[MARMAM] Synthetic Porpoise Communication: Bioacoustics Paper

Boris Culik bculik at fh3.de
Tue Apr 14 07:45:59 PDT 2015

Dear all,

We are pleased to inform you that our article

*Synthetic communication signals influence wild harbour porpoise 
(Phocoena phocoena) behaviour
*has been published on Taylor & Francis Online.
It is available at: 

*Boris Culik^a ^* , Christian von Dorrien^b , Vailett Müller^c & 
Matthias Conrad^d ^e *

We used our novel and programmable Porpoise Alarm (PAL, patd.) to 
synthesize life-like, electronic harbour porpoise communication signals 
based on those described for captive animals. In the Little Belt, 
Denmark, we employed PAL (source level 158 ± 1 dB p–p re 1 μPa at 1 m; 
centroid frequency 133 ± 8.5 kHz) to synthesize three aggressive click 
train types termed “A”, “F3” and “M1” to naive, free-living harbour 
porpoises. Via theodolite tracking (372 h of total visual effort spread 
over 10 expeditions) we found that, depending on signal type, porpoises 
either avoid or become attracted to PAL: Signal types “A” and “F3” are 
slight deterrents, porpoises increasing minimum range (+23 to 32 m, 
respectively), whereas “M1” attracts porpoises, reducing range (by 
− 29 m). As determined via archival acoustic detectors (AADs), both 
signals “F3” and “M1” led the animals to significantly intensify their 
click rate (by +10% and 68%, respectively) while signal “A” led to a 
significant reduction ( − 59%). We propose that equipping fishing gear 
with PAL emitting signal “F3” could potentially reduce porpoise by-catch 
by increasing (1) awareness through enhanced echolocation and (2) 
distance to the nets. Detection probability and radius of PAL/AAD 
tandems could be improved by emitting signal “M1” to focus porpoise 
echolocation signals on the AAD. The signal may also be useful in luring 
animals away from hazards, which may be helpful for conservation 
measures prior to the onset of harmful acoustic activities such as 
pile-driving, seismic exploration or ammunition clearance.

Kind regards,

Boris Culik
Prof. Dr. rer. nat. habil.
F³: Forschung . Fakten . Fantasie
Am Reff 1
D- 24226 Heikendorf
Tel.: +49 (0)431 2378 588
Fax.: +49 (0)431 2378 589
Mobil.: +49 172 750 4192
Email bculik at fh3.de
Web.: www.fh3.de

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