Spatio-temporal patterns of beaked whale echolocation signals in the North Pacific

TitleSpatio-temporal patterns of beaked whale echolocation signals in the North Pacific
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsBaumann-Pickering S., Roch M.A, Brownell R.L, Simonis A.E, McDonald M.A, Solsona-Berga A., Oleson E.M, Wiggins SM, Hildebrand JA
JournalPlos One
Volume9
Date Published2014/01
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number1932-6203
Accession NumberWOS:000330283100103
Keywordscalifornia; cross-seamount; eastern tropical pacific; indopacetus-pacificus; islands; killer whales; mesoplodon-densirostris; populations; strandings; ziphius-cavirostris
Abstract

At least ten species of beaked whales inhabit the North Pacific, but little is known about their abundance, ecology, and behavior, as they are elusive and difficult to distinguish visually at sea. Six of these species produce known species-specific frequency modulated (FM) echolocation pulses: Baird's, Blainville's, Cuvier's, Deraniyagala's, Longman's, and Stejneger's beaked whales. Additionally, one described FM pulse (BWC) from Cross Seamount, Hawai'i, and three unknown FM pulse types (BW40, BW43, BW70) have been identified from almost 11 cumulative years of autonomous recordings at 24 sites throughout the North Pacific. Most sites had a dominant FM pulse type with other types being either absent or limited. There was not a strong seasonal influence on the occurrence of these signals at any site, but longer time series may reveal smaller, consistent fluctuations. Only the species producing BWC signals, detected throughout the Pacific Islands region, consistently showed a diel cycle with nocturnal foraging. By comparing stranding and sighting information with acoustic findings, we hypothesize that BWC signals are produced by ginkgo-toothed beaked whales. BW43 signal encounters were restricted to Southern California and may be produced by Perrin's beaked whale, known only from Californian waters. BW70 signals were detected in the southern Gulf of California, which is prime habitat for Pygmy beaked whales. Hubb's beaked whale may have produced the BW40 signals encountered off central and southern California; however, these signals were also recorded off Pearl and Hermes Reef and Wake Atoll, which are well south of their known range.

DOI10.1371/journal.pone.0086072
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