Bottlenose Dolphin Strandings Spike on East Coast - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Bottlenose Dolphin Strandings Spike on East Coast

(Photo: CBS) (Photo: CBS)

NORFOLK, Va. (AP/WBOC)- Federal officials are investigating what is causing an unusually high number of dolphin strandings on the East Coast.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has declared an unusual mortality event for bottlenose dolphins in the Mid-Atlantic region. More than 120 dolphins have died off five states since July. That's seven times the historic average.

The strandings occurred in New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.

Virginia has experienced the largest increase in dolphin strandings this year, with more than 45 strandings occurring in July. That's compared with a historic average of seven.

NOAA says dolphins of all ages have been affected. Necropsies have not revealed a unifying pattern, although an infectious pathogen is considered a likely cause.

For more information about the dolphin strandings, click here.


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