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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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An Atlantic white-sided dolphin, which may be an important Gulf of Maine visitor. Photo: Tammy Silva

Silva TL, Mooney TA, Sayigh LS, Baumgartner MF


Temporal and spatial distributions of delphinid species in Massachusetts Bay (USA) using passive acoustics from ocean gliders


Dolphins may play key roles in ecosystems, but their large home ranges and cryptic behavior make them hard to study. Silva and co-authors used ocean gliders equipped with passive acoustic recorders to document spatial and temporal occurrence of dolphin species in an offshore area during fall and winter. Dolphin whistles were detected frequently, showed spatial and temporal variability, and the occurrence of probable signature whistles suggests annual site fidelity. Information on dolphin habitat use is essential for understanding how dolphins influence ecosystems and how they may be impacted by human activities, and passive acoustic ocean gliders are valuable tools for gathering this information in offshore habitats or during inopportune conditions.


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