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Pirotta2012PlosOne7e42535VesselNoise.pdf307.79 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
Title: Vessel noise affects beaked whale behavior : Results of a dedicated acoustic response study
Authors: Pirotta, Enrico
Milor, Rachel
Quick, Nicola Jane
Moretti, David
Dimarzio, Nancy
Tyack, Peter Lloyd
Boyd, Ian
Hastie, Gordon Drummond
Keywords: QL Zoology
GC Oceanography
Issue Date: 3-Aug-2012
Citation: Pirotta , E , Milor , R , Quick , N J , Moretti , D , Dimarzio , N , Tyack , P L , Boyd , I & Hastie , G D 2012 , ' Vessel noise affects beaked whale behavior : Results of a dedicated acoustic response study ' PLoS One , vol 7 , no. 8 , e42535 . , 10.1371/journal.pone.0042535
Abstract: Some beaked whale species are susceptible to the detrimental effects of anthropogenic noise. Most studies have concentrated on the effects of military sonar, but other forms of acoustic disturbance (e.g. shipping noise) may disrupt behavior. An experiment involving the exposure of target whale groups to intense vessel-generated noise tested how these exposures influenced the foraging behavior of Blainville’s beaked whales (Mesoplodon densirostris) in the Tongue of the Ocean (Bahamas). A military array of bottom-mounted hydrophones was used to measure the response based upon changes in the spatial and temporal pattern of vocalizations. The archived acoustic data were used to compute metrics the echolocation-based foraging behavior for 16 targeted groups, 10 groups further away on the range, and 26 nonexposed groups. The duration of foraging bouts was not significantly affected by the exposure. Changes in the hydrophone over which the group was most frequently detected occurred as the animals moved around within a foraging bout, and their number was significantly less the closer the whales were to the sound source. Non-exposed groups also had significantly more changes in the primary hydrophone than exposed groups irrespective of distance. Our results suggested that broadband ship noise caused a significant change in beaked whale behavior up to at least 5.2 kilometers away from the vessel. The observed change could potentially correspond to a restriction in the movement of groups, a period of more directional travel, a reduction in the number of individuals clicking within the group, or a response to changes in prey movement.
Version: Publisher PDF
Status: Peer reviewed
ISSN: 1932-6203
Type: Journal article
Rights: © 2012 Pirotta et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Appears in Collections:NERC Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) Research
Scottish Oceans Institute Research
Institute of Behavioural and Neural Sciences Research
Statistics Research
Biology Research
University of St Andrews Research

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