[MARMAM] New publications on Alaskan humpback whale calling behavior

AWF's Rapunzel Project therapunzelproject at gmail.com
Thu Feb 15 09:36:58 PST 2018

Hello MARMAM Community,

We are pleased to announce the publication of two short papers on humpback
whale calling behavior in Southeast Alaska:

Fournet, MEH,  Matthews, LM, Gabriele , CM, Mellinger, DK, and H Klinck.
(2018) Source Levels of foraging humpback whale calls. Journal of the
Acoustical Society of America, Express Letters. 143(3)  EL105-EL111. DOI:
.org/10.1121/1.5023599 <https://doi.org/10.1121/1.5023599>

Humpback whales produce a wide range of low- to mid frequency vocalizations
throughout their migratory range. Non-song “calls” dominate this species’
vocal repertoire while on high-latitude foraging grounds. The source levels
of 426 humpback whale calls in four vocal classes were estimated using a
four-element planar array deployed in Glacier Bay National Park and
Preserve, Southeast Alaska. There was no significant difference in source
levels between humpback whale vocal classes. The mean call source level was
137 dBRMS re 1 uPa @ 1m in the bandwidth of the call (range 113–157 dBRMS
re 1 lPa @ 1m), where bandwidth is defined as the frequency range from the
lowest to the highest frequency component of the call. These values
represent a robust estimate of humpback whale source levels on foraging
grounds and should append earlier estimates.

Fournet, MEH, Gabriele, CM, Sharpe, F, Straley, J, and AS Szabo. (2018).
Feeding calls produced by solitary humpback whales (Megaptera
novaeangliae). Marine Mammal Science. DOI:  <goog_780586054>


The humpback whale ‘feeding call’ is a highly stereotyped tonal call with a
peak frequency of approximately 500 Hz that to-date has only been
documented among groups (>2 individuals) of Alaskan humpback whales engaged
in synchronized foraging events while feeding on Pacific herring (Clupea
pallasii). In this paper we document feeding call use by solitary humpback
whales throughout Southeast Alaska over a twenty year time period, and
suggest that a primary function of this call is prey manipulation. Our
observations demonstrate that the use of feeding calls is not exclusively
linked to group coordination, and may not be exclusively linked to
recruitment. While this study cannot speak to the question of how often
solitary whales exhibit this behavior, we assert that the phenomenon is
geographically and temporally widespread on Southeast Alaskan foraging

PDFs of these publications can be found at:


Michelle Fournet, M.S.
PhD Candidate, Wildlife Science
Oregon State University/NOAA
Cooperative Institute for Marine Resource Studies

Alaska Whale Foundation
Research Associate

michelle.fournet at gmail.com
mfournet.wordpress.com <http://www.mfournet.wordpress.com/>
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.uvic.ca/pipermail/marmam/attachments/20180215/a913c80d/attachment.html>

More information about the MARMAM mailing list