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FALSE KILLER WHALES, SHORT-FINNED PILOT WHALES, AND ANTHROPOGENIC NOISE

This project aims to assess anthropogenic noise in the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary and Papahānaumokuākea National Monument, short-finned pilot whale and false killer whale spatial and temporal variability and potential effects of anthropogenic noise on acoustic behavior.

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Background Information

 

Anthropogenic noise is increasing in oceans globally and significantly impacting marine species. Passive acoustic monitoring is a powerful tool to assess soundscapes on a large scale. This study will show large scale trends in anthropogenic and odontocete contributions to the soundscape and the potential relationship between sound sources as part of a coordinated, collaborative effort within the NOAA Sanctuaries to address ocean noise. In Hawaiʻi, the primary target species of interest has been humpback whales however this study will focus on two ecologically significant, Hawaiian resident toothed whale species, short-finned pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus) and false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens), that use the Hawaiian archipelago as a crucial feeding and breeding ground year-round.

 

AIMS

The aims of this project are to:

  • determine the occurrence of anthropogenic noise (shipping and naval activity) within the Main Hawaiian Islands, inside and outside the sanctuary;

  • compare soundscapes of the sanctuary and monument;

  • assess the acoustic impacts of COVID-19 on the soundscape inside and outside sanctuary waters;

  • understand temporal and spatial variability of short-finned pilot whales and false killer whales from acoustic detections of whistles and clicks;

  • identify the potential effects of anthropogenic noise on short-finned pilot whale and false killer whale acoustic behavior.

 

research team

 

PROJECT BLOGS