[MARMAM] Paper on a new method for estimating cetacean density using fixed passive acoustic data

Tiago Marques tiago at mcs.st-and.ac.uk
Wed Apr 22 01:45:37 PDT 2009

Dear colleagues,

The following paper has recently been published:
Marques, T. A., Thomas, L., Ward, J., DiMarzio, N. & P. L. Tyack (2009).
Estimating cetacean population density using fixed passive acoustic
sensors: an example with Blainville's beaked whales. The Journal of the
Acoustical Society of America. 125: 1982-1994.

An abstract follows:
Methods are developed for estimating the size/density of cetacean
populations using data from a set of fixed passive acoustic sensors.
The methods convert the number of detected acoustic cues into animal
density by accounting for: (i) the probability of detecting cues,
(ii) the rate at which animals produce cues, and (iii) the
proportion of false positive detections.  Additional information is
often required for estimation of these quantities, for example from
an acoustic tag applied to a sample of animals. Methods are
illustrated with a case study: estimation of Blainville's beaked whale
density over a 6 day period in spring 2005, using an 82 hydrophone
wide-baseline array located in the Tongue of the Ocean, Bahamas. To
estimate the required quantities, additional data are used from
digital acoustic tags (DTags), attached to 5 whales over 21 deep
dives, where cues recorded on some of the dives are associated with
those received on the fixed hydrophones. Estimated density was 25.3 or
22.5 animals per 1000 km$^2$, depending on assumptions about
false positive detections, with 95\% confidence intervals
$17.3-36.9$ and $15.4-32.9$.  These methods are potentially
applicable to a wide variety of marine and terrestrial species that
are hard to survey using conventional visual methods.

You can download a pdf of the paper at:

All the best,



Tiago André Marques
Research Unit for Wildlife Population Assessment
Centre for Research into Ecological and Environmental Modelling
University of St Andrews
The Observatory
Buchanan Gardens
St Andrews
Fife KY16 9LZ

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