Mass cetacean strandings - A plea for empiricism

Corey J.A. Bradshaw, Karen J. Evans, Mark A. Hindell

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

37 Citations (Scopus)


The recent series of mass cetacean strandings in the stranding-prone regions of Australia and New Zealand(BBC News 2004) and the ensuing speculation regarding their cause demonstrate that debates surrounding this phenomenon continue to be of issue. As most interested in these debates are aware, hypotheses addressing their causes range from the more biologically plausible—including climate and oceanographic variation (Mignucci-Giannoni et al. 2000; Evans et al. 2005), navigational errors arising from particular magnetic configurations(Walker et al. 1992; Brabyn & Frew 1994) or bathy-metric and ocean current features (Brabyn & McLean1992), and anthropogenic noise and sonar interference(Balcomb & Claridge 2001; Madsen et al. 2002)—to the less-supported, including sensory stimulation (Mawson1978), distraction (Wood 1979), regression to instinctive behaviors (Cordes 1982), and even the suggestion that earthquakes are responsible (ABC News 2004).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)584-586
Number of pages3
JournalConservation Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2006
Externally publishedYes


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