Migrating humpback whales show no detectable response to whale alarms off Sydney, Australia

  • Published source details Pirotta V., Slip D., Jonsen I.D., Peddemors V.M., Cato D.H., Ross G. & Harcourt R. (2016) Migrating humpback whales show no detectable response to whale alarms off Sydney, Australia. Endangered Species Research, 29, 201-209.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use acoustic devices on moorings

Action Link
Marine and Freshwater Mammal Conservation
  1. Use acoustic devices on moorings

    A controlled study in 2013 of a pelagic site in the South Pacific Ocean, Australia (Pirotta et al. 2016; same study area as Harcourt et al. 2014) found that an active acoustic device deployed on a mooring did not have a significant effect on the movement, speed or dive durations of migrating humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae pods. Whale pods that passed within range (500 m) of the acoustic device had a similar direction of movement, speed and dive durations when the device emitted 2 kHz tones (23° from north; 1.9 m/s; 5 minutes), 5.3 kHz tones (23° from north; 1.6 m/s; 7 minutes) or was inactive (22° from north; 1.9 m/s; 5 minutes). An acoustic device (an iPod attached to an amplifier and loudspeaker) was deployed at a depth of 5 m on a fixed mooring 1.3 km offshore in the centre of a whale migration route. During 11 h/day, the device emitted either 1.5 second tones every 8 seconds at 2–2.1 kHz (total 10 days), 400 ms tones every 5 seconds at 5.3 kHz (total 11 days) or was inactive (silent; total 12 days). A total of 108 migrating whale pods were tracked from the shore using a theodolite over the 33 days in June–August 2013.

    (Summarised by: Anna Berthinussen)

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