[MARMAM] New paper: Studying harbour porpoises in tidal-stream habitats

Steven Benjamins stevenbenjamins at yahoo.com
Tue Dec 3 05:48:55 PST 2013


Dear colleagues,

We are pleased to announce the publication of the following article in Endangered Species Research:

Wilson B, Benjamins S, Elliott J (2013). Using drifting passive echolocation loggers to study harbour porpoises in tidal-stream habitats. Endangered Species Research 22: 125–143; doi: 10.3354/esr00538.

The paper is Open Access, and can be downloaded free here: http://www.int-res.com/articles/esr_oa/n022p125.pdf

Abstract

Moored passive acoustic detectors (e.g. C-PODs) are widely used to study harbour porpoise Phocoena phocoena distribution and relative abundance, but their use in tidal-stream habitats is complicated by the need for retrievable flow-resistant seabed fixings and the occurrence of flow-induced noise in the resultant data. In this study, we explored the use of a new method aimed at tidal-stream habitats, which are of increasing interest for marine renewable energy generation. Porpoise detectors (C-PODs) were attached to multiple drifters and repeatedly set adrift at a tidal-stream site in western Scotland during May 2010 and August 2011. Porpoise vocalisations were successfully detected under varying tidal conditions during approximately 63 h of drifting. Harbour porpoise distribution, as determined by the drifting detectors, was similar to that found using the traditional, yet more logistically intensive, visual and acoustic boat-based surveys and to an
 extent that found by moored C-PODs. Drifting detectors also mapped tidally driven spatiotemporal variability in ambient noise levels which could influence porpoise detection. In summary, drifters equipped with passive acoustic detectors offer a new, rapid and inexpensive tool for investigating porpoise occurrence and behaviour in tidal-stream habitats, and should be considered as part of a comprehensive marine mammal monitoring approach of these energetic environments in the context of marine renewable energy development and other industries.

Best regards,

Steven Benjamins

--
Dr. Steven Benjamins
Post Doctoral Research Associate
SAMS (Scottish Association for Marine Science)
Oban
Argyll
Scotland
UK
PA37 1QA

Tel: +44(0)1631-559449 (office)
Tel: +44(0)1631-559000 (switchboard)
Fax: +44(0)1631-559001
E-mail address: Steven.Benjamins at sams.ac.uk
http://www.sams.ac.uk





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