Biodiversity and Whale Beaching

Biodiversity, a shorter name for biological diversity, refers to the diversity and variability of life on planet earth. It can be defined as the variability or differences within species, between species and between ecosystems. It also refers to the variety of organisms present in an ecosystem. Variety can mean genetic variation or ecosystem variation. It can also refer to the variation of species in an area, biome or the entire planet. Terrestrial biodiversity is generally higher near the equator. This is because of the warm climate and the high primary productivity in those regions.

Whale bleaching, more accurately called cetacean stranding is the phenomenon in which cetaceans strand themselves on land (generally beaches). Cetaceans are aquatic mammals and include whales, dolphins and porpoises. Cetaceans that land on beached generally die of dehydration or other causes like drowning when a high tide shuts their blowhole, or collapsing under their own weight. The reason for such behaviour has not been established to an accurate degree. Removing such carcasses become a tricky affair since they are generally huge and the decomposing corpse pose a health risk. Consuming meat from a beached whale can cause botulism and should not be done.