Temporal patterns in acoustic presence and foraging activity of oceanic dolphins at seamounts in the Azores
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Temporal patterns in acoustic presence and foraging activity of oceanic dolphins at seamounts in the Azores
  • Published Date:

    2020

  • Source:
    Sci Rep. 2020 Feb 27;10(1):3610.
Filetype[PDF-2.74 MB]


Details:
  • Description:
    Several seamounts have been identified as hotspots of marine life in the Azores, acting as feeding stations for top predators, including cetaceans. Passive acoustic monitoring is an efficient tool to study temporal variations in the occurrence and behaviour of vocalizing cetacean species. We deployed bottom-moored Ecological Acoustic Recorders (EARs) to investigate the temporal patterns in acoustic presence and foraging activity of oceanic dolphins at two seamounts (Condor and Gigante) in the Azores. Data were collected in March–May 2008 and April 2010–February 2011. Dolphins were present year round and nearly every day at both seamounts. Foraging signals (buzzes and bray calls) were recorded in >87% of the days dolphin were present. There was a strong diel pattern in dolphin acoustic occurrence and behaviour, with higher detections of foraging and echolocation vocalizations during the night and of social signals during daylight hours. Acoustic data demonstrate that small dolphins consistently use Condor and Gigante seamounts to forage at night. These results suggest that these seamounts likely are important feeding areas for dolphins. This study contributes to a better understanding of the feeding ecology of oceanic dolphins and provides new insights into the role of seamount habitats for top predators.
  • Keywords:
  • Pubmed ID:
    32107405
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC7046721
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