Passive Acoustic Research Group

East Falmouth, MA, United States

Passive Acoustic Research Group

East Falmouth, MA, United States
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Calambokidis J.,Cascadia Research | Steiger G.H.,Cascadia Research | Curtice C.,Duke University | Harrison J.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | And 4 more authors.
Aquatic Mammals | Year: 2015

In this review, we combine existing published and unpublished information along with expert judgment to identify and support the delineation of 28 Biologically Important Areas (BIAs) in U.S. waters along the West Coast for blue whales, gray whales, humpback whales, and harbor porpoises. BIAs for blue whales and humpback whales are based on high concentration areas of feeding animals observed from small boat surveys, ship surveys, and opportunistic sources. These BIAs compare favorably to broader habitat-based density models. BIAs for gray whales are based on their migratory corridor as they transit between primary feeding areas located in northern latitudes and breeding areas offMexico. Additional gray whale BIAs are defined for the primary feeding areas of a smaller resident population. Two small and resident population BIAs defined for harbor porpoises located offCalifornia encompass the populations' primary areas of use. The size of the individual BIAs ranged from approximately 171 to 138,000 km2. The BIAs for feeding blue, gray, and humpback whales represent relatively small portions of the overall West Coast area (< 5%) but encompass a large majority (77 to 89%) of the thousands of sightings documented and evaluated for each species. We also evaluate and discuss potential feeding BIAs for fin whales, but none are delineated due to limited or conflicting information. The intent of identifying BIAs is to synthesize existing biological information in a transparent format that is easily accessible to scientists, managers, policymakers, and the public for use during the planning and design phase of anthropogenic activities for which U.S. statutes require the characterization and minimization of impacts on marine mammals. To maintain their utility, West Coast region BIAs should be re-evaluated and revised, if necessary, as new information becomes available.


Heenehan H.L.,Duke University | Tyne J.A.,Murdoch University | Bejder L.,Duke University | Bejder L.,Murdoch University | And 3 more authors.
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America | Year: 2016

Effective decision making to protect coastally associated dolphins relies on monitoring the presence of animals in areas that are critical to their survival. Hawaiian spinner dolphins forage at night and rest during the day in shallow bays. Due to their predictable presence, they are targeted by dolphin-tourism. In this study, comparisons of presence were made between passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) and vessel-based visual surveys in Hawaiian spinner dolphin resting bays. DSG-Ocean passive acoustic recording devices were deployed in four bays along the Kona Coast of Hawai'i Island between January 8, 2011 and August 30, 2012. The devices sampled at 80 kHz, making 30-s recordings every four minutes. Overall, dolphins were acoustically detected on 37.1% to 89.6% of recording days depending on the bay. Vessel-based visual surveys overlapped with the PAM surveys on 202 days across the four bays. No significant differences were found between visual and acoustic detections suggesting acoustic surveys can be used as a proxy for visual surveys. Given the need to monitor dolphin presence across sites, PAM is the most suitable and efficient tool for monitoring long-term presence/absence. Concomitant photo-identification surveys are necessary to address changes in abundance over time. © 2016 Acoustical Society of America.


LaBrecque E.,Duke University | Curtice C.,Duke University | Harrison J.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Van Parijs S.M.,Passive Acoustic Research Group | Halpin P.N.,Duke University
Aquatic Mammals | Year: 2015

In this review, we merge existing published and unpublished information along with expert judg-ment to identify and support the delineation of 18 Biologically Important Areas (BIAs) in U.S. waters along the East Coast for minke whales, sei whales, fin whales, North Atlantic right whales, humpback whales, harbor porpoises, and bottle-nose dolphins. BIAs are delineated for feeding areas, reproductive areas, migratory corridors, and small and resident populations to enhance existing information already available to scientists, man-agers, policymakers, and the public. BIAs ranged in size from approximately 152 to 270,000 km2. They are intended to provide synthesized infor-mation in a transparent format that can be readily used toward the analyses and planning under U.S. statutes that require the characterization and mini-mization of impacts of anthropogenic activities on marine mammals. BIAs are not intended to repre-sent all important areas for consideration in plan-ning processes; in particular, areas of high marine mammal density, typically identified based on a combination of systematic visual and/or acoustic detections coupled with quantitative modeling, are very important to consider, where available, in any assessment. To maintain their utility, East Coast BIAs should be re-evaluated and revised, if necessary, as new information becomes available.


LaBrecque E.,Duke University | Curtice C.,Duke University | Harrison J.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Van Parijs S.M.,Passive Acoustic Research Group | Halpin P.N.,Duke University
Aquatic Mammals | Year: 2015

In this review, we merge existing published and unpublished information along with expert judg-ment to identify and support the delineation of 12 Biologically Important Areas (BIAs) in U.S. waters of the Gulf of Mexico for Bryde's whales and bottlenose dolphins. BIAs are delineated for small and resident populations to enhance existing information already available to scientists, manag-ers, policymakers, and the public. BIAs ranged in size from approximately 117 to over 23,000 km2. BIAs are intended to provide synthesized infor-mation in a transparent format that can be readily used toward the analyses and planning under U.S. statutes that require the characterization and mini-mization of impacts of anthropogenic activities on marine mammals. BIAs are not intended to repre-sent all important areas for consideration in plan-ning processes; in particular, areas of high marine mammal density, typically identified based on a combination of systematic visual and/or acous-tic detections coupled with quantitative model-ing, are very important to consider, where avail-able, in any assessment. To maintain their utility, Gulf of Mexico BIAs should be re-evaluated and revised, if necessary, as new information becomes available.


Baird R.W.,Cascadia Research Collective | Cholewiak D.,Passive Acoustic Research Group | Webster D.L.,Cascadia Research Collective | Schorr G.S.,Cascadia Research Collective | And 4 more authors.
Aquatic Mammals | Year: 2015

Of the 18 species of odontocetes known to be present in Hawaiian waters, small resident populations of 11 species-dwarf sperm whales, Blainville's beaked whales, Cuvier's beaked whales, pygmy killer whales, short-finned pilot whales, melon-headed whales, false killer whales, pantropical spotted dolphins, spinner dolphins, rough-toothed dolphins, and common bottlenose dolphins-have been identified, based on two or more lines of evidence, including results from small-boat sightings and survey effort, photo-identification, genetic analyses, and satellite tagging. In this review, we merge existing published and unpublished information along with expert judgment for the Hawai'i region of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone and territorial waters in order to identify and support the delineation of 20 Biologically Important Areas (BIAs) for these small and resident populations, and one reproductive area for humpback whales. The geographic extent of the BIAs in Hawaiian waters ranged from approximately 700 to 23,500 km2. BIA designation enhances existing information already available to scientists, managers, policymakers, and the public. They are intended to provide synthesized information in a transparent format that can be readily used toward analyses and planning under U.S. statutes that require the characterization and minimization of impacts of anthropogenic activities on marine mammals. Odontocete BIAs in Hawai'i are biased toward the main Hawaiian Islands and populations offthe island of Hawai'i, reflecting a much greater level of research effort and thus certainty regarding the existence and range of small resident populations offthat island. Emerging evidence of similar small resident populations offother island areas in Hawaiian waters suggest that further BIA designations may be necessary as more detailed information becomes available.

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