Inter-Research > ESR > v54 > p191-217  
Endangered Species Research

via Mailchimp

ESR 54:191-217 (2024)  -  DOI:

Variation in glider-detected North Atlantic right, blue, and fin whale calls in proximity to high-traffic shipping lanes

K. L. Indeck1,*, R. Gehrmann2, A. L. Richardson1, D. Barclay2, M. F. Baumgartner3, V. Nolet4, K. T. A. Davies1

1University of New Brunswick, Saint John, New Brunswick E2K 5E2, Canada
2Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2, Canada
3Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts 02543, USA
4Transport Canada Innovation Centre, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N8, Canada
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Passive acoustic monitoring has become an integral tool for determining the presence, distribution, and behavior of vocally active cetacean species. Acoustically equipped underwater gliders are becoming a routine monitoring platform, because they can cover large spatial scales during a single deployment and have the capability to relay data to shore in near real-time. Yet, more research is needed to determine what information can be derived from glider-recorded cetacean detections. Here, a Slocum glider that monitored continuously for low frequency (<1 kHz) baleen whale vocalizations was deployed across the Honguedo Strait and the associated traffic separation scheme in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada, during September and October 2019. We conducted a manual analysis of the archived audio to examine spatial and temporal variation in acoustic detection rates of North Atlantic right whales (NARWs), blue whales, and fin whales. Call detections of blue and fin whales demonstrated that both species were acoustically active throughout the deployment. Environmental association models suggested their preferential use of foraging areas along the southern slopes of the Laurentian Channel. Results also indicate that elevated background noise levels in the shipping lanes from vessel traffic only minimally influenced the likelihood of detecting blue whale acoustic presence, while they did not affect fin whale detectability. NARWs were definitively detected on less than 20% of deployment days, so only qualitative assessments of their presence were described. Nevertheless, detections of all 3 species highlight that their movements throughout this seasonally important region overlap with a high volume of vessel traffic, increasing their risk of ship strike.

KEY WORDS: Acoustic detections · Blue whales · Fin whales · North Atlantic right whales · Remote sensing · Shipping lanes · Underwater gliders · Whale calls

Full text in pdf format
Supplementary material
Cite this article as: Indeck KL, Gehrmann R, Richardson AL, Barclay D, Baumgartner MF, Nolet V, Davies KTA (2024) Variation in glider-detected North Atlantic right, blue, and fin whale calls in proximity to high-traffic shipping lanes. Endang Species Res 54:191-217.

Export citation
Share:    Facebook - - linkedIn

 Previous article Next article