[MARMAM] New publication on pygmy blue whale diving behaviour

Andrew Davenport andrew at cwr.org.au
Fri Sep 2 17:59:03 PDT 2022

Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of my coauthors, I am happy to announce the publication of a new
open access paper published in the Journal of Marine Science and
Engineering on the diving behaviour of an eastern Indian Ocean pygmy blue
whale, and how it relates to their song structure.

Davenport, A.M.; Erbe, C.; Jenner, M.-N.M.; Jenner, K.C.S.; Saunders, B.J.;
McCauley, R.D. Pygmy Blue Whale Diving Behaviour Reflects Song Structure. *J.
Mar. Sci. Eng.* 2022, *10*, 1227. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse10091227

Passive acoustic monitoring is increasingly employed to monitor whales,
their population size, habitat usage, and behaviour. However, in the case
of the eastern Indian Ocean pygmy blue whale (EIOPB whale), its
applicability is limited by our lack of understanding of the behavioural
context of sound production. This study explored the context of singing
behaviour using a 7.6-day biotelemetry dataset from a single EIOPB whale
moving north from 31.5° S to 28.5° S along the Western Australian coast and
a simultaneously collected, but separate, acoustic recording. Diving
behaviour was classified using an automated classification schema. Singing
was identified in the depth, pitch, and fluking time series of the dive
profile. The EIOPB whale sang profusely as it migrated, spending more time
singing during the day (76.8%) than at night (64.9%), and most during
twilight periods (83.3%). The EIOPB whale almost exclusively produced the
three-unit (P3) song while milling. It sang the two-unit (P2) song in
similar proportions to the P3 song while travelling, except at night when
P3 was sung 2.7 times more than P2. A correlation between singing depth,
migration duration, and water temperature provides a biological basis to
explain depth preferences for sound production, which may contribute to the
cause of intra- and inter-annual sound frequency trends.

It can be accessed and downloaded from here:

Best regards,

Andrew Davenport, Research Associate
Centre for Whale Research
PO Box 1622 Fremantle WA 6959
T: +61 (0)400 455 229
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