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Rarities of our nature found on the coast

2017-09-01

This year will be a memorable one to the employees of the Juodkrantė Environmental Monitoring Laboratory of the Tadas Ivanauskas Zoological Museum in Kaunas largely due to some rarities of our nature found on the coast.

One of such rarities is a dead harbour porpoise that was found in mid-summer on the Baltic coast near Juodkrantė. The cause of its death is not clear, but the appearance of this universally endangered small Baltic Sea dolphin on the Lithuanian coast is an especially rare case.

According to Ligita Pareigienė, head of the Juodkrantė Environmental Monitoring Laboratory, one could observe diving harbour porpoises from the Palanga sea bridge back in the first half of the 20th century, but now cases of spotting them on our coast can be counted on the fingers of one hand.

Another surprise was a strange shell of a bivalve mollusc caught on a fishhook in May in the Klaipėda Channel near Smiltynė. The guess of the employees of the Juodkrantė Environmental Monitoring Laboratory about an Atlantic rangia was confirmed by their colleagues from the Invertebrates Division at the Tadas Ivanauskas Zoological Museum in Kaunas. This bivalve mollusc is naturally widespread in the Gulf of Mexico. In Europe, it was first discovered at the Port of Antwerp in 2005.

The Atlantic rangia, an invasive species spreading with ballast water, may become a competitor to many indigenous bivalve molluscs in the Baltic waters of favourable salinity. It was spotted on the Lithuanian coast for the first time in Juodkrantė and Nida four years ago.

Public Relations Division
01.09.2017

Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas
Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas