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Rachinas-Lopes P.,ISPA University | Rachinas-Lopes P.,Champalimaud Center for the Unknown | Rachinas-Lopes P.,Projecto Delfim Centro Portugues Of Estudo Dos Mamiferos Marinhos | Luis A.R.,ISPA University | And 5 more authors.
Aquatic Mammals | Year: 2017

Common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops trunca-tus) produce a range of underwater vocalizations, both pulsed (echolocation clicks and burst-pulses) and nonpulsed (whistles). Whistles may be emit-ted in stereotyped (signature) or variant patterns, and their production might be affected by sex, age, environmental, and social contexts. This study examined, non-intrusively, the whistle emissions of six captive bottlenose dolphins at Zoomarine in Algarve, Portugal, in two separate time sets and three different contexts: two of the animals in isolation in 2008, and all six in 2012, both seg-regated from their group and in social context. From a total of 1,681 whistles, 1,249 were ana-lyzed from 32 samples in different contexts: seven samples in isolation in 2008, 18 in segregation in 2012, and seven in social context. Through visual inspection of spectrograms, whistles were classi-fied into 12 different contour categories. Only one category was found in both time sets and could be considered a signature whistle by SIGID criteria (Janik et al., 2013). This contour was associated with the same animal in 2008 and 2012. Whistle emission rates were 7.8 times higher in isolation as compared with social context, and significant differences were also found in the end and maxi-mum frequencies as well as number of inflections and loops. Multiloop whistles were more common in isolation than in social contexts. The variant (nonstereotyped) contours dominated the whistle production in segregated contexts (but not by iso-lated animals) as well as in social contexts. This study highlights the importance of examining the nonstereotyped portion of the bottlenose dolphin's whistle repertoire in different contexts as signa-ture whistle production may not be a constant or universal phenomenon.

Luis A.R.,ISPA University | Luis A.R.,Projecto Delfim Centro Portugues Of Estudo Dos Mamiferos Marinhos | Couchinho M.N.,ISPA University | Couchinho M.N.,Projecto Delfim Centro Portugues Of Estudo Dos Mamiferos Marinhos | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2016

Common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), produce a wide variety of vocal emissions for communication and echolocation, of which the pulsed repertoire has been the most difficult to categorize. Packets of high repetition, broadband pulses are still largely reported under a general designation of burst-pulses, and traditional attempts to classify these emissions rely mainly in their aural characteristics and in graphical aspects of spectrograms. Here, we present a quantitative analysis of pulsed signals emitted by wild bottlenose dolphins, in the Sado estuary, Portugal (2011-2014), and test the reliability of a traditional classification approach. Acoustic parameters (minimum frequency, maximum frequency, peak frequency, duration, repetition rate and inter-click-interval) were extracted from 930 pulsed signals, previously categorized using a traditional approach. Discriminant function analysis revealed a high reliability of the traditional classification approach (93.5% of pulsed signals were consistently assigned to their aurally based categories). According to the discriminant function analysis (Wilk's Λ = 0.11, F3, 2.41 = 282.75, P < 0.001), repetition rate is the feature that best enables the discrimination of different pulsed signals (structure coefficient = 0.98). Classification using hierarchical cluster analysis led to a similar categorization pattern: two main signal types with distinct magnitudes of repetition rate were clustered into five groups. The pulsed signals, here described, present significant differences in their time-frequency features, especially repetition rate (P < 0.001), inter-click-interval (P < 0.001) and duration (P < 0.001). We document the occurrence of a distinct signal type - short burst-pulses, and highlight the existence of a diverse repertoire of pulsed vocalizations emitted in graded sequences. The use of quantitative analysis of pulsed signals is essential to improve classifications and to better assess the contexts of emission, geographic variation and the functional significance of pulsed signals. © 2016 Luís 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.

