Marine Biology

, 164:42

Testing and deployment of C-VISS (cetacean-borne video camera and integrated sensor system) on wild dolphins

  • Heidi C. Pearson
  • Peter W. Jones
  • Mridula Srinivasan
  • David Lundquist
  • Christopher J. Pearson
  • Karen A. Stockin
  • Gabriel E. Machovsky-Capuska
Method

Abstract

Multi-sensor biologgers are a powerful method for studying individual behaviors of free-ranging species, yet the challenges of attaching non-invasive biologgers to agile, fast-moving marine species have prohibited application of this technique to small (<5 m) cetaceans. Integration of video cameras into such biologgers is critical to understanding behavior from the animal’s perspective; however, this technique has not been applied to small cetaceans. We examined the feasibility of remotely deploying a cetacean-borne video camera and integrated sensor system (“C-VISS”) on small cetaceans. We deployed C-VISS on eight free-swimming dusky dolphins (Lagenorhynchus obscurus) off New Zealand (42°25′15″S 173°40′23″E) from December 2015 to January 2016, collecting a total of 535 min of video footage (average = 66.8 ± 91.10 SD, range 9–284). Dolphins were observed to show limited reactions to biologger attachment attempts and deployments. Social and environmental parameters derived from video footage include conspecific body condition, mother-calf spatial positioning, affiliative behavior, sexual behavior, sociability, prey, and habitat type. The ability to record behavioral states and fine-scale events from the individual’s perspective will yield new insights into the behavior, socioecology, conservation, rehabilitation, and welfare of small cetaceans.

Supplementary material

Video S1. C-VISS video clip highlighting large group social behavior and mother-calf spatial positioning. Note: the video was rotated 90° counterclockwise in post-processing and the time/date stamp is incorrect. (MP4 19844 KB)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heidi C. Pearson
    • 1
    • 2
  • Peter W. Jones
    • 3
  • Mridula Srinivasan
    • 4
  • David Lundquist
    • 5
  • Christopher J. Pearson
    • 2
  • Karen A. Stockin
    • 6
  • Gabriel E. Machovsky-Capuska
    • 7
  1. 1.University of Alaska SoutheastJuneauUSA
  2. 2.Dusky Dolphin Research ProjectJuneauUSA
  3. 3.School of Electrical and Information EngineeringThe University of SydneySydneyAustralia
  4. 4.National Marine Fisheries ServiceSilver SpringUSA
  5. 5.Department of ConservationWellingtonNew Zealand
  6. 6.Coastal-Marine Research Group, Institute of Natural and Mathematical SciencesMassey UniversityAucklandNew Zealand
  7. 7.Sydney School of Veterinary Sciences, Charles Perkins CentreThe University of SydneySydneyAustralia

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