Advertisement

Addressing Challenges in Studies of Behavioral Responses of Whales to Noise

  • Douglas H. CatoEmail author
  • Rebecca A. Dunlop
  • Michael J. Noad
  • Robert D. McCauley
  • Eric Kniest
  • David Paton
  • Ailbhe S. Kavanagh
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 875)

Abstract

Studying the behavioral response of whales to noise presents numerous challenges. In addition to the characteristics of the noise exposure, many factors may affect the response and these must be measured and accounted for in the analysis. An adequate sample size that includes matching controls is crucial if meaningful results are to be obtained. Field work is thus complicated, logistically difficult, and expensive. This paper discusses some of the challenges and how they are being met in a large-scale multiplatform project in which humpback whales are exposed to the noise of seismic air guns.

Keywords

Behavioral response Underwater noise Impacts of noise Whales Seismic 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank the many people who contributed to the Behavioural Response of Australian Humpback whales to Seismic Surveys (BRAHSS) project and took part in the experiments. More than 70 people were involved in the experiments (see www.BRAHSS.org.au for all names). Anne Goldizen provided advice on studying animal behavior and Simon Blomberg provided advice on the statistical modeling. Michael Williamson and Chandra Salgado Kent also contributed. Geokinetics, Inc. (Brisbane, Australia), provided and operated the air gun array for the second experiment. The BRAHSS project is funded by the Joint Industry Programme on Exploration & Production (E&P) Sound and Marine Life (JIP) and the United States Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). The JIP is managed by the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (OGP). The Joint Industry Sponsors are ExxonMobil, Chevron, Eni, Statoil, ConocoPhillips, BG Group, BHP Billiton, Santos, Woodside, and the International Association of Geophysical Contractors. Additional sponsors are Origin Energy, Beach Energy, and AWE Ltd.

References

  1. Dunlop RA, Noad MJ, Cato DH (2012) Behavioral-response studies: problems with statistical power. In: Popper AN, Hawkins AD (eds) Effects of noise on aquatic life. Advances in experimental medicine and biology, vol 730. Springer Science + Business Media, New York, pp 293–297CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Dunlop RA, Noad MJ, Cato DH, Kniest H, Miller PJO, Smith JN, Stokes MD (2013) Multivariate analysis of behavioural response experiments in humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae). J Exp Biol 216:759–770PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. National Research Council (2005) Marine mammal populations and ocean noise: determining when noise causes biologically significant effects. National Academies Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  4. Richardson WJ, Greene CR Jr, Malme CI, Thomson DH (1995) Marine mammals and noise. Academic Press, San DiegoGoogle Scholar
  5. Tyack PL, Zimmer WMX, Moretti D, Southall BL, Claridge DE, Durban JW, Clark CW, D’Amico A, DiMarzio N, Jarvis S, McCarthy E, Morrissey R, Ward J, Boyd IL (2011) Beaked whales respond to simulated and actual navy sonar. PLoS ONE 6:e17009PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Douglas H. Cato
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rebecca A. Dunlop
    • 2
  • Michael J. Noad
    • 2
  • Robert D. McCauley
    • 3
  • Eric Kniest
    • 4
  • David Paton
    • 5
  • Ailbhe S. Kavanagh
    • 2
  1. 1.Maritime DivisionDefence Science and Technology Organisation, Institute of Marine Science, School of Geosciences, University of SydneyPyrmontAustralia
  2. 2.Cetacean Ecology and Acoustics LaboratorySchool of Veterinary Science, University of QueenslandGattonAustralia
  3. 3.Centre for Marine Science and Technology, Curtin University of TechnologyPerthAustralia
  4. 4.School of Engineering, University of NewcastleCallaghanAustralia
  5. 5.Blue Planet MarineCanberraAustralia

Personalised recommendations