• picture
  • picture
  • picture
  • picture
Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Dolphin Strandings Update

Air Date: Week of

Volunteers and staff from the International Fund for Animal Welfare are working around the clock trying to save dolphins stranding on Cape Cod beaches. (Photo: IFAW/ M. Booth)

Federal money devoted to saving marine mammals was slashed from the president’s 2013 budget. Katie Moore of the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s Marine Mammal Rescue and Research team tells host Bruce Gellerman what that means for their mission.


GELLERMAN: Well, one of the items that President Obama cuts entirely out of his proposed budget is for rescuing marine mammals. This year, the program got about 4 million dollars.

About a quarter of a million dollars of it went to the International Fund for Animal Welfare on Cape Cod, which has been scrambling this past month to save dolphins stranded in record numbers. We caught up with the IFAW's Katie Moore between rescues.

MOORE: Oh, good grief. Um, we did find one additional animal today so I guess we're at 178 as our total. Ones that have come in dead is at 107, but we've saved at this point about 75 percent of the animals that have come in alive.

Rescuers provide supportive care to a stranded dolphin. (Photo: IFAW/ K. Branon)

GELLERMAN: Well, President Obama's proposed budget, obviously, is not good news for marine mammal rescue. What does it mean for your organization?

MOORE: Wow. The cut to this grant program would be a huge hit for us. Most of the stranding networks in the country run as nonprofits and we rely on private donations and foundation grants and there's just this one small parcel of money for stranding work from the federal government. We do this work fulfilling a mandate that NOAA has, and it's important that they support it.

GELLERMAN: NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration?

MOORE: Exactly. They're the federal agency that permits us to do our work but it's also their mandate to investigate these strandings.

GELLERMAN: So how much did the International Fund for Animal Welfare get this year from the federal government?

MOORE: This year, we actually have three active grants for about 280,000 dollars.

GELLERMAN: So this has been such an unusual year in terms of stranding, is this enough for this year?

Common dolphins, marked by rescuers, await transport into deeper waters for release. (Photo: IFAW/ M. Booth)

MOORE: (Sigh) You know, it's hard for me to answer that question. I know that one of the tests that we're looking to run from some of the blood samples that we've taken to look at potential viruses that might be affecting the animals would cost us about 18,000 dollars. Certainly these are things we did not originally budget for.

GELLERMAN: Well, Katie, thank you very much. Good luck.

MOORE: Thank you so much. I appreciate it.

GELLERMAN: Katie Moore is with the International Fund for Animal Welfare.



The International Fund for Animal Welfare's webpage


Living on Earth wants to hear from you!

Living on Earth
62 Calef Highway, Suite 212
Lee, NH 03861
Telephone: 617-287-4121
E-mail: comments@loe.org

Newsletter [Click here]

Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.

Living on Earth offers a weekly delivery of the show's rundown to your mailbox. Sign up for our newsletter today!

Sailors For The Sea: Be the change you want to sea.

Creating positive outcomes for future generations.

Innovating to make the world a better, more sustainable place to live. Listen to the race to 9 billion

The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.

Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary wildlife photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.

Buy a signed copy of Mark Seth Lender's book Smeagull the Seagull & support Living on Earth