Rehabilitation and homing behavior of a satellite-tracked harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena)

  • Published source details Schofield T.D., Early G., Wenzel F.W., Matassa K., Perry C., Beekman G., Whitaker B., Gebhard E., Walton W. & Swingle M. (2008) Rehabilitation and homing behavior of a satellite-tracked harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena). Aquatic Mammals, 34, 1-8.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Rehabilitate and release injured, sick or weak marine and freshwater mammals

Action Link
Marine and Freshwater Mammal Conservation
  1. Rehabilitate and release injured, sick or weak marine and freshwater mammals

    A study in 2003–2004 of a pelagic area in the North Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Maryland, USA (Schofield et al. 2008) found that a stranded juvenile harbour porpoise Phocoena phocoena that was rehabilitated and released back into the wild survived for at least two months. After release, the rehabilitated male porpoise was successfully tracked for 63 days before contact was lost with the transmitter due to battery failure. During that time, the porpoise travelled at least 2,880 km and returned to an area close to the original stranding site. In March 2003, the 10-month old harbour porpoise was found stranded and underweight with injuries from birds and fishing nets. After 10 months of rehabilitation at an aquarium, the porpoise was satellite-tagged and released offshore at a site >1,200 km north of the stranding location. Prior to release, the porpoise was gradually acclimatized to local sea water and ambient temperatures. The porpoise was tracked to >300 locations during six days in January–March 2004.

    (Summarised by: Anna Berthinussen)

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