[MARMAM] New paper on spatial variabilities in humpback whale acoustic presence in the Southern Ocean

Elena Schall elena.schall at awi.de
Wed Dec 2 00:59:07 PST 2020

We are pleased to announce our new paper in Royal Society Open Science 
on humpback whales in the Southern Ocean:

*Large-scale spatial variabilities in the humpback whale acoustic 
presence in the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean*
Elena Schall, Karolin Thomisch, Olaf Boebel, Gabriele Gerlach, Stefanie 
Spiesecke and Ilse Van Opzeeland

Southern Hemisphere humpback whales (/Megaptera novaeangliae/) inhabit a 
wide variety of ecosystems including both low- and high-latitude areas. 
Understanding the habitat selection of humpback whale populations is key 
for humpback whale stock management and general ecosystem management. In 
the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean (/ASSO/), the investigation of 
baleen whale distribution by sighting surveys is temporally restricted 
to the austral summer. The implementation of autonomous passive acoustic 
monitoring, in turn, allows the study of vocal baleen whales year-round. 
This study describes the results of analysing passive acoustic data 
spanning 12 recording positions throughout the/ASSO/applying a 
combination of automatic and manual analysis methods to register 
humpback whale acoustic activity. Humpback whales were present at nine 
recording positions with higher acoustic activities towards lower 
latitudes and the eastern and western edges of the/ASSO/. During all 
months, except December (the month with the fewest recordings), humpback 
whale acoustic activity was registered in the/ASSO/. The acoustic 
presence of humpback whales at various locations in the/ASSO/confirms 
previous observations that part of the population remains in 
high-latitude waters beyond austral summer, presumably to feed. The 
spatial and temporal extent of humpback whale presence in 
the/ASSO/suggests that this area may be used by multiple humpback whale 
breeding populations as a feeding ground.

The paper is available with open access under the following link:


Best regards,

Elena Schall

Elena Schall
PhD Student
Ocean Acoustics Lab
Alfred Wegener Institute
Helmholtz Centre for Polar
and Marine Research

Klußmannstr. 3d
27570 Bremerhaven
email: elena.schall at awi.de
Phone: +49(471)4831-2157

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