Presentation Title

Geographic range and variation of Coastal Pantropical Spotted Dolphins (Stenella attenuate graffmani) in the Pacific coast of Central America

Project Collaborators

Jose David Palacios

Abstract

The coastal Pantropical spotted dolphin (Stenella attenuate graffmani) is the most common species of dolphin in the Pacific coast of Central America. However, very little is known about their communicative signals and how they vary geographically. Here, I use data collected with autonomous underwater recorders in Costa Rica, Panama, and Mexico to study the acoustic geographical variation of spotted dolphin’s whistles. Whistles are narrowband frequency modulated sounds and function to maintain group cohesion among members. This is the most common communicative signal produced by dolphins. Whistles with high signal-to-noise ratios were selected for analysis using RAVEN. From the whistle contour, I extracted information on signal frequency, modulation, duration, and contour type. Dolphins whistles are thought to facilitate adaptation to local and changing conditions of their habitat, thus understanding geographic scales and reveal if spotted dolphin populations face similar or distinct challenges in those Central American countries.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Dr. Laura May Collado

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

Rubenstein School of Environmental and Natural Resources

Program/Major

Environmental Studies

Primary Research Category

Biological Sciences

Second Program/Major

Wildlife and Fisheries Biology

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Geographic range and variation of Coastal Pantropical Spotted Dolphins (Stenella attenuate graffmani) in the Pacific coast of Central America

The coastal Pantropical spotted dolphin (Stenella attenuate graffmani) is the most common species of dolphin in the Pacific coast of Central America. However, very little is known about their communicative signals and how they vary geographically. Here, I use data collected with autonomous underwater recorders in Costa Rica, Panama, and Mexico to study the acoustic geographical variation of spotted dolphin’s whistles. Whistles are narrowband frequency modulated sounds and function to maintain group cohesion among members. This is the most common communicative signal produced by dolphins. Whistles with high signal-to-noise ratios were selected for analysis using RAVEN. From the whistle contour, I extracted information on signal frequency, modulation, duration, and contour type. Dolphins whistles are thought to facilitate adaptation to local and changing conditions of their habitat, thus understanding geographic scales and reveal if spotted dolphin populations face similar or distinct challenges in those Central American countries.