A week or so ago I took a photo of what I thought was a dead porpoise that had been washed up onto the beach.
Curious to find out a little more, I tweeted an organisation called Living Seas NW and asked them if they could confirm it was indeed a porpoise. They confirmed that it was and also informed me that the Natural History Museum (NHM) in London is responsible for all mammal strandings in the UK.
NHM contributes to Cetacean Strandings Project (more info), which gathers information on all whale, dolphin and porpoise (cetacean) strandings along the English coast. According to one of their publications approximately 500 cetacean strandings are reported annually, with the majority of those being dead strandings.The most common stranded species is the harbour porpoise.
The UK Strandings website gives contact telephone numbers for both live and dead strandings. Hopefully, such strandings will prove to be a very rare occurrence around our local coastline. I do know that a dead porpoise was stranded at Crosby in the last couple of weeks too.
Feel free to comment if you know more about mammal strandings.