[MARMAM] New Publication: Bearded seal acoustics in the Beaufort Sea

Kalyn MacIntyre - NOAA Federal kalyn.macintyre at noaa.gov
Fri May 31 14:53:35 PDT 2013

We are pleased to announce the following paper, published online in Polar

MacIntyre KQ, Stafford KM, Berchok CL, Boveng PL (2013) Year-round acoustic
detection of bearded seals (*Erignathus barbatus*) in the Beaufort Sea
relative to changing environmental conditions, 2008-2010. Polar Biology.
doi: 10.1007/s00300-013-1337-1


Bearded seals (Erignathus barbatus) are pan-Arctic pinnipeds that are often
seen in association with pack ice, and are known for their long, loud
trills, produced underwater primarily in the spring. Acoustic recordings
were collected from August 2008 to August 2010 at two locations and a
single year (2008–2009) at a third location, in the western Beaufort Sea.
Three recorders in 2008–2009 had a 30 % duty cycle and a bandwidth of
10–4,096 Hz. One recorder in 2009–2010 had a 45 % duty cycle and a
bandwidth of 10–4,096 Hz and the second had a 20 % duty cycle and bandwidth
of 10–8,192 Hz. Spectrograms of acoustic data were examined for
characteristic patterns of bearded seal vocalizations. For each recorder,
the number of hours per day with vocalizations was compared with in situ
water temperature and satellite-derived daily sea ice concentrations. At
all sites, bearded seals were vocally active year-round. Call activity
escalated with the formation of pack ice in the winter and the peak
occurred in the spring, coinciding with mating season and preceding breakup
of the sea ice. There was a change in the timing of seasonal sea ice
formation and retreat between the two consecutive years that was reflected
in the timing of peak bearded seal call activity. This study provides new
information on fall and winter bearded seal vocal behavior and the
relationship between year-round vocal activity and changes in annual sea
ice coverage and in situ water temperature.

The article is available online at

Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Kalyn Q. MacIntyre

Kalyn Q. MacIntyre
M.S. Student
Aquatic & Fishery Sciences
University of Washington
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