[MARMAM] New publication on ultrasonic signature whistle use in Welsh bottlenose dolphins

Sarah Perry sarah at cbmwc.org
Wed Apr 27 02:55:01 PDT 2016

Dear All, 


We are pleased to announce our new publication: 


Helen M. Hiley, Sarah Perry, Steve Hartley & Stephanie L. King (2016):
What's occurring? Ultrasonic signature whistle use in Welsh bottlenose
dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), Bioacoustics DOI:



Animal communication signals are diverse. The types of sounds that animals
produce, and the way that information is encoded in those sounds, not only
varies between species but can also vary geographically within a species.
Therefore, an understanding of the vocal repertoire at the population level
is important for providing insight into regional differences in vocal
communication signals. One species whose vocal repertoire has received
considerable attention is the bottlenose dolphin. This species is well known
for its use of individually distinctive identity signals, known as signature
whistles. Bottlenose dolphins use their signature whistles to broadcast
their identity and to maintain contact with social companions. Signature
whistles are not innate, but are learnt signals that develop within the
first few months of an animal's life. It is therefore unsurprising that
studies, which have characterized signature whistles in wild populations of
bottlenose dolphins, have provided evidence of geographic variation in
signature whistle structure. Here, we describe the occurrence of signature
whistles in a previously unexplored wild population of bottlenose dolphins
in Cardigan Bay, Wales. We present the first occurrence of a signature
whistle with an ultrasonic fundamental frequency component (>30 kHz), a
frequency band that was not thought to be utilized by this species for
whistle communication. We also describe the occurrence of an ultrasonic
non-signature whistle. Our findings highlight the importance of conducting
regional studies in order to fully quantify a species' vocal repertoire, and
call into question the efficacy of those studies that use restricted
sampling rates.


You can access the paper here:


Or email either Helen Hiley (hmh332 at gmail.com) or myself (sarah at cbmwc.org)
for a copy.


All the best,




Sarah Perry

Living Seas Science Officer


The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales,

C/O Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre


Ffon/Phone: 01545 560224

E-bost/E-mail: s.perry at welshwildlife.org

E-bost/E-mail:  <mailto:sarah at cbmwc.org> sarah at cbmwc.org

Website:  <http://www.welshwildlife.org/> www.welshwildlife.org

Website:  <http://www.cbmwc.org/> www.cbmwc.org


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