According to a National Geographic news item, the hundreds of bottlenose dolphin deaths along the US East Coast are probably due to an outbreak of cetacean morbillivirus.
As of 26th August, 333 dolphins had been washed up dead or dying on East Coast beaches, with Virginia seemingly a “hot zone” reporting 174 dolphin strandings as of Monday.
Cetacean morbillivirus is in the same family as the virus which causes measles in people.
Every year, hundreds of dolphins are killed in brutal hunts in Taiji, Japan. The dolphins not killed for meat watch their families die – and are then removed to be flown to a life in confinement, performing tricks for human “entertainment”. Such dolphins are sold for large sums of money which funds the hunts so that the slaughter can continue.
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The annual rate of decline is 13.7 percent and this means the Yangtze finless porpoise could be extinct as early as the 2025.
The population in the mainstream of the Yangtze River is less than half of what a similar survey found six years ago. Food shortages and human disturbance such as increased shipping traffic are major threats to the survival of Yangtze finless porpoise.
Attempts were also made to find traces of the Baiji dolphin but none were found. The Baiji dolphin has now been declared “functionally extinct.”
To learn more, please visit the WDC web site.