Dolphin deaths decline in Virginia

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — Bottlenose dolphin deaths in Virginia are declining.

The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center says 52 bottlenose dolphin strandings have occurred between January and July, compared to 86 during the same period in 2013.

Overall, Virginia recorded more than 350 bottlenose dolphin deaths in 2013.

Aquarium spokeswoman Joan Barns tells The Virginian-Pilot (http://bit.ly/1ory4SB ) that this year’s figures are encouraging.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries website says bottlenose dolphins have been stranding from New York to Florida at elevated rates since July 2013.

Biologist Sarah Wilkin with the federal agency says tests confirm the cause of the mass die-off is cetacean morbillivirus.

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Online:

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries: www.nmfs.noaa.gov

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Information from: The Virginian-Pilot, http://pilotonline.com

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