Authors

Aimee M. Deveau

Document Type

Internship Report

Publication Date

2011

Abstract

Clymene dolphins (Stenella clymene) are a poorly understood, pelagic species, for which most of the current knowledge has been garnered from stranding events. On June 15, 1995, a group of 18 clymene dolphins stranded near Tarpon Springs, FL. Five were released from the beach immediately (Group 1), 7 were taken to Clearwater Marine Aquarium for rehabilitation (Group 2), and the remaining 6 animals (Group 3) were found dead on the beach or died shortly after the response. Pathology, hematology, stomach contents, and morbillivirus data collected during the stranding event were examined and compared between groups. Additionally, the demographics of this mass stranding were compared to those of previous mass stranding events of this species in the southeast United States using Level A data obtained from the NOAA Southeast Fisheries Science Center. All animals tested for morbillivirus were negative, and the majority of the stomachs were empty upon examination. One animal had several dozen unidentified otoliths in its stomach. Several pathological findings were noted (e.g. organ congestion, hemorrhage, and parasitic evidence) but were incidental. Significant increases were seen in MCHC both before and after rehabilitation and total protein was increased pre-rehabilitation. No clear cause of stranding was determined from the analyses, but a new pod structure for the species (i.e. a breeding pod) was described. Even without determining a cause of stranding, this evaluation provides valuable information on a little known species.

Comments

Department: MBF

MPS Track: MMS

Location: Mote Marine Laboratory

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