[MARMAM] New publications on whale acoustics use
burnhamr at uvic.ca
Tue Jun 2 09:51:23 PDT 2020
I'm happy to share 2 new publications
The first is a continuation of the discussion of 'Whale Geography'
(previous discussion here:https://doi.org/10.1177/0309133317734103)
Burnham, R.E. 2020. Whale Geography: A species-centric approach applied
to migration' 44 (3)_: _419-434
It can be found here: https://doi.org/10.1177/0309133320922417
Understanding the biogeography of a species begins by mapping its
presence over time and space. The use of home ranges, breeding and
feeding areas, migration paths and movement patterns between the two are
also inherent to their ecology. However, this is an overly simplified
view of life histories. It ignores nuanced and complex exchanges and
responses to the environment and between conspecifics. Having previously
advocated for a more species-centric approach in a discussion of 'whale
geography', I look to better understand the driving factors of
migrations, and the information streams guiding the movement, which is
key to the biogeography of large whale species. First, I consider the
processes underlying the navigation capacities of species to complete
migration, and how, and over what scales, sensory information
contributes to cognitive maps. I specifically draw on examples of
large-scale, _en masse_ migrators to then apply this to whales. I focus
on the acoustic sense as the principal way whales gain and exchange
information, drawing on a case study of grey whale (_Eschrichtius
robustu_s) calling behaviour to illustrate my arguments. Their
consistent employment of far-propagating calls appears to be tied to
travel behaviours and probably aids navigation and social cohesion. The
range over which calls are being propagated to conspecifics, or perhaps
being echoed back to the individual, underlies the distance over which
the cognitive maps are being both formed and employed. I believe
understanding these processes edges us closer to understanding species
The second is adaptation of a paper myself and colleagues published on
our glider research in the offshore waters of the Canadian Pacific that
has been adapted for a younger audience in Frontiers for Young Minds.
Burnham R.E. 2020. Learning About Whales by Listening for Their Calls.
Front. Young Minds. 8:55.
Populations of large whales have been reduced to very low numbers,
primarily by hunting. As the number of whales became smaller, they
became harder to find. In the past, whalers knew where to go to hunt,
but now scientists who study whales can find it hard to know which areas
whales use to feed, breed, or even travel through. We now realize how
important whales are for keeping oceans healthy, so scientists are
trying to learn as much as they can about large whales. Underwater sound
recordings are helping us find some of the rarest whales in the
northeast Pacific by listening for their calls. We use underwater
microphones, called hydrophones, set on the ocean floor and on ocean
gliders, which are small submarines, to help us learn about where whales
are, when they are there, and most importantly, what they are doing.
The original article this is adapted from is:
Burnham, R. E., Duffus, D. A., and Mouy, X. 2019. The presence of large
whale species in Clayoquot Sound and its offshore waters. _Cont. Shelf
Res._ 177:15-23. doi: 10.1016/j.csr.2019.03.004
If you would like a PDF of any of these papers feel free to contact me
Rianna Burnham, PhD.
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