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Open AccessArticle

Diel and Spatial Dependence of Humpback Song and Non-Song Vocalizations in Fish Spawning Ground

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Northeastern University, 360 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 02115, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Nicholas Makris, Xiaofeng Li and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(9), 712;
Received: 10 June 2016 / Revised: 9 August 2016 / Accepted: 23 August 2016 / Published: 30 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underwater Acoustic Remote Sensing)
The vocalization behavior of humpback whales was monitored over vast areas of the Gulf of Maine using the passive ocean acoustic waveguide remote sensing technique (POAWRS) over multiple diel cycles in Fall 2006. The humpback vocalizations comprised of both song and non-song are analyzed. The song vocalizations, composed of highly structured and repeatable set of phrases, are characterized by inter-pulse intervals of 3.5 ± 1.8 s. Songs were detected throughout the diel cycle, occuring roughly 40% during the day and 60% during the night. The humpback non-song vocalizations, dominated by shorter duration (≤3 s) downsweep and bow-shaped moans, as well as a small fraction of longer duration (∼5 s) cries, have significantly larger mean and more variable inter-pulse intervals of 14.2 ± 11 s. The non-song vocalizations were detected at night with negligible detections during the day, implying they probably function as nighttime communication signals. The humpback song and non-song vocalizations are separately localized using the moving array triangulation and array invariant techniques. The humpback song and non-song moan calls are both consistently localized to a dense area on northeastern Georges Bank and a less dense region extended from Franklin Basin to the Great South Channel. Humpback cries occur exclusively on northeastern Georges Bank and during nights with coincident dense Atlantic herring shoaling populations, implying the cries are feeding-related. View Full-Text
Keywords: humpback; non-song vocalization; fish spawning humpback; non-song vocalization; fish spawning
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MDPI and ACS Style

Huang, W.; Wang, D.; Ratilal, P. Diel and Spatial Dependence of Humpback Song and Non-Song Vocalizations in Fish Spawning Ground. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 712.

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