[MARMAM] New paper: Seasonal and diel patterns in singing activitiy of humpback whales in Bermuda

Denise Risch denise.risch at gmail.com
Wed Sep 14 01:26:53 PDT 2022

Dear All,
on behalf of Tamara Narganes Homfeldt and all the co-authors I would like
to let you know about our recently published paper in Frontiers of Marine
Science (Research Topic: Managing Deep-sea and Open Ocean Ecosystems at
Ocean Basin Scale - Volume

Narganes Homfeldt, Tamara; Risch, Denise; Stevenson, Andrew and Henry,
*"Seasonal and diel patterns in singing activity of humpback whales
migrating through Bermuda"*

Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) produce song and non-song
vocalisations, which allows their presence to be detected through passive
acoustic monitoring. To determine the seasonal and diel acoustic presence
and acoustic behaviour of humpback whales at the migratory stopover site
off Bermuda, three hydrophones were deployed between March 2018 and April
2019 on Challenger Bank and the Bermuda platform. Song was the predominant
vocalisation type encountered, with 65% of song recordings containing whale
chorus and a clear seasonal trend of humpback whale occurrence in the
spring and winter months from late December to mid-May. A strong diel
pattern in singing activity was detected. Singing activity significantly
increased at night relative to the daytime (p<0.01), whilst twilight
periods were characterised by intermediate levels of singing. The song
structure encountered in spring 2018 consisted of 18 units, 6 themes and 5
transitional phrases. The high occurrence of whale chorus and the strong
seasonal and diel patterns of male humpback whale singing activity
highlights the importance of Bermuda not just on their northward migration
during spring, as described historically, but also on their southward
migration during winter. Bermuda therefore constitutes a two-way migratory
stopover site for humpback whales. The present study also provides
Bermuda’s planning authorities with better constraints on the duration and
intensity of anthropogenic activities in these waters.

The article is open access and can be downloaded following the link below:

For further information please contact the first or last authors:
tamaranarganes at web.de; l.henry at ed.ac.uk

All the best,
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