Rare beaked whale strands off Provincetown, MA

Beaked whale stranded off the West End of Provincetown. CCS image.

Beaked whale stranded off the West End of Provincetown. CCS image. Conducted under a NOAA Stranding Agreement issued to IFAW.

On September 23 the Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown responded to a report of a stranded cetacean in Provincetown Harbor. Sadly the animal died before any rescue attempt could be made.

CCS researchers on the scene identified the animal as a rare beaked whale; based on the size, morphology and coloration the species has been tentatively identified as a Sowerby’s beaked whale. The lack of teeth suggest that is was a female.

Representatives from IFAW transported the whale to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution where scientists will perform a necropsy to determine the cause of death.

The dolphin-like beak gives these rare whales their name. CCS image.

The dolphin-like beak gives these rare whales their name. CCS image.  Conducted under a NOAA Stranding Agreement issued to IFAW.

The Center is grateful to the Provincetown Harbormaster and his crew for their assistance in this operation.

Stranding responses at the Center for Coastal Studies are conducted under a NOAA Stranding Agreement issued to IFAW.