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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Changing Durations of Southern Resident Killer Whale Discrete Calls

The increase of mean durations of discrete calls demonstrated here indicates that the Southern Residents are making a behavioral adjustment as a result of vessel noise. Because they are adjusting their vocal behavior, we must consider the very real possibility that engine noise is hindering their ability to communicate, and may well impact their efficiency at using acoustics to forage and navigate, as well. The results presented here underscore the importance of future research concerning the impact of vessel noise on Southern Resident killer whales and should be considered in the development of new conservation and management plans.

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