Source: Reuters

Pilot Whale was stranded on the New Zealand Beach yet again this year and most died. Barring last year, it has been a common scene in New Zealand, say the locals. The Pilot Whale that is mostly seen in the deep sea found themselves beached during January and February, summer in New Zealand. The 5 Km stretch of Golden Bay is the graveyard for the species. But what is the root cause behind all these? Is it a phenomenon or something triggers it? Well, Marine Biologists are not conclusive but a BBC Report has some answers on it.

Source: BBC
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The Marine Biologists have identified the Farewell Spit as the prime reason behind this. It is a geographical location between the Golden Bay Beach and the Tasman Sea. It is a long arc that connects the beach and the open sea. According to the biologists, it is a tricky location where sand blocks get formed and the water gets shallow. The Pilot Whale that swims across the area does not really understand the echolocation of it due to the presence of sand. There is the combination of gentle gradient and sand that often bounce back the signal of the species. So, the Pilot Whale that passes through the area could not really estimate the echolocation and slowly get in the shallower water. However, once they realize, they have little options left and get beached. Biologists also believe that the Pilot Whale are a very social animal and remain in groups. Even though the name is “Whale”, but these are Dolphin species and remain within large groups. That could be a reason why so many Pilot Whales get beached together.

Source: AFP

However, this is a theory that supports the Farewell Spit and the behaviour of the geo-location, but like other theories, it is also not conclusive. It may be one of the reasons but the conclusion is still elusive and more researches are undergoing to understand the pattern, behaviour, and occurrences of the incident.