[MARMAM] New publication on southern right whales off Elephant Island, Antarctica

Svenja Wöhle svenja.woehle at awi.de
Thu Jun 15 23:28:58 PDT 2023

Dear MARMAM community,

My co-authors and I are pleased to share the following open-access publication with you:

Svenja Wöhle, Elke Burkhardt, Ilse van Opzeeland, Elena Schall; Exploring and verifying the acoustic presence of southern right whales (Eubalaena australis) off Elephant Island, Antarctica. J Acoust Soc Am 1 June 2023; 153 (6): 3301–. https://doi.org/10.1121/10.0019633

Passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) can be used to monitor acoustic presence and behaviour of cetaceans, providing continuous, long-term, and seasonally unbiased data. The efficiency of PAM methods, however, depends on the ability to detect and correctly interpret acoustic signals. The upcall is the most prevalent vocalization of the southern right whale (Eubalaena australis) and is commonly used as a basis for PAM studies on this species. However, previous studies report difficulties to distinguish between southern right whale upcalls and similar humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) vocalizations with certainty. Recently, vocalizations comparable to southern right whale upcalls were detected off Elephant Island, Antarctica. In this study, these vocalizations were structurally analyzed, and call characteristics were compared to (a) confirmed southern right whale vocalizations recorded off Argentina and (b) confirmed humpback whale vocalizations recorded in the Atlantic Sector of the Southern Ocean. Based on call features, detected upcalls off Elephant Island could be successfully attributed to southern right whales. Measurements describing slope and bandwidth were identified as the main differences in call characteristics between species. With the newly gained knowledge from this study, additional data can be analyzed providing further insight into temporal occurrence and migratory behaviour of southern right whales in Antarctic waters.

Please, feel free to contact us if you have any quesions regarding this work.

Kind regards,

Svenja  (she/her)

Svenja Wöhle|PhD student

Ocean Acoustics Group, Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research
Klußmannstr. 3d, 27570 Bremerhaven

mail:  <svenja.woehle at awi.de>

phone: 0471-4831-2212

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