Volunteers on alert for strandings after whale calf found dead on Christchurch beach

Project Jonah has asked volunteers to be on alert for more possible strandings after a pilot whale calf was found dead on North Christchurch beach.

A dead juvenile pilot whale found on North Christchurch beach. Source: Rebecca Williams/Project Jonah

The whale rescue organisation was notified this morning that the young pilot whale, probably less than six months old, had been found, and said it had no obvious scars or injuries.

The Department of Conservation and Ngai Tahu are reportedly organising its burial.

"We have sent out a precautionary alert to our local marine mammal medics in the Central Christchurch region, asking them to have their rescue gear ready just in case any further whales strand," a Project Jonah spokesperson said.

"Locals who discovered the whale did a great job informing authorities. They even left a note by the whale so that others knew the whale had been reported."

Pilot whales are among the most common species of whale to strand on beaches.