[MARMAM] New publication on Chilean blue whale acoustics

Susannah Buchan sjbuchan at gmail.com
Mon Mar 24 08:15:20 PDT 2014

Dear MARMANers,

We are pleased to announce the publication of our most recent paper:

*"A new song recorded for blue whales in the Corcovado Gulf, Southern
Chile, and an acoustic link to the Eastern Tropical Pacific" *
by Susannah J. Buchan, Rodrigo Hucke-Gaete, Luke Rendell, and Kathleen M.
in Endangered Species Research

ABSTRACT: The identity, distribution and movements of blue whales *Balaenoptera
musculus* that forage in the Chiloense Ecoregion in Southern Chile remain
unclear. Studies of blue whale songs have identified acoustic populations
with distinct song types, geographic ranges, migration routes and seasonal
residencies--information that is relevant to the conservation of this
endangered species. Here, we characterized the song sequences of blue
whales that use the Corcovado Gulf based on dipping hydrophone recordings
from 3 austral summer field seasons (2008, 2009, 2011), and compare these
data to previously described song types for the Southeast Pacific (SEP) in
order to better understand meso-scale (versus basin-scale) variation in
blue whale song. Two distinct songs, SEP1 and SEP2, emerged from our
analysis. Neither of these songs is used by Antarctic blue whales. Although
SEP1 was the first song recorded in the Corcovado Gulf area in 1970, we
found SEP2 to be the more common song, despite never having been reported
previously in this area. Our report of SEP2 adds a new song to the current
description of the SEP blue whale repertoire. Our recording of SEP1
reaffirms the acoustic link already established between Chile and the
Eastern Tropical Pacific (ETP); our recording of SEP2 establishes a new
acoustic link for this song between Chile and the ETP. These findings
provide the basis for future passive acoustic studies on the temporal and
spatial distributions of endangered SEP blue whales and for understanding
how these songs relate to the population structure.

Requests for reprints can be sent to: sjbuchan at gmail.com.

We would also like to highlight the *recent creation of the largest Marine
Protected Area **in continental Chile* on the Eastern Edge of the Corcovado
Gulf, which will boost the conservation of blue whales, other vulnerable
cetaceans and their unique Patagonian habitat. More information at:

Kind regards,

Susannah J. Buchan, PhD(c)

Department of Oceanography, Universidad de Concepción
sbuchan at udec.cl
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