SOS Seals – Human Rescue

For years humans have trained animals for many reasons, entertainment, research, education, sport you name it. For centuries people and animals have shared a deep bond, such connections have created moving stories that very often come to light.

The fact that dog is man’s best friend is undeniable, when you consider the many incredible stories of dogs saving people’s lives. There are some heart-warming tales of dogs rescuing humans and other acts of canine bravery. Some of those incredible stories are,a dog saves boy from cougar, dog rescues infant from house fire, dog saves woman from choking, dog rescues family from carbon monoxide poisoning, dog conditioned to call 911 for collapsed owner, dog saves baby from rattlesnake, blind dog rescues drowning girl, all these stories show a deep bond between dogs and people.

Another big example of where training and this bond is being utilised is sniffer dogs, keeping us in dangerous or law breaking situations. These dogs also are used for saving human life in disasters, such as earthquakes and floods, as well as other specialist work with paramedics and police investigations, where saving time is paramount.

As with dogs, there are different stories of many other animals saving human life, including marine mammals, especially dolphins with their high level of intelligence. Having a natural friendly nature and instinct, humans have trained marine mammals to the highest level, by creating a ground-breaking program with a sophisticated and exciting project to rescue human life. Faster and more accurate than any other rescue team, marine mammals are reaching places and depths that we humans cannot reach.  One example of the incredible work is the amazing work that has been developed with seals in military missions.

This project was initially created in a working environment to retrieve items or tools lost out of human reach in the sea, but now is being upgraded to rescue human life.

A training program with Sea Lions rescuing humans in dangerous situations in deep or dark waters has been developed. There appears no faster or better way to rescue human life, in these certain situations.

Open Water Human Rescue Program

SOS SEALS-HUMAN RESCUE

Discover why whales get stranded

A new study reported in the journal Current Biology on February 24 offers some of the first evidence that grey whales might depend on a magnetic sense to find their way through the ocean. This evidence comes from the discovery that whales are more likely to strand on days when there are more sunspots.

Sunspots are of interest because they are also linked to solar storms — sudden releases of high-energy particles from the sun that have the potential to disrupt magnetic orientation behaviuor when they interact with Earth’s magnetosphere. But what’s unique about the new study, according to the researchers, is that they were able to explore how a solar storm might cause whales to strand themselves.

“Is it that the solar storms are pushing the magnetic field around and giving the whales incorrect information — for example, the whale thinks it is on 4th Street, but it is actually on 8th?” asks Jesse Granger of Duke University. “Or is it that the solar storms are messing up the receptor itself — the whale thinks it is on 4th Street, but has just gone blind?

“We show that the mechanism behind the relationship between solar storms and grey whales, if it is an effect on a magnetic sensor, is likely caused by disruption to the sense itself, not inaccurate information. So, to put this back into the earlier metaphor, the big secondary finding of this paper is that it is possible that the reason the whales are stranding so much more often when there are solar storms is because they have gone blind, rather than that their internal GPS is giving them false information.”

Granger says her interest in long-distance migrations stems in part from her own personal tendency to get lost, even on her way to the grocery store. She wanted to explore how some animals use magnetoreception to navigate by looking at incidents when navigation went terribly wrong.

“I hypothesized that by looking at patterns in the spacing and timing of incidents where an animal was unable to navigate properly, we could better understand the sense as a whole,” Granger says.

She and her colleagues studied 186 live stranding of the grey whale (Eschrichtius robustus). The data showed those stranding occurred significantly more often on days with high sunspot counts than on randomly chosen days. On days with a high sunspot count, the chance of a stranding more than doubled.

Further study showed that stranding happened more often on days with a high solar radio flux index, as measured from Earth, than on randomly chosen days. On days with high RF noise, the likelihood of stranding was more than four times greater than on randomly selected days.

Much to Granger’s surprise, they found no significant increase in stranding on days with large deviations in the magnetic field. Altogether, the findings suggest that the increased incidence of stranding on days with more sunspots is explained by a disruption of whales’ magnetoreceptive sensor, rather than distortion of the geomagnetic field itself.

“I really thought that the cause of the stranding was going to be inaccurate information,” Granger said. “When those results came up negative, I was flummoxed. It wasn’t until one of my co-authors mentioned that solar storms also produce high amounts of radio-frequency noise, and I remembered that radio-frequency noise can disrupt magnetic orientation, that things finally started to click together.”

Granger says it’s important to keep in mind that this isn’t the only cause of stranding. There are still many other things that could cause a whale to strand, such as mid-frequency naval sonar.

Granger now plans to conduct a similar analysis for several other species of whales on several other continents to see if this pattern exists on a more global scale. She also hopes to see what sort of information this broader picture of stranding can offer for our understanding of whales’ magnetic sense.

Source: https://www.sciencedaily.com/

Image: https://abcnews.go.com/

Chinese white dolphin population dwindling, says govt report


The number of Chinese white dolphins in Hong Kong waters has been decreasing, according to the latest official statistics, suggesting that government efforts to preserve the endangered species appear to be making little headway.

According to the 2016/17 Marine Mammals Monitoring Report published by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD), there were only 47 sightings of Chinese white dolphins in the waters off Lantau, where they tend to appear most often.

The number represented a 27 percent drop from the previous year and the lowest since 2002. There were no sightings for the second year in a row in the northeast waters of Lantau, where the main construction work for the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge is taking place

In 1997, the Chinese white dolphin was chosen as the mascot to mark Hong Kong’s return to Chinese rule. It is listed among the wild animals under Grade 1 conservation according to Chinese law.

To prepare the report on marine mammals, researchers conducted a total of 178 line-transect vessel surveys in 10 survey areas in Hong Kong waters between April 2016 and March 2017.

Of the 1,233 dolphins sighted during the 12-month period, including Chinese white dolphins, only 17 were unspotted juveniles.

These young calves comprised only 1.4 percent of the total, compared with nearly 8 percent in 2003, suggesting the population of dolphins may dwindle in the future.

Dr. Samuel Hung Ka-yiu, chairman of the Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society and lead writer of the AFCD report, said the construction of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge has had a great impact on the habitat of the Chinese white dolphin, according to hk01.com.

Construction of the planned third runway and the high-speed ferries that regularly pass the waters are further threats to the animals’ survival, Hung said.

To help preserve the dolphins, Hung urged the government to establish a large marine protected area in West Lantau waters.

“Habitat destruction from expanding reclamation work in Lantau waters and the hi-speed marine traffic in the area have increased the stress on the dolphin population,” the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said. “The underwater noise generated inhibits their echolocation capability.”

These disturbances threaten the survival of the remaining dolphins in Hong Kong waters, said Samantha Lee, WWF-Hong Kong conservation manager for oceans.

WWF-Hong Kong urges the government to establish the West Lantau Marine Park as soon as possible to protect the remaining dolphin habitats.

source: https://www.ejinsight.com/