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Three mass strandings of sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) in southern Australian waters


Evans, K and Morrice, MG and Hindell, MA and Thiele, D, Three mass strandings of sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) in southern Australian waters, Marine Mammal Science, 18, (3) pp. 622-643. ISSN 0824-0469 (2002) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1748-7692.2002.tb01063.x


One hundred and fifteen sperm whales (97 female, 15 male, 3 unknown sex) were involved in three mass stranding events during the month of February 1998 along the west and northwest coastlines of Tasmania, Australia. Sixty-six of these whales stranded at Ocean Beach, Strahan; 35 at Greens Beach, Marrawah; and 11 at Black River Beach, Stanley. The remaining whales stranded singly along the coastline. Three mass strandings of this species in such close temporal proximity have not been reported in this area before, and this is the first time that data have been comprehensively collected from complete or near-complete groups of sperm whales from Tasmanian waters. Adult females dominated the three stranding groups. Total lengths ranged from 417 to 1,200 cm and ages ranged from 0.75 to 64 yr. Four females were lactating and four fetuses were found amongst the groups. Stomach contents were dominated by pelagic cephalopods.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Wildlife and habitat management
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Coastal and estuarine systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of coastal and estuarine ecosystems
UTAS Author:Evans, K (Dr Karen Evans)
UTAS Author:Morrice, MG (Miss Morrice)
UTAS Author:Hindell, MA (Professor Mark Hindell)
ID Code:25349
Year Published:2002
Web of Science® Times Cited:24
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2002-08-01
Last Modified:2004-12-06

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