Marine mammals die at Farewell Spit on the South Island, where at least 10 have run aground in 15 years.
More than two dozen whales died in a mass stranding at a New Zealand beach, wildlife rangers say.
The Department of Conservation said 29 longfin pilot whales died when the shells of 34 marine mammal species were found in remote Farewell Spit on the South Island late Thursday.
The ministry said it was trying to revive the remaining five whales at high tide in the morning.
“This process can take some time and we may not know if it will be successful for several hours,” it said on its Facebook page.
Spokesman Dave Winterburn said rangers were looking after the animals but noted that “the whales have been out of the water for some time now”.
He told AFP news agency: “Although this event is unfortunate, whale stranding is a natural phenomenon.
The Jonah Project, a local whale rescue group, says its paramedics were at the Farewell Spit with the Department of Conservation.
The group wrote on Twitter: “This is a stressful time for the whales after their strandings yesterday and this morning, so it’s important to closely monitor their condition and reactions in the water. is important.”
The Farewell Spit, is a 26 km (16 mi) stretch of sand that extends into the Tasman Sea and creates intertidal sandbars that can extend for many kilometers.
The largest in February 2017when nearly 700 species of mammals were eaten, and 250 species died.
STRATEGY UPDATES@docgovtnz PJ rangers and paramedics are working to update the five surviving pilot whales. This is a stressful time for the whales following their strandings yesterday and this morning, so it is important to closely monitor their condition and reactions in the water. pic.twitter.com/8PHPuMTaXR
– Project Jonah (@ProjectJonah) March 17, 2022
Scientists still don’t know why the beach is so deadly. One theory is that the headland creates a shallow seabed in the bay that interferes with the whales’ sonar systems.
Pilot whales, which can grow up to 6 meters (20 feet) long, are the most common whale species found in New Zealand waters.