[MARMAM] New publication: The diel pattern in harbour porpoise clicking behaviour is not a response to prey activity

Anna Osiecka ann.osiecka at gmail.com
Thu Sep 10 03:01:57 PDT 2020

Dear colleagues,

Me and my co-authors are happy to share our newest work on diel clicking
patterns in the harbour porpoise:

Osiecka, A.N., Jones, O. & Wahlberg, M. The diel pattern in harbour
porpoise clicking behaviour is not a response to prey activity. *Sci Rep* *10,
*14876 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-71957-0


Wild harbour porpoises (*Phocoena phocoena*) mainly forage during the night
and, because they rely on echolocation to detect their prey, this is also
when they are most acoustically active. It has been hypothesised that this
activity pattern is a response to the diel behaviour of their major prey
species. To test this hypothesis, we monitored the acoustic activity of two
captive harbour porpoises held in a net pen continuously during a full year
and fed by their human keepers during daylight hours, thus removing the
influence of prey activity. The porpoises were exposed to similar
temperature and ambient light conditions as free-ranging animals living in
the same region. Throughout the year, there was a pronounced diel pattern
in acoustic activity of the porpoises, with significantly greater activity
at night, and a clear peak around sunrise and sunset throughout the year.
Clicking activity was not dependent on lunar illumination or water level.
Because the porpoises in the pen are fed and trained during daylight hours,
the results indicate that factors other than fish behaviour are strongly
influencing the diel clicking behaviour pattern of the species.

The article is available open access at:

Kindest regards,

Anna N Osiecka
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