News from the DNR Office of Communications

DNR Reminds Marylanders To Report Stranded Marine Animals

Deceased Manatee Found Stranded in Patuxent River

Annapolis, MD (May 3, 2010) — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds Maryland citizens to report sightings or strandings of live or dead marine mammals and sea turtles to the Natural Resources Police (NRP) Call Center. This toll-free hotline is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week at 1-800-628-9944.

This reminder comes after the stranding of a deceased manatee earlier this month in the Patuxent River, the first to be found in Maryland waters in recorded history.

“Staff from DNR and the Calvert Marine Museum (CMM) examined the manatee, and we believe that it died from cold-shock after failing to migrate south for the winter,” said Cindy Driscoll, Director of DNR’s Fish and Wildlife Health Program at the Cooperative Oxford Laboratory. “The manatee was also identified as the same manatee that was sighted in the James River in Virginia last fall.”

Marylanders can help prevent the death of stranded animals by informing officials through the Call Center. When a caller reports a stranded marine mammal or sea turtle to the Call Center, DNR and the National Aquarium in Baltimore receive notification: the Aquarium's Marine Animal Rescue Program (MARP) receives reports of live animals while DNR’s Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Stranding Program at the Cooperative Oxford Laboratory in Oxford, Md. receives reports of dead marine mammals and sea turtles and conducts necropsy examinations on all carcasses. Stranding staff from DNR or MARP will return the call to obtain more detailed information.

Citizens should also remember that federal regulations prohibit anyone from approaching, touching or harassing protected marine species, and that fines are imposed for violations. For more information on the Marine Mammal Protection Act, visit http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/laws/mmpa/.

For more information on the Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Stranding Program, contact Jamie Schofield at 410-226-5193 or by email at jschofield@dnr.state.md.us. For information about MARP, contact Molly Sheehan at msheehan@aqua.org or visit the National Aquarium’s MARP website at www.aqua.org/oceanhealth_marp.html.


   May 3, 2010

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell
jdavidsburg@dnr.state.md.us

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2009, is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 467,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries, and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic, and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov