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Apparent source level of free-ranging humpback dolphin, Sousa chinensis, in the South China Sea

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 March 2014

Satoko Kimura*
Affiliation:
Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya 464-8601, Japan
Tomonari Akamatsu
Affiliation:
National Research Institute of Fisheries Engineering, Fisheries Research Agency, Hasaki, Kamisu, Ibaraki 314-0408, Japan Japan Science and Technology Agency, CREST, Gobancho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0075, Japan
Liang Fang
Affiliation:
The Key Laboratory of Aquatic Biodiversity and Conservation of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430072, China
Zhitao Wang
Affiliation:
The Key Laboratory of Aquatic Biodiversity and Conservation of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430072, China
Kexiong Wang
Affiliation:
The Key Laboratory of Aquatic Biodiversity and Conservation of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430072, China
Ding Wang
Affiliation:
The Key Laboratory of Aquatic Biodiversity and Conservation of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430072, China
Ken Yoda
Affiliation:
Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya 464-8601, Japan
*
Correspondence should be addressed to:S. Kimura, Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya 464-8601, Japan email: s.kimura@nagoya-u.jp

Abstract

The acoustic performance and behaviour of free-ranging cetaceans requires investigation under natural conditions to understand how wild animals use sound. This is also useful to develop quantitative evaluation techniques for passive acoustic monitoring. There have been limited studies on the acoustics of the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin; nevertheless, this species is of particular concern because of the anthropogenic activity in the coastal habitats. In the present study, we used a four-hydrophone array to estimate the apparent source levels (ASLs) of biosonar sequences (click trains), of this species in San-Niang Bay, China. As the dolphins approached the array, 173 click trains were found to meet the criteria of on-axis sounds produced within 60 m of the equipment. In total, 121 unclipped click trains were used for the ASL estimation. The qualified click trains contained 36.3 ± 32.5 clicks, lasting for 1.5 ± 1.5 s, with average inter-click intervals (ICIs) of 51.2 ± 38.3 ms. Average ICIs showed a bimodal distribution, with a cut-off at 20 ms. Short-range click trains, with short ICIs of <20 ms on average, were characterized by smaller ASLs, relatively stable ICIs and a shorter click train duration. The mean back-calculated ASL for humpback dolphins with an approximately maximum body size of 2.5 m was 181.7 ± 7.0 dB re 1 μPa at a distance of 1.6–57.2 m. This value was comparable to that recorded for other dolphins of similar body size, although the ASL estimates obtained in this study might be conservative.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 2014 

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