[MARMAM] New publication: Oceanographic drivers of Cuvier's and Sowerby's beaked whales in Irish waters

Cynthia BARILE cynthia.barile94 at gmail.com
Tue Oct 5 07:40:14 PDT 2021

Dear colleagues,

My co-authors and I are pleased to share with you our recent publication on
the occurrence of Cuvier's and Sowerby's beaked whales in the northeast
Atlantic (Irish waters) in relation with oceanographic drivers, using
acoustic data collected using static bottom-mounted recorders.

Barile, C., Berrow, S., O'Brien, J. Oceanographic drivers of Cuvier's (*Ziphius
cavirostris*) and Sowerby's (*Mesoplodon bidens*) beaked whales acoustic
occurrence along the Irish shelf edge. *Journal of Marine Science and
Engineering*, 2021, 9(10), 1081. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9101081

[Abstract]: Cuvier’s and Sowerby’s beaked whales occur year-round in
western Irish waters, yet remain some of the most poorly understood
cetaceans in the area. Considering the importance of the area for
anthropogenic activities and the sensitivity of beaked whales to noise,
understanding their ecology is essential to minimise potential overlaps. To
this end, fixed bottom-mounted autonomous acoustic recorders were deployed
at 10 stations over four recording periods spanning from May 2015 to
November 2016. Acoustic data were collected over 1934 cumulative days, for
a total of 7942 h of recordings. To model the probability of presence of
Cuvier’s and Sowerby’s beaked whales in the area as a function of
oceanographic predictors, we used Generalised Additive Models, fitted with
Generalised Estimating Equations to deal with temporal autocorrelation. To
reflect prey availability, oceanographic variables acting as proxies of
primary productivity and prey aggregation processes such as upwelling
events and thermal fronts were selected. Our results demonstrated that
oceanographic variables significantly contributed to the occurrence of
Cuvier’s and Sowerby’s beaked whales (p-values between <0.001 and <0.05).
The species showed similar preferences, with the exception of sdSST. The
inclusion of a parameter accounting for the recorders location confirmed
the existence of a latitudinal partitioning for those species in the area.
This study provides a point of comparison for future research and
represents an important step towards a better understanding of those
elusive species.

This publication is open access and can be downloaded here:

Kind regards,

*Cynthia Barile **(she/her)*
*PhD candidate | MMO & PAM operator*
Marine and Freshwater Research Centre
Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology | Galway, Ireland
[image: Twitter icon] <https://twitter.com/cynthia_barile>  @cynthia_barile |
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