[MARMAM] New paper: Intermediate-duration whale dive behavior tag

Irvine, Ladd Ladd.Irvine at oregonstate.edu
Thu Dec 22 14:08:48 PST 2016

Hello Everyone

We are pleased to announce the following paper that has been published in the journal Ecology and Evolution (online early view at the moment):

Mate, B. R., Irvine, L. M. and Palacios, D. M. (2016), The development of an intermediate-duration tag to characterize the diving behavior of large whales. Ecology and Evolution, 00: 1-11. doi: 10.1002/ece3.2649<http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ece3.2649>
The development of high-resolution archival tag technologies has revolutionized our understanding of diving behavior in marine taxa such as sharks, turtles, and seals during their wide-ranging movements. However, similar applications for large whales have lagged behind due to the difficulty of keeping tags on the animals for extended periods of time. Here, we present a novel configuration of a transdermally attached biologging device called the Advanced Dive Behavior (ADB) tag. The ADB tag contains sensors that record hydrostatic pressure, three-axis accelerometers, magnetometers, water temperature, and light level, all sampled at 1 Hz. The ADB tag also collects Fastloc GPS locations and can send dive summary data through Service Argos, while staying attached to a whale for typical periods of 3-7 weeks before releasing for recovery and subsequent data download. ADB tags were deployed on sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus; N = 46), blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus; N = 8), and fin whales (B. physalus; N = 5) from 2007 to 2015, resulting in attachment durations from 0 to 49.6 days, and recording 31 to 2,539 GPS locations and 27 to 2,918 dives per deployment. Archived dive profiles matched well with published dive shapes of each species from short-term records. For blue and fin whales, feeding lunges were detected using peaks in accelerometer data and matched corresponding vertical excursions in the depth record. In sperm whales, rapid orientation changes in the accelerometer data, often during the bottom phase of dives, were likely related to prey pursuit, representing a relative measure of foraging effort. Sperm whales were documented repeatedly diving to, and likely foraging along, the seafloor. Data from the temperature sensor described the vertical structure of the water column in all three species, extending from the surface to depths >1,600 m. In addition to providing information needed to construct multiweek time budgets, the ADB tag is well suited to studying the effects of anthropogenic sound on whales by allowing for pre- and post-exposure monitoring of the whale's dive behavior. This tag begins to bridge the gap between existing long-duration but low-data throughput tags, and short-duration, high-resolution data loggers.

Link to the article:

Please contact me with any questions (ladd.irvine at oregonstate.edu<mailto:ladd.irvine at oregonstate.edu>).


Ladd Irvine
Sr. Faculty Research Assistant
Oregon State University Marine Mammal Institute
Hatfield Marine Science Center
2030 S Marine Science Dr.
Newport, OR 97365

Phone: 541-867-0394


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