[MARMAM] New publication on Cuvier's beaked whale dive classifications

David Sweeney dsweeney at marecotel.org
Fri Jul 1 12:22:50 PDT 2022

Dear marmam community,

My co-authors and I are pleased to announce the publication of our recent
research article:

Sweeney DA, Schorr GS, Falcone EA, Rone BK and others (2022) Cuvier’s
beaked whale foraging dives identified via machine learning using depth and
triaxial acceleration. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 692:195-208.

The paper is open access and can be downloaded from:

Knowledge of Cuvier’s beaked whale Ziphius cavirostris behavior has
expanded through the utilization of animal-borne tags. However, many tag
types do not record sound — thus preventing echolocation click detections
to identify foraging — or have short deployments that sample a limited
range of behaviors. As the quantity of such non-acoustic tag data grows, so
too does the need for robust methods of detecting foraging from
non-acoustic data. We used 692 dives from 5 sound-recording tags on
Cuvier’s beaked whales in southern California, USA, to develop extreme
gradient boosting tree models to detect foraging based on 1 Hz depth and 16
Hz triaxial acceleration data. We performed repeated 10-fold cross
validation using classification accuracy to tune 500 models with randomly
partitioned training and testing datasets. An average of 99.9 and 99.2% of
training and testing dataset dives, respectively, were correctly classified
across the 500 models. Dives without associated sound recordings (n = 2069
from 7 whales including 4 non-acoustic tags) were classified via a model
that maximized training information using dive depth and duration, ascent
and descent rates, bottom-phase average vertical speed, and roll circular
variance during dive descents and bottom phases. Of all long, deep dives
(conventionally assumed to include foraging), 2.4% were classified as
non-foraging dives, while 0.3% of short, shallow dives were classified as
foraging dives. Results confirm that conventional depth and/or duration
classifiers provide reasonable estimates of longer-term foraging patterns.
However, additional variables previously listed enhance foraging detections
for unusual dives (notably non-foraging deep dives) for southern California
Cuvier’s beaked whales.

Do not hesitate to email me with any questions.

David Sweeney

David Sweeney, Research Assistant
Marine Ecology and Telemetry Research
2468 Camp McKenzie Trail NW, Seabeck WA 98380-4513
dsweeney at marecotel.org | 224-804-7754
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