[MARMAM] On-Line Lecture this Thursday: "New Findings on the Effects of Noise on the Behavior of Whales and Dolphins"

Trevor Spradlin Trevor.Spradlin at noaa.gov
Tue Jan 4 08:17:47 PST 2011


The NOAA/NMFS Office of Protected Resources and the Smithsonian's 
National Museum of Natural History (Department of Vertebrate Zoology in 
conjunction with the Office of Education and National Outreach Program) 
are pleased to announce that Dr. Brandon Southall (SEA, Inc., and 
UC-Santa Cruz) will be giving a lecture this week in Washington, DC on 
the research he and colleagues conducted last year for the "SOCAL-10" 
project to evaluate the behavioral responses of cetaceans to underwater 
human sounds.  The lecture at the Smithsonian will be available to the 
public in real-time via live video stream on the Web, and will be 
archived for future viewing as well.  Following, below, are the details 
about Dr. Southall's presentation and how to access it online.   We hope 
you can join us and Dr. Southall via the Web!

Trevor Spradlin and Amy Scholik-Schlomer                     Charles Potter
Office of Protected Resources                                          
Collection Manager, Marine Mammals
National Marine Fisheries Service                                     
National Museum of Natural History
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration            Smithsonian 
Institution

************************************

*New Findings on the Effects of Noise on the Behavior of Whales and 
Dolphins*

*/Brandon Southall, Ph.D.
/*/President and Senior Scientist for Southall Environmental Associates, 
Inc., and Research Associate with the University of California, Santa 
Cruz (UCSC)/

*Date:*  Thursday, January 6, 2011
*Time:*  2 pm ET
*Location:* Live video stream from the Smithsonian's National Museum of 
Natural History at:

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/smithsonian-national-museum-of-natural-history#events

*Abstract*
SOCAL-10 was a scientific research project conducted in Aug-Sept 2010 in 
important biological areas near southern California.  It extended 
previous studies in the Bahamas (2007-08) and Mediterranean Sea (2009) 
of whether and how marine mammals change their behavior when they hear 
different sounds.  Each of these efforts has integrated behavioral 
response studies to controlled sound exposures with ongoing research on 
diving, foraging, and social behavior.  The overall objective was to 
provide a better basic understanding of marine mammal behavior, while 
providing direct scientific information for the Navy and regulatory 
agencies to estimate risk and minimize the impact of human sounds, 
particularly military sonar.  SOCAL-10 was the first in a five-year 
dedicated effort to study a variety of marine mammal species in areas 
around the southern California coast and Channel Islands.

SOCAL-10 involved an interdisciplinary collaboration of experts in 
marine mammal biology, behavior, and communication, as well as 
underwater acousticians and specialized field researchers.  During a 
preliminary scouting phase and two research legs on several different 
research vessels, SOCAL-10 observed, photographed, and/or tracked in 
detail, individuals of 21 different marine mammal species.  Sixty-two 
tags (of six different varieties) were successfully secured on 44 
individual animals of nine different marine mammal species, including 
several which had never been studied using tag technologies previously.  
Scientists also conducted 28 controlled sound exposure experiments; in 
these experiments, animals were monitored with suction cup acoustic 
sensors, remote listening devices and specialized observers with 
high-powered binoculars.  Sounds were then played under specific 
protocols and protective measures (to ensure animals were not harmed) 
and changes in behavior were recorded.

Preliminary results based primarily on clearly observable behavior in 
the field and from initial data assessment indicate variable responses, 
depending on species, type of sound, and behavioral state during the 
experiments.  Some observations in certain conditions suggest avoidance 
responses, while in other cases subjects seemed to not respond, at least 
overtly.   Additional analysis and interpretation is underway of the 
nearly 400 hours of tag data from the project, as well as thousands of 
marine mammal observations, photographs, tissue samples, and acoustic 
measurements.

For additional information, please see:

SOCAL-10 website http://www.sea-inc.net/SOCAL10/
SOCAL-10 blog http://sea.typepad.com/sea-blog/
SOCAL-10 Facebook page: 
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Behavioral-Response-Studies-of-Marine-Mammals/153316228012219

 

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