Stranded or distressed wildlife

Unfortunately wildlife strandings to sometimes occur on the Pembrokeshire Coast. Over the years pilot whales, dolphins, porpoises and beaked whales have all become stranded. During the months of August through to November, seal pups can also sometimes be seen in distress.

It is vital that the right action is taken immediately using the relevant organisations listed below.

For help to identify the different species that you may encounter, see the UK Strandings website.

Seals, whales, dolphins, porpoises and turtles

Alive but stranded or in distress:

  • Call the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999
  • Or call Welsh Marine Life Rescue (Terry Leadbetter) on 01646 692943, 07970 285086.
  • If a seal pup is alone on a beach it usually means that its mother is nearby in the water. For more information read our seal spotting leaflet.

Stranded and already dead:

  • For Cetaceans (whales, dolphins, porpoises) call the Cetacean Strandings Investigations Programme on 0800 652 0333. For more information visit the UK Strandings website.
  • For other dead animals call: Pembrokeshire County Council  01437 764551​.

Unusual sighting eg basking shark, large pod of dolphins or any sightings of turtles:

Porpoise fin breaching the water

Seabirds and other birds

Update July 2023

Members of the public are being urged not to handle any dead or sick wild birds they may come across in Pembrokeshire, and to keep their dogs away from them.

Hundreds of seabirds have been washed up on beaches on the South Pembrokeshire coast recently. The birds are being regularly removed, although more are being washed up between the clear-ups. Most are guillemots, although razorbills and gannets have also been reported.

Testing has taken place on a sample of the dead birds, and Avian Influenza (bird flu) has this week been confirmed.

A multi-agency response is in place to deal with the issue.

  • Dead birds in public places should be reported by calling 01437 764551 (or out of hours 0345 601 5522) for Pembrokeshire County Council to arrange to collect safely.
  • If you find any sick or injured wild birds (on public or private land), please contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.
  • Dead birds on private land should be reported to PCC on the numbers above for information gathering purposes but removal will be via DEFRA on 03459 33 55 77 or visit Gov.UK website for further details (opens in new window).
Barrel jellyfish washed up on the beach, Barafundle, Pembrokeshire.


Alive but stranded:

  • You’re unlikely to be able to save jellyfish which have been stranded. So, leave in place. It’s not unusual for large numbers of small jellyfish to wash up on the beach. Warn swimmers if it’s a stinging jellyfish.

Unusual sightings eg numerous large white barrel jellyfish, lion’s mane or Portuguese man o’ war:


Domestic animals stranded or in distress on the coast:

  • Call the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.

Dead animals on beaches:

  • Call Pembrokeshire County Council on 01437 764551.


Wildlife that is being disturbed by people, boats, kayaks or other watercraft:

  • Contact the Pembrokeshire Marine Code Officer on 07977 939325.

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