Cleaned dataset used for all analyses. The included variables and main sources of the data are listed below. See the paper and supplemental information for more details.

  • Year - year of stranding
  • Species - latin binomial with taxonomy corrected to Reid et al 2003
  • Source - CSIP, IWDG or NHM. NA indicates there were no data for that species for that particular year. CSIP is the cetacean
  • Total_strandings - Number of individuals stranded.
  • Human_population - UK and Ireland yearly human population (millions of people). 1913-1922 are figures for England, Wales and Scotland; from 1922, onwards Northern Ireland is included. Office of National statistics (ONS).
  • Storms - Storm events (count/year) over 50 knots. Source: Lamb and Frydendahl (1991), Met Office, UK.
  • Max_K_index - Geomagnetic activity (K-index) . The K-index is used to characterise the magnitude of geomagnetic storms. The range is 0–9, with 1 being calm and 5 or more indicating a geomagnetic storm. Three-hourly readings obtained from: 1913 - 1925: Greenwich; 1926 - 1939: Abinger; 1940 - 1956: Abinger, Eskdalemuir and Lerwick; 1957 - 2015: Hartland, Eskdalemuir and Lerwick. A mean maximum yearly K-index reading was used in the model. Source: British Geological Survey.
  • Max_SST - Maximum yearly sea surface temperature (°C) from 14 UK and Irish locations. A mean maximum yearly reading was used in the model. Source: Met Office: HadISST.
  • NAO_index - North Atlantic Oscillation (mb). Yearly readings. The NAO is based on the difference of normalised sea level pressure (SLP) between Stykkisholmur/Reykjavik, Iceland, and Lisbon, Portugal. Source: University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.
  • Fish_catch - UK and Irish fishing catch data (1000 tonnes per year). Yearly fishing catch data from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). The dataset was compiled from 3 separate ICES datasets which contain data on catches of ~58 species; ICES Historical Landings: 1903 – 1949; Historical Nominal Catches: 1950 – 2010; Official Nominal Catches: 2006 – 2016

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Cite this as

Ellen J Coombs; Rob Deaville; Richard C. Sabin; Louise Allan et al. (2018). Dataset: What can cetacean stranding records tell us? A study of UK and Irish cetacean diversity over the past 100 years. Resource: Data for analyses. Natural History Museum Data Portal (

Retrieved: 20:22 04 Jul 2020 (GMT)

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