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Passive acoustic density estimation of sperm whales in the Tongue of the Ocean, Bahamas
Ward, J.A.; Thomas, L.; Jarvis, S.; DiMarzio, N.; Moretti, D.; Marques, T.A.; Dunn, C.; Claridge, D.; Hartvig, E.; Tyack, P. (2012). Passive acoustic density estimation of sperm whales in the Tongue of the Ocean, Bahamas. Mar. Mamm. Sci. 28(4): E444–E455.
In: Marine Mammal Science. Society for Marine Mammalogy: Lawrence. ISSN 0824-0469; e-ISSN 1748-7692, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors | Datasets 

    Physeter macrocephalus Linnaeus, 1758 [WoRMS]
Author keywords
    animal density;population size;sperm whale;Physeter macrocephalus;passive acoustic array

Authors  Top | Datasets 
  • Ward, J.A.
  • Thomas, L.
  • Jarvis, S.
  • DiMarzio, N.
  • Moretti, D.
  • Marques, T.A.
  • Dunn, C.
  • Claridge, D.
  • Hartvig, E.
  • Tyack, P.

    Long-term passive acoustic monitoring of marine mammals on navy ranges provides the opportunity to better understand the potential impact of sonar on populations. The navy range in Tongue of the Ocean (TOTO), Bahamas contains extensive hydrophone arrays, potentially allowing estimation of the density of deep diving, vocally active species such as the sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus). Previous visual surveys in TOTO have been of limited spatio–temporal coverage and resulted in only sporadic sightings of sperm whales, whereas passive acoustic observations suggest the species is present year round. However, until now the means of acoustically determining the specific number of individuals in each cluster has been limited. We used recently developed algorithms to identify the number of echolocating whales present during a 42 d study period. We screened a 297 h acoustic data set to determine the proportion of time animals were present; fifty 10 min samples during presence were analyzed to estimate the number of individuals vocalizing during each sample. These counts were combined with an independent estimate of the proportion of 10 min periods when tagged animals vocalize. The estimated average density was 0.16 whales/1,000 km2 (CV 27%; 95% CI 0.095–0.264). The method is potentially applicable to other areas containing dense hydrophone arrays.

Datasets (2)
  • DECAF - AUTEC Sperm Whales - Multiple Sensors - Complete Dataset, more
  • DECAF - AUTEC Sperm Whales - Multiple Sensors - Samples, more

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