A Cuvier’s beaked whale discovered on a Corsican beach

A 6-meter, one-ton Cuvier’s beaked whale ran aground on a beach in Sainte-Lucie de Porto-Vecchio (Corse-du-Sud), we learned on Wednesday from the town and CARI association.

She was seen drifting Monday and discovered yesterday (Tuesday) late morning in the town of Sainte-Lucie de Porto-Vecchio“, told AFP Catherine Cesarini, president of the association “Cetaceans Island Research Association(CARI) who took samples from this adult male specimen on Wednesday morning.

“Stuck in the Rocks”

The animal was in a place that was not accessible to the renderer, it was stuck in the rocks, so the town hall sent a boat to tow the animal to bring it near the launch to allow evacuation“Explained this cetologist who is responsible for Corsica for the National Stranding Network (RNE). This network intervenes, at the request of the public authorities, in the event of the stranding of marine mammals.

I cannot establish the causes of death but there was an anomaly in the lungs“, said Catherine Cesarini. She clarified that collisions with these large cetaceans were increasingly rare, stating that this Cuvier’s beaked whale was “a deep diver», up to 1500 m, «a rather rare animal, not easily observed, shy at sea“.

Pollutant research

In the literature, they often have problems because they rise very quickly from great depths following sounds propagated by submarines or sonars.“, she explained. The samples taken are not intended to establish the cause of death but to “learn as much as possible about what nature gives us without taking samples from populations“, she also said.

We will look for heavy metals in the bacon to find the pollutants, we will look at the stomach content to know the diet, possibly with the interaction with fishing, we will also look at sexual maturity“, she detailed.

All cetaceans combined,there are on average 15 to 20 per yearwhich are stranded on the entire Corsican coast, knowing that, according to estimates, “only 10% of individuals that die at sea are brought back to shore by waves and currents”, most disappearing offshore.


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