[MARMAM] Humpback whale found stranded and dead in West Java, Indonesia

Putu Mustika putu.liza at jcu.edu.au
Tue Sep 15 04:42:14 PDT 2009

Dear Marmam-ers,

Just news flash to inform that a humpback whale (Megaptera 
novaeangliae) was found stranded and dead in Cipatujah Tasikmalaya, 
West Java, Indonesia in the morning of Monday, 14 September 2009. The 
local news reported that its length was 11.75m, abdominal 
circumference 4m, and weighing approx 4 tonnes. They estimated that 
the whale stranded around 3am on Monday. Pictures can be found here 
(though the news is in Indonesian):


This is the second recorded stranding of humpback whale (first one 
was in Bali in October 2007), and the third recorded sighting (first 
one was in Lamalera in June 2005 - Benjamin Kahn pers. comm.) in 
Indonesia post colonial time. Since my location is in Australia at 
the moment, I'm trying to find someone in West Java who could rescue 
a piece of tissue for DNA analysis. Not sure if it will work, for the 
villagers already started cutting the whale, but if we can get a hold 
on the tissue, it would be a great compliment to the humpback whale 
sample that we obtained from south Bali in October 2007; report of 
which can be found in the paper below (Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 
vol 57 no 1, 2009). This event again highlights the importance of 
Indonesia as migratory corridors of great whales, and how we still 
need to fortify our stranding networks along the Archipelago.

Putu Liza Kusuma Mustika ('Icha')
PhD Candidate - SEES, James Cook University, Australia
Office Australia: +61 7 4782 5262

Mustika, P. L. K., Hutasoit, P., Madusari, C. C., Purnomo, F. S., 
Setiawan, A., Tjandra, K. & Prabowo, W. E. 2009, 'Whale strandings in 
Indonesia, including the first record of a humpback whale (Megaptera 
novaeangliae) in the Archipelago', The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, 
vol. 57, no. 1, pp. 199-206.

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