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Acoustic Based Estimates of Density and Abundance for Sperm Whales in the Northern Mariana Islands Region

Goal: To determine acoustic based density and abundance estimates for sperm whales in the Northern Mariana Islands, using data collected during a research cruise conducted during the winter and spring of 2007.

Time Period: 2015

Our Role: To use semi-automated acoustic processing methods to detect, classify, and localize individual sperm whales from acoustic recordings made during a 2007 ship-based survey of the Northern Mariana Islands. To use these data to estimate density and abundance of sperm whales in the study area.

Synopsis:
Using newly available acoustic data processing methods, Bio-Waves, Inc. re-analyzed passive acoustic data collected from sperm whales during a marine mammal research cruise conducted in the Northern Mariana Islands in the winter and spring of 2007. Semi-automated acoustic processing methods were used to detect, classify and localize individual sperm whales from recordings made during the cruise. These data were then input into the distance sampling analysis program Distance to estimate density and abundance of sperm whales in the study area. In addition, results were post-stratified by click type in order to derive separate density estimates for adult males and females/juvenile groups. The overall acoustic based density estimate has a lower coefficient of variation (CV) than a previous estimate derived using visual data, indicating that acoustic based estimate is more precise.

Sponsors: NAVFAC-Atlantic, ManTech International Services

 

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