mammal to keep its blowhole above the water and for people around it to stay quiet.

She was planning to look for an inflatable pool to nurse the Dolphin there because the water was choppy and only aggravated the Dolphin’s stress.

Had the Dolphin survived and regained its health, it would have been eventually released back to the sea. “That’s the procedure,” Nortega said.

Source: MindaNews

A photograph shared on the Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines Facebook page shows that this is a Fraser’s Dolphin, not a Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops sp.).

Yayan Abranto, 24, a resident at the Intan Baiduri People’s Housing Project, walks past the dead fish.
Photo:

Malaysia: Residents cry foul over rotting fish in lake
By Jonathan Edward and Danial Dzulkifly, 26th January 2017;

Residents at the Intan Baiduri People’s Housing Project (PPR) have been putting up with stench from thousands of rotting fish since Tuesday evening.

Tilapia (Oreochromis) used to thrive in the lake that is part of the housing scheme.

Khairul Anuwar, 50, said: “Some residents think the lake may be polluted. It could be some kind of disease, and authorities must investigate immediately.”

Khairul said he had lodged complaints with City Hall, the Drainage and Irrigation Department, and Department of Environment.

“It’s going to be two days. I hope the authorities will take action quickly as the stench is becoming worse,” he said.

Another resident, Siti Aman, 38, said the incident was worrying.

“I hope people have not dumped poison or something harmful into the lake as children from the apartments swim there,” she said.

“Also, there are many people from all over Kuala Lumpur who come here to fish.”

Mohd Kadir Bakri, 41, said it was upsetting that the authorities had not taken action.

“No one wants to go near the lake. We have been telling the children not to touch the fish as we do not know what is causing them to die,” he said.

Mohd Kadir said the authorities needed to advise the people on whether any fish caught from the lake would be safe to consume.

“They need to find out what happened,” he said.

A Kuala Lumpur City Hall Public Engineering and City Transportation Department spokesman said the constant flow of pollutants in the pond might have increased the Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) and killed the fish.

“The incident is also known as ‘fish kill’ and it is caused when there is a lack of dissolved oxygen in the water. We believe excess urban runoff like pet wastes from the streets, leaves, dead grass, filth and even dirt were washed into the lake by the rain,” he said.

The spokesman said City Hall would begin a clean-up of the lake within two weeks.

“Because of the rain it would not be prudent for us to clean it right away as refuse will continue to flow into the lake. However, once the weather improves, we will try to dredge the lake of waste and other contaminants.

"I hope the residents remain patient and give us time to do the job.”

Source: Malay Mail