Acoustic detection probability of bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, with static acoustic dataloggers in Cardigan Bay, Wales

TitleAcoustic detection probability of bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, with static acoustic dataloggers in Cardigan Bay, Wales
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsNuuttila, Hanna K., Thomas Len, Hiddink Jan G., Meier Rhiannon, Turner John R., Bennell James D., Tregenza Nick J. C., and Evans Peter G. H.
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Volume134
Pagination2596-2609
EndNote Rec Number10340
Abstract

Acoustic dataloggers are used for monitoring the occurrence of cetaceans and can aid in fulfilling statutory monitoring requirements of protected species. Although useful for long-term monitoring, their spatial coverage is restricted, and for many devices the effective detection distance is not specified. A generalized additive mixed model (GAMM) was used to investigate the effects of (1) distance from datalogger, (2) animal behavior (feeding and traveling), and (3) group size on the detection probability of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) with autonomous dataloggers (C-PODs) validated with visual observations. The average probability of acoustic detection for minutes with a sighting was 0.59 and the maximum detection distance ranged from 1343-1779 m. Minutes with feeding activity had higher acoustic detection rates and longer average effective detection radius (EDR) than traveling ones. The detection probability for single dolphins was significantly higher than for groups, indicating that their acoustic behavior may differ from those of larger groups in the area, making them more detectable. The C-POD is effective at detecting dolphin presence but the effects of behavior and group size on detectability create challenges for estimating density from detections as higher detection rate of feeding dolphins could yield erroneously high density estimates in feeding areas.