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New bioacoustics article in Aquatic Mammals

Subject: New bioacoustics article in Aquatic Mammals
From: Volker Deecke <>
Date: Mon, 19 Feb 2007 09:56:19 -0800
Dear colleagues,

The following article is to appear in the upcoming issue of Aquatic Mammals:

Deecke, V. B. 2006. Studying marine mammal cognition in the wild - a review of four decades of playback experiments. Aquatic Mammals, 32, 461-482.

The playback of sounds to animals to assess their behavioural responses presents a powerful tool to study animal cognition in the wild. While playbacks are commonly used to study acoustic responses in birds and other terrestrial animals, their application to the study of marine mammal cognition so far has been limited. A survey of the published literature on field playback experiments with marine mammals identified 46 studies, with a trend towards increased use of playback approaches in recent years. Field playbacks to marine mammals have been used to address questions of wildlife management, the impact of anthropogenic noise, acoustic interactions between predators and prey, individual and kin recognition, as well as the function of communicative sounds. This paper summarizes the major findings of marine mammal playbacks to date and reviews recent advances in the design and execution of playback experiments, with special reference to marine mammals. Issues concerning appropriate presentation of acoustic stimuli, appropriate quantification of behavioural responses, as well as appropriate control and replication of treatments are discussed. An analysis of replication in marine mammal playbacks showed that the use of a small number of playback stimuli to conduct multiple playback trials (pseudoreplication) was common. This overview of playback experiments in the study of marine mammal cognition in the wild showed that such approaches contribute significantly to the field; however, in many cases there appears to be substantial room for improvement of playback procedure and experimental design.

playback experiments; response; marine mammals; cetaceans; pinnipeds; mother-offspring recognition; communication; experimental design; pseudoreplication; controlled exposure experiments

Please e-mail me for details.

Kind regards

Volker Deecke

Volker Deecke, Ph.D.

Marine Mammal Research Unit   Cetacean Research Lab
University of BC              Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre
AERL Bldg., 2202 Main Mall    P.O. Box 3232
Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4        Vancouver, BC V6B 3X8
Canada Canada
Phone:  +1.604.822.9150       +1.604.659.3429/3430
Fax:    +1.604.822.8180       +1.604.659.3599


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