Whale and Turtle Deaths

The Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (PROFEPA) detected the stranding of 14 gray whales (13 calves and an adult) and 16 sea turtles “prietas” after two separate tours surveillance on the shores of Scammon Lagoon, Guerrero Black, town of Mulege, Baja California Sur.

Specialists from the Federal Delegation of PROFEPA and the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP) in that entity, estimated the death of cetaceans, which present an advanced state of decomposition, could be due to natural causes.

This, because in this area foster that kind of marine mammal, the calves are commonly lost or are abandoned by the mother, so do not receive adequate nutrition and tend to die, since they consume on average total of 200 liters of breast milk per day.

DEAD WHALE 002It should be noted that cetaceans found no rips or injury caused by ships or entanglements that might have caused his death. Also, most of the bodies of these cetaceans are intact and have only two shark bites.

According to a report from the Director of the Biosphere Reserve “El Vizcaíno” in the first census of the 2014-2015 season gray whale (made in Scammon Lagoon) the presence of 141 calves were counted and 261 adult whales, totaling 406 units.

The gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) is listed on the Official Mexican Standard NOM-059-SEMARNAT-2010 in the category Subject to special protection (Pr).

In a second action taken in the area of ​​marshes Scammon Lagoon, PROFEPA inspectors detected 16 copies of “brown” turtle (Chelonia midas agassizii) in an advanced state of decomposition.

The turtles found no rips or wounds on their bodies, although some of these were dismembered by scavengers (mainly coyotes).

It is assumed that the cause of his death is hypothermia caused by cold temperatures that were raised in the area due to cold fronts presented in recent days in the months of December and January in the northern part of Baja California Sur.

DEAD WHALE 003Sea turtles are recorded and identified with a plastic plate in which the date and geographical position falls; their bodies are buried in the place where they were found.

Note that a similar event occurred in the area in January 2014, where 17 dead sea turtles of the same species were found, with low temperatures the cause of his death, so this event is given by recurring every year.

All marine turtles that breed in Mexico are protected by NOM-059-SEMARNAT-2010, which appear with “P”, ie endangered.


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