Avoidance responses of minke whales to 1-4 kHz naval sonar

TitleAvoidance responses of minke whales to 1-4 kHz naval sonar
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsKvadsheim, Petter H., DeRuiter Stacy, Sivle Lise D., Goldbogen Jeremy, Roland-Hansen Rune, Miller Patrick J. O., Lam Frans-Peter A., Calambokidis John, Friedlaender Ari, Visser Fleur, Tyack Peter L., Kleivane Lars, and Southall Brandon L.
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume121
Pagination60-68
EndNote Rec Number12139
Abstract

Minke whales are difficult to study and little information exists regarding their responses to anthropogenic sound. This study pools data from behavioural response studies off California and Norway. Data are derived from four tagged animals, of which one from each location was exposed to naval sonar signals. Statistical analyses were conducted using Mahalanobis distance to compare overall changes in parameters summarising dive behaviour, avoidance behaviour, and potential energetic costs of disturbance. Our quantitative analysis showed that both animals initiated avoidance behaviour, but responses were not associated with unusual dive behaviour. In one exposed animal the avoidance of the sonar source included a 5-fold increase in horizontal speed away from the source, implying a significant increase in metabolic rate. Despite the different environmental settings and exposure contexts, clear changes in behaviour were observed providing the first insights into the nature of responses to human noise for this wide-ranging species.