[MARMAM] New publication: Temporal and spatial variation in harbor seal (Phoca vitulina L.) roar calls from southern Scandinavia

Puk Faxe Sabinsky pukfaxes at gmail.com
Tue Mar 21 03:26:40 PDT 2017

Dear all,

On behalf of my co-authors, I am pleased to announce the publication of the
following article:

Puk Faxe Sabinsky; Ole Næsbye Larsen; Magnus Wahlberg and Jakob Tougaard
(2017) "*Temporal and spatial variation in harbor seal (Phoca vitulina L.)
roar calls from southern Scandinavia*". The Journal of the Acoustical
Society of America (Vol.141, No.3, p.824–1834).

URL: http://asa.scitation.org/doi/10.1121/1.4977999
DOI: 10.1121/1.4977999


Male harbor seals gather around breeding sites for competitive mating
displays. Here, they produce underwater vocalizations possibly to attract
females and/or scare off other males. These calls offer prospects for
passive acoustic monitoring. Acoustic monitoring requires a good
understanding of natural variation in calling behavior both temporally and
among geographically separate sites. Such variation in call structure and
calling patterns were studied in harbor seal vocalizations recorded at
three locations in Danish and Swedish waters. There was a strong
seasonality in the calls from end of June to early August. Vocalizations at
two locations followed a diel pattern, with an activity peak at night.
Recordings from one location also showed a peak in call rate at high tide.
Large geographic variations were obvious in the total duration of the
so-called roar call, the duration of the most prominent part of the call
(the roar burst), and of percentage of energy in roar burst. A similarly
large variation was also found when comparing the recordings from two
consecutive years at the same site. Thus, great care must be taken to
separate variation attributable to recording conditions from genuine
biological differences when comparing harbor seal roars among recording
sites and between years.

A PDF version of the paper can be provided by request.

Best wishes on behalf of the authors,

Puk Faxe Sabinsky,
pukfaxes at gmail.com
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