First record of humpback whale songs in Southern Chile: Analysis of seasonal and diel variation

TitleFirst record of humpback whale songs in Southern Chile: Analysis of seasonal and diel variation
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsEspañol-Jiménez, Sonia, and van der Schaar Mike
JournalMarine Mammal Science
Volume34
Pagination718-733
EndNote Rec Number12198
Abstract

Abstract Male humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) produce complex, patterned songs that are traditionally recorded on their breeding grounds. In this work, we report results from the first continuous acoustic monitoring of a humpback whale feeding ground off southern Chile, Corcovado Gulf. Using an autonomous continuously recording system anchored to the seafloor and an automatic signal detector, we used the units within a song to analyze the temporal distribution and diel patterns of humpback whales. Acoustic recordings were made at the end of the austral summer and autumn of 2012. Songs occurred over the entire 130 d monitoring period, from 1 February to 15 June 2012. The percentage of units detected increased throughout the monitored period with the highest detections in the last recorded month (June), despite recording for fewer days that month. Furthermore, songs were detected during all light regimes studied, but most frequently during darkness. This study provides further evidence that, far from being rare or sporadic, humpback whale songs occur commonly at a feeding ground in high latitudes over different light conditions and in all months, with a peak in autumn.