[MARMAM] Long-Term Monitoring of Dolphin Biosonar Activity in Deep Pelagic Waters of the Mediterranean Sea

Francesco Caruso fcaruso at whoi.edu
Sun Jul 2 14:17:34 PDT 2017

Dear MARMAM readers,

we are pleased to announce our recent publication:

F. Caruso, G. Alonge, G. Bellia, E. De Domenico, R. Grammauta, G. 
Larosa, S. Mazzola , G. Riccobene, G. Pavan, E. Papale, C. Pellegrino, 
S. Pulvirenti, V. Sciacca, F. Simeone, F. Speziale, S. Viola & G. Buscaino.
/Long-Term Monitoring of Dolphin Biosonar Activity in Deep Pelagic 
Waters of the Mediterranean Sea. //Scientific Reports//, 7: 4321, 

Dolphins emit short ultrasonic pulses (clicks) to acquire information 
about the surrounding environment, prey and habitat features. We 
investigated Delphinidae activity over multiple temporal scales through 
the detection of their echolocation clicks, using long-term Passive 
Acoustic Monitoring (PAM). The Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare 
operates multidisciplinary seafloor observatories in a deep area of the 
Central Mediterranean Sea. The Ocean noise Detection Experiment 
collected data offshore the Gulf of Catania from January 2005 to 
November 2006, allowing the study of temporal patterns of dolphin 
activity in this deep pelagic zone for the first time. Nearly 5,500 
five-minute recordings acquired over two years were examined using 
spectrogram analysis and through development and testing of an automatic 
detection algorithm. Echolocation activity of dolphins was mostly 
confined to nighttime and crepuscular hours, in contrast with 
communicative signals (whistles). Seasonal variation, with a peak number 
of clicks in August, was also evident, but no effect of lunar cycle was 
observed. Temporal trends in echolocation corresponded to environmental 
and trophic variability known in the deep pelagic waters of the Ionian 
Sea. Long-term PAM and the continued development of automatic analysis 
techniques are essential to advancing the study of pelagic marine mammal 
distribution and behaviour patterns.

This article is available at: 


Francesco Caruso, PhD
Guest Postdoctoral Investigator
Sensory Ecology and Bioacoustics Lab
WHOI - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
266 Woods Hole Rd. MRF 235, MS#50
Woods Hole, MA , 02543, USA
Ph: +1 (508)289-3868

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