Researchers from universities in Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida published a new analysis of all conditions that resulted in the unprecedented stranding and deaths of neonatal bottle nose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) between February and March 2011 in the peer reviewed open access journal Public Library of Science on July 18, 2012.
The researchers indicate three events resulted in the extraordinary numbers of dolphin standings and deaths.
The Deep Water Horizon oil spill is noted as a potential cause of depletion of food species and presence of toxic chemicals in water and food sources that could have explained the extraordinary dolphin deaths but the researchers note that not a single verifiable instance of dolphin death can be definitively attributed to the DeepWater Horizon oil spill.
The unusual cold weather of 2010 produced an extraordinary die off of numerous fish and mammal species along the entire Gulf Coast.
The rapid entry of large volumes of cold freshwater to near shore coastal waters associated with the melt water from an unusually large winter snowfall in the upper reaches of the Mobile Bay watershed is cited as another stressor that explains the unusual dolphin deaths in 2011. This was the 4th largest discharge of cold water in recorded United States history.
Statistical evaluation of t