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Twelve years of tracking 52-Hz whale calls from a unique source in the North Pacific
Watkins, W.A.; Daher, M.A.; George, J.E.; Rodriguez, D. (2004). Twelve years of tracking 52-Hz whale calls from a unique source in the North Pacific. Deep-Sea Res., Part 1, Oceanogr. Res. Pap. 51(12): 1889-1901. hdl.handle.net/10.1016/j.dsr.2004.08.006
In: Deep-Sea Research, Part I. Oceanographic Research Papers. Elsevier: Oxford. ISSN 0967-0637, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Keywords
    Communication; Cetacea [WoRMS]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Watkins, W.A.
  • Daher, M.A.
  • George, J.E.
  • Rodriguez, D.

Abstract
    A unique whale call with 50–52 Hz emphasis from a single source has been tracked over 12 years in the central and eastern North Pacific. These calls, referred to as 52-Hz calls, were monitored and analyzed from acoustic data recorded by hydrophones of the US Navy Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS) and other arrays. The calls were noticed first in 1989, and have been detected and tracked since 1992. No other calls with similar characteristics have been identified in the acoustic data from any hydrophone system in the North Pacific basin. Only one series of these 52-Hz calls has been recorded at a time, with no call overlap, suggesting that a single whale produced the calls. The calls were recorded from August to February with most in December and January. The species producing these calls is unknown. The tracks of the 52-Hz whale were different each year, and varied in length from 708 to 11,062 km with travel speeds ranging from 0.7 to 3.8 km/h. Tracks included (A) meandering over short ranges, (B) predominantly west-to-east movement, and (C) mostly north-to-south travel. These tracks consistently appeared to be unrelated to the presence or movement of other whale species (blue, fin and humpback) monitored year-round with the same hydrophones.

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