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Current satellite tracking data shows the majority of Cape Cod rescued dolphins survived their ordeal. The dolphins have returned to normal offshore habitats off the coast of Maine.
Rescuers from the International Fund For Animal Welfare placed temporary satellite tracking tags on six of the twenty-four dolphins rescued and released since January 12.
A mass stranding of dolphins occurred earlier in January along the beaches of Cape Cod. IFAW's Marine Mammal Rescue team lead a coordinated effort, utilizing hundreds of volunteers to release the dolphins back into the sea as soon as it was determined that it could be done safely.
"We can’t afford to satellite tag all of the dolphins that are released, but by looking at the data from tagged animals we can hopefully get a picture of where the larger group may be headed. Currently the satellite tags show these dolphins are swimming about 12 to 20 miles off the southern coast of Maine,” said Brian Sharp, Stranding Coordinator for IFAW.
To ensure the dolphins' longterm safety, these tracking satellite tags are designed to drop off after a few weeks. All released dolphins have small, minimally invasive tags attached so they can be identified if located in the future. Data collected from the tags helps researchers learn more about dolphins' movement through the ocean as well as possible reasons for mass strandings. Currently it is not known why so many dolphins became stranded in January.
GreaterGood.org supports IFAW's marine mammal rescue efforts through the Gifts That Give More [tm] program.