Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge

A dead humpback whale was found beached over the weekend at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.

The Virginia Aquarium got word of the immature female mid-day on Sunday.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that there were no immediate indications on how the animal died but there was no evidence of human interaction.

Humpbacks can be anywhere from 48 feet to 62 feet long and weigh as much as 40 tons.

The paper reports that dead whales washing up on the Virginia shore is not unusual.

Leonard J. DeFrancisci / Wikipedia

If you’re going to visit the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge this summer you might be facing a fee increase.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering increasing the cost of a weekly pass from $15 to $20.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that annual passes would go from $30 to $40 while the charges for taxis will now be $5.

Under the proposal the daily pass will be gone.

And the paper reports that some visitors thought that was unfair.

Another dead whale has washed ashore along the Virginia coastline.

This time the deposed body of a humpback was discovered in the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge over the weekend.  

It’s the fourth so far this year.

Alexander Costidis with the Virginia Aquarium’s Stranding Response Team told the Salisbury Daily Times that at least some of the local whales appear to be spending considerable time in the Bay’s shipping lanes.  

He added it’s believed there are more whales in the area this year than in the year.

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CHINCOTEAGUE, Va. (AP) - A new corral awaits the Chincoteague ponies for their annual swim from Assateague Island to Chincoteague Island.

Kevin Sloan, refuge manager of the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, tells The Salisbury Daily Times that the old corral was in disrepair and located on a creek bank.

And a recent infestation of southern pine beetles on Assateague meant trees had to be cut down because of the damage. So, the corral could be built without cutting down living trees.

creative commons jared tennant

On August 12th the Chincoteague National Wildlife refuge says it will remain open until dawn to give visitors a chance to see the Perseid (PER-see-id) meteor shower allowing them to avoid artificial life.

Officials say those who want to see the meteor should show up before 10 p.m. and can leave any time.

If they do leave they cannot return until 5 a.m.

Only beach access and parking will remain open during the extra hours.


creative commons

Federal officials are looking at moving the Assateague recreational beach around a mile and a half to the north.

In addition, the draft plan would ban the commercial harvesting of horseshoe crabs.

It is part of the comprehensive draft version of the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge’s comprehensive conservation plan.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the plan is an effort to adjust for the instability of Assateague’s southern end which is subject to over wash from storms.

Bonnie Gruenberg / creative commons wikimedia

Dozens of demonstrators rallied yesterday to protest the closing of the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and the Assateague National Seashore.

And, some tried to get in.

Anna Stubbs, a local motel owner, says that she had 10 cancellations this week with more expected as the area gears up for the oyster festival -- one of the biggest of the year.

Meanwhile, Jeanette Lewis and her husband who have been coming to the park for years told WBOC that the shutdown is ruining their fun.