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bioacoustics article: Carib. J. Sci.

Subject: bioacoustics article: Carib. J. Sci.
From: Dave Mellinger <>
Date: Mon, 25 Aug 2003 16:55:28 +0000
distribution in
 the eastern and southeastern Caribbean Sea. S.L. Swartz, T. Cole, M.A.
 McDonald, J.A. Hildebrand, E.M. Oleson, A. Martinez, P.J. Clapham, J.
 Barlow, and M.L. Jones. 2003. Caribbean Journal of Science 39(2):195-208.
 PDF available through journal website:
 ABSTRACT.  Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) historically
 ranged throughout the eastern and southeastern Caribbean Sea during
 the winter months. Commercial whaling from the 1820s to the early
 1900s depleted the population. A combined passive acoustic and visual
 survey for humpback whales was conducted to assess the current winter
 distribution of this species in areas where it was exploited to
 depletion, and to evaluate the effectiveness of using passive acoustic
 survey methods to detect and locate humpback whales. Visual surveys
 were conducted independently but simultaneously with acoustic surveys
 to compare both detection methods. Humpback whale song was detected
 throughout the entire survey area, indicating that the species
 continues to occupy its historical range. A total of 31 sightings were
 made (n = 46 individuals, including three calves). In contrast, at
 least 78 unique acoustic detections of different singing males was
 made. The greater number of whales detected acoustically demonstrated
 the advantage of passive acoustic methods over visual methods for
 detecting male singing humpback whales; however, some sightings were
 not detected acoustically, demonstrating that visual methods are
 superior for detecting non-vocalizing whales. The number of whales
 detected indicates that the abundance of humpbacks in the eastern and
 southeastern Caribbean Sea is considerably lower than it was during
 the 19th century whaling period, and much lower than present day
 abundance in the primary wintering areas in the northeastern Greater

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