WELLINGTON, New Zealand (according to MSNBC) — At least 40 out of some 80 pilot whales that stranded themselves on a remote northern New Zealand beach have died, and more whales are joining them on land, officials said Wednesday.It was the second mass beaching in the region in a month. "More whales are still coming in. Pilot whales have very strong social bonds and they try to help each other so more keep getting stuck," said Mark Simpson of Project Jonah, a charity that protects marine mammals. "Rescuers are concentrating on trying to move the mammals out of the surf and onto the beach to prevent them from drowning," New Zealand's Department of Conservation said in a statement. "Sadly, many have been washed up against the rocks probably resulting in injuries. "Volunteers from Far North Whale Rescue, conservation officials and the local Maori community planned to stay at the beach overnight to help keep the whales alive. "We need as many volunteers as possible, as it will be at least until tomorrow before we can look at refloating them, which means caring for them over the next 2 days," Maxwell said Wednesday. In mid-August at nearby Karikari Beach, 58 pilot whales stranded. Despite hundreds of helpers fighting to save them, just nine were eventually floated off the beach and returned to the sea. A pod of 101 pilot whales stranded on the same beach in 2007. New Zealand has one of the world's highest rates of whale strandings, mainly during their migrations to and from Antarctic waters, one of which begins around September.Since 1840, the Department of Conservation has recorded more than 5,000 strandings of whales and dolphins around the New Zealand coast. Scientists have not been able to determine why whales become stranded.