Experts don't expect increase in whale strandings this year

A dead killer whale being towed by a Marine Parks vessel near Fraser Island.
A dead killer whale being towed by a Marine Parks vessel near Fraser Island. Andrew Chorley

UPDATE: A pod of killer whales remainsl in an area near Little Woody and Fraser Island on Tuesday morning as experts continue to monitor the animals.

EARLIER: The three killer whales that stranded themselves in the Great Sandy Strait last week are among eight whales to have died on or near Fraser Island in the past year.

This included three humpback whales, a dwarf minke whale and a sperm whale.

Despite the killer whale strandings, experts have said they do not expect an increase to whale strandings compared to previous years.

Department of Environment and Heritage Protection chief scientist for threatened species Col Limpus said of the other whales to be stranded in the past year, three whales washed ashore dead and two died after becoming stranded.

"Fraser Island has long been a hot spot for whale and dolphin strandings in Queensland due to its unique geographical location and proximity to deep ocean water," he said.

"The Sandy Cape juts out into the East Australian current, making Fraser Island the first point of contact for Queensland with animals originating from the Coral Sea that have health problems or have already died."

Five killer whales were able to be rescued during high tide after being stranded on a sandbank at Sheridan Flats on Wednesday last week.

Two others died after being stranded at Bookar Island and the third was found in a creek north of Kingfisher Bay.



Topics:  editors picks fraser island killer whales

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