Dos Santos M.E.,ISPA University | Couchinho M.N.,Projecto Delfim Centro Portugues Of Estudo Dos Mamiferos Marinhos | Rita Luis A.,Projecto Delfim Centro Portugues Of Estudo Dos Mamiferos Marinhos | Goncalves E.J.,ISPA University
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America | Year: 2010

Maintenance work on the harbor of Setúbal, in Portugal, required the removal of a 14-m deep rocky outcrop at the ship maneuver area, using about 35 kg of Gelamonite, a nitroglycerin-based high-explosive. This important harbor is located in the Sado estuary, a biologically rich environment and an important feeding area for a resident community of bottlenose dolphins. Using different safe range calculation models, a mitigation and monitoring plan was developed that minimized the risks of these underwater explosions for the dolphins. At our monitoring station, at 2 km from the demolition site, acoustic pressure levels in excess of 170 dB re 1 μPa (root-mean-square) were measured. Samples of dead fish collected at the site were indicative of shock trauma from the blasts. © 2010 Acoustical Society of America.

Augusto J.F.,ISPA University | Augusto J.F.,Projecto Delfim Centro Portugues Of Estudo Dos Mamiferos Marinhos | Rachinas-Lopes P.,ISPA University | Rachinas-Lopes P.,Projecto Delfim Centro Portugues Of Estudo Dos Mamiferos Marinhos | And 2 more authors.
Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom | Year: 2012

The resident population of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the Sado Estuary, Portugal, has been declining at least during the past three decades. A complete photographic census produced a current count of 24 animalsa-19 adults, three subadults and two calves. It appears to be phylopatric and essentially closed, but given the likely importance that exchanges with neighbouring coastal groups may play, even if rare, the most adequate term to define this dolphin should be community and not population. Large groups with all age-classes are common in the community, possibly as a calf and subadult protection strategy, and this may be related to the fact that these age-classes have had high mortality rates in the last decade. Maternity of two calves was determined, and we found that the two mothers adopted different parenting strategies. While one mother spent more time alone with her calf, the other mother spent more time with her calf in larger groups. The average coefficient of association for this community is 0.45, quite high for this species. Associations and typical group size are similar between all individuals, with no patterning according to age-class or sex, which constitutes an atypical trait for dolphin societies. There are also no clear divisions in this community according to cluster analysis. Associations are preferred and long term, lasting approximately 34 days and fitting a pattern of casual acquaintances, where individuals associate for a period of time, disassociate and may reassociate after that. This reflects the fission-fusion character of the community, but in a more stable manner. We think this is caused by a combination of demographic characteristics and a stable and productive environment, which led to a decrease in competition between individuals. © 2012 Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom.

Luis A.R.,ISPA University | Luis A.R.,Projecto Delfim Centro Portugues Of Estudo Dos Mamiferos Marinhos | Couchinho M.N.,ISPA University | Couchinho M.N.,Projecto Delfim Centro Portugues Of Estudo Dos Mamiferos Marinhos | And 2 more authors.
Marine Mammal Science | Year: 2014

Maritime traffic is an issue of major ecological concern, and vessel noise may be an important source of disturbance for coastal cetaceans. In the Sado estuary, Portugal, core habitat areas of a small resident population of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) overlap with routes of intense maritime traffic, which presents an opportunity to assess vocal responses of these dolphins to specific vessel noise sources. Field recordings of dolphin vocalizations were made from April to November 2011, using a calibrated system. Dolphin behavior and group size were recorded, as well as the operating boat condition (no boats or specific boat type) in a 1,000 m radius. Spectral analyses of vocalizations allowed the categorization and quantitative analysis of echolocation click trains and social calls, including whistles. Mean overall call rates decreased significantly in the presence of operating vessels. Creaks (fast click trains) were significantly reduced in the presence of ferry boats. Significant differences were also observed in the whistles' minimum, maximum, and start frequencies. These changes in call emission rates and temporary shifts in whistles characteristics may be a vocal response to the proximity of operating vessels, facilitating communication in this busy, noisy estuary. © 2014 Society for Marine Mammalogy.

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