Event Title

Multi-sensor archival tags on southern resident killer whales reveal patterns in kinematic behavior during subsurface foraging in the Salish Sea

Presentation Abstract

Accumulating evidence suggests that Endangered southern resident killer whales may not be meeting their energetic requirements for body maintenance and growth, which can negatively affect survival and reproduction. A variety of factors are likely contributing to the decline in body condition and population size of southern residents, including disturbance from vessels and noise, which is known to interfere with foraging behavior. Between 2010-2014 we deployed 28 suction cup-attached digital acoustic recording tags (“DTAGs”) equipped with hydrophones, pressure sensors, and tri-axial accelerometers and magnetometers on southern residents as part of a study to investigate how underwater vessel noise impacts foraging behavior. Here, we present a fine-scale analysis of the kinematic behavior associated with subsurface foraging, which is a necessary precursor to understanding how vessel noise may be impairing successful foraging. First, we describe a method to identify subsurface prey capture events using kinematic data, and characterize the kinematic behavior associated with prey capture dives. Next, we show how foraging behavior differs between sexes. Finally, we discuss next steps to relate these findings to vessel noise impacts and implications for population recovery.

Session Title

Collaborating to Reduce Impacts of Underwater Noise from Vessels on SKRW: Biological Impacts of Underwater Noise from Vessels

Conference Track

SSE14: Vessel Traffic: Risks and Impacts

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE14-526

Start Date

6-4-2018 9:30 AM

End Date

6-4-2018 9:45 AM

Type of Presentation

Oral

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Apr 6th, 9:30 AM Apr 6th, 9:45 AM

Multi-sensor archival tags on southern resident killer whales reveal patterns in kinematic behavior during subsurface foraging in the Salish Sea

Accumulating evidence suggests that Endangered southern resident killer whales may not be meeting their energetic requirements for body maintenance and growth, which can negatively affect survival and reproduction. A variety of factors are likely contributing to the decline in body condition and population size of southern residents, including disturbance from vessels and noise, which is known to interfere with foraging behavior. Between 2010-2014 we deployed 28 suction cup-attached digital acoustic recording tags (“DTAGs”) equipped with hydrophones, pressure sensors, and tri-axial accelerometers and magnetometers on southern residents as part of a study to investigate how underwater vessel noise impacts foraging behavior. Here, we present a fine-scale analysis of the kinematic behavior associated with subsurface foraging, which is a necessary precursor to understanding how vessel noise may be impairing successful foraging. First, we describe a method to identify subsurface prey capture events using kinematic data, and characterize the kinematic behavior associated with prey capture dives. Next, we show how foraging behavior differs between sexes. Finally, we discuss next steps to relate these findings to vessel noise impacts and implications for population recovery.