Hundreds of marine mammals, including seals and whales have washed up dead during winter in Quebec, Canada
Al Grillo / AP / The Canadian Press
With the arrival of spring and the ice melted, the Quebec Emergency Response Network for Marine Mammals request the cooperation of the residents and other users of the St. Lawrence River to promptly report the discovery of carcasses.
Hundreds of carcasses of marine mammals, including seals and whales, have failed during the winter. They represent valuable information for conservation and scientific research.
Depending on the species and the state of the carcass, volunteers or Network partners will go on the stranding site to collect additional data, such as gender and age of the animal. These data allow among others to track populations of marine mammals of the St. Lawrence.
Some species are subject to a tighter monitoring program. For example, in the case of beluga whales, Fisheries and Oceans Canada is pursuing a systematic sampling program of carcasses. If they are fresh, they are sent to the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Montreal, Saint-Hyacinthe, for a full review. This necropsy to determine among others the cause of death, diseases and contamination with various toxic products.
If the state of the carcass does not justify this move, the National Institute of Ecotoxicology St. Lawrence performs sampling on site to determine at least the age of beluga, gender and levels of various contaminants the fat of the animal.
The Quebec Emergency Response Network for Marine Mammals is thanks to the commitment of fifteen private and government organizations and a hundred volunteers. Its mandate is to organize, coordinate and implement measures to reduce the incidental mortality of marine mammals, to rescue those in difficulty and to promote the acquisition of knowledge from dead animals in the waters of St. Lawrence bordering Quebec.
Courtesy of msn.com