Bowhead Whale Acoustics

Acoustic behaviour of bowhead whales Balaena mysticetus in Disko Bay, Western Greenland

Outi Tervo, PhD

Mads Fage Christoffersen

We are interested in the acoustic behaviour of bowhead whales inhabiting the area of Disko Bay in Western Greenland. The aim of the project is to collect passive acoustic recordings of bowhead whale acoustic behaviour, coupled with behavioural observations and biopsy to better determine the function of these sounds.

The data will be used to a.o.

1. describe the bowhead whale repertoire and seasonal trends in acoustic behaviour;

2. describe the structure of the song and determine the sex of the singing individuals

Disko Bay is one of the best places in the world to observe and study bowhead whales. Every year the whales arrive in Disko Bay in early February and stay until late May providing and unique opportunity for field research.

Link to publications:

Tervo, O.M., Parks, S.E. & Miller, L.A. 2009 Seasonal changes in the vocal behavior of bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) in Disko Bay, Western-Greenland Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 126: 1570-1580

Tervo, O.M., Parks, S.E., Christoffersen, M.F., Miller, L.A. & Kristensen R.M. 2011 Annual changes in the winter song of bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) in Disko Bay, Western Greenland. Marine Mammal Science DOI: 10.1111/j.1748-7692.2010.00451.x

Tervo, O.M., Christoffersen, M.F., Parks, S.E., Kristensen, R.M. and Madsen, P.T. 2011. Evidence for simultaneous sound production in the bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus). The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Vol 130: Issue 4

Read more about bowhead whales here:Bowhead Whale Biology

Bowhead whale acoustic project STAFF 2010

Bowhead whale acoustic project STAFF 2011

Bowhead whale acoustic project STAFF 2012

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