|Continent||Central and Latin America|
|Categories||Cetaceans, Mammals, Marine|
|Date||14 Jan 2019|
Humpback whales (HW) in the Eastern South Pacific migrate each year from high latitudes, where they feed, to low latitudes close to equator, where they breed, forming a management unit called G stock (GS). HW that feed in the Antarctic Peninsula breed in Colombian waters. Historically international effort has studied the biology, ecology, and genetics of this stock. However, there is a lack of information on its dynamics in terms of distribution, movements, structure, acoustical behavior changes, etc., since most of the studies have short-scale study areas. It is necessary to integrate knowledge to understand the dynamic of the whole stock. Consequently, studies with a large spatial scale involving more than one moment of the natural history of the whales are needed. Colombia whale watching is a rapidly expanding activity, and therefore, it is urgent to investigate possible effects of human activities on HW acoustic behavior, such as Interference with reproductive displays, noise levels, etc. knowing their acoustic behavior under different conditions of sound propagation, noise levels and human presence would serve as a point of comparison between locations.
This project focuses on understanding the acoustic landscape where humpback whale (HW) G stock live within a complete migratory year. We conduct visual surveys and use passive acoustics methods. We will evaluate the status of the acoustic landscape of Colombian waters (breeding areas) and the Antarctic (feeding areas); in both, HW live and has different natural and anthropogenic interactions. Our proposed project includes effort close to shore, off-shore, in tropical and polar latitudes. It takes recordings under pristine and low impact- ambient conditions in a feeding area (Antarctica) which is ideal to compare against areas with an increasing human presence delivering anthropogenic noise. Knowledge about the acoustic behavior of humpback whales in feeding areas is poor, and this project offers a good chance to know vocalizations no related to reproductive displays, that implies intra and interspecific interactions.
This project will generate information about 3 National Natural Parks in Colombian and will help to strengthen the commitment of Colombia with the knowledge and conservation of the Antarctic.
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