Polar Biology

pp 1–12

Seasonal marine mammal occurrence detected from passive acoustic monitoring in Scott Inlet, Nunavut, Canada

  • Marianne Marcoux
  • Steven H. Ferguson
  • Nathalie Roy
  • Jeannette M. Bedard
  • Yvan Simard
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00300-016-2040-9

Cite this article as:
Marcoux, M., Ferguson, S.H., Roy, N. et al. Polar Biol (2016). doi:10.1007/s00300-016-2040-9

Abstract

Monitoring Arctic wildlife is important due to the increasing potential impact of environmental and industrial changes. Passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) can be an important tool for wildlife management through observations of several species simultaneously along with abiotic elements such as industrial activity. Here, we use PAM methods to monitor the occurrence of marine mammals over an 8-month period (Oct 2012–May 2013) in Scott Inlet, Nunavut. When marine mammals were present, we investigated possible environmental correlates. Sea ice coverage strongly influenced detections of marine mammal sounds: narwhals and bowhead whales were only present before full ice cover occurred in the fall, while bearded seals and walruses could only be detected after ice formation. Tidal phase, time of the day, water temperature at 300 m depth, and air temperature all influenced detections of narwhal clicks. This PAM study provides a baseline measure for the presence of marine mammals over the fall to spring in Scott Inlet. Long-term PAM in the same location would allow us to document changes in the phenology of marine mammals at this site in relation to environmental changes.

Keywords

Automated detections Climate change Passive acoustic monitoring Whales 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marianne Marcoux
    • 1
  • Steven H. Ferguson
    • 1
  • Nathalie Roy
    • 2
  • Jeannette M. Bedard
    • 3
  • Yvan Simard
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.Freshwater InstituteFisheries and Oceans Canada, 501 University CrescentWinnipegCanada
  2. 2.Institut Maurice-Lamontagne, Fisheries and Oceans CanadaSainte-FlavieCanada
  3. 3.School of Earth and Ocean SciencesUniversity of VictoriaVictoriaCanada
  4. 4.Institut des sciences de la mer de RimouskiRimouskiCanada