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J Acoust Soc Am. 2016 Sep;140(3):1850.

Vocalizations produced by southern right whale (Eubalaena australis) mother-calf pairs in a calving ground off Brazil.

Author information

1
Laboratório de Bioacústica, Centro de Biociências, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, C.P.1511, Natal, 59078-970, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil.
2
Department of Biology, Syracuse University, 107 College Place, Syracuse, New York 13244, USA.
3
Projeto Baleia Franca, C.P. 201, Imbituba, 88780-000, Santa Catarina, Brazil.
4
Centro Mamíferos Aquáticos, Instituto Chico Mendes para Conservação da Biodiversidade, Ministério do Meio Ambiente, Rodovia Maurício Sirosky Sobrinho, s/n° km 02, Florianópolis, 88053-700, Santa Catarina, Brazil.
5
Laboratório de Bioacústica, Centro de Biociências, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, C.P.1511, Natal, 59078-970 Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil.

Abstract

Aiming to gather information on southern right whale (Eubalaena australis) mother-calf pairs' vocal behavior, archival acoustic recorders were deployed at a calving area off Brazil. Manual inspection of spectrograms revealed seven call classes: upcall, downcall, down-upcall, tonal variable, tonal constant, hybrid, and pulsive calls, which are consistent with those previously described for this species in Argentina. Gunshots and warbles, vocalizations described from other right whale species, were not detected. Mean values of start, end, maximum, minimum and peak frequencies, frequency bandwidth and duration were calculated for each call class. Start and end frequencies, frequency bandwidth and duration of upcalls recorded off Brazil were compared to those from other right whale populations and species. Only mean duration of upcalls from Brazil were significantly different from upcalls from all other populations. Differences in call duration may be driven by differences in demographic factors or background noise features among study areas. The repertoire characterization presented in this study will contribute to increase the utility of passive acoustic monitoring as a tool for conservation and research of southern right whales off Brazil as it provides important baseline information on the vocal behavior of this species.

PMID:
27914379
DOI:
10.1121/1.4962231
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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