Presentation Title

Impact of Boat Activity on Toadfish Presence in Bocas del Toro

Presenter's Name(s)

Michael S. Beaudette, UVMFollow

Project Collaborators

Betzi Perez

Abstract

Toadfish males emit mating calls called “boatwhistles” to attract females to their territory. While common in Central America there is little information about their acoustic behavior and how it changes over time. Here I study the acoustic activity of toad fish in the Archipelago of Bocas del Toro, Panama. Specifically, I am interested in evaluating the temporal effect of boat activity on toadfish calling behavior. Data was collected from January to April 2019, using autonomous underwater acoustic recorders. The recorders were programmed to sample the soundscape for 1-min every 10 min during a 24-hour cycle. I analyzed a 48-hour period per month to determine monthly variation of toadfish call emission and boat detection. Toadfish are considered ecological indicators of habitat quality. Therefore, understanding their acoustic behavior and how it varies through time can help establish a monitoring surveillance effort of habitat health in Bocas del Toro.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Laura May-Collado

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

College of Arts and Sciences

Program/Major

Biology

Primary Research Category

Biological Sciences

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Impact of Boat Activity on Toadfish Presence in Bocas del Toro

Toadfish males emit mating calls called “boatwhistles” to attract females to their territory. While common in Central America there is little information about their acoustic behavior and how it changes over time. Here I study the acoustic activity of toad fish in the Archipelago of Bocas del Toro, Panama. Specifically, I am interested in evaluating the temporal effect of boat activity on toadfish calling behavior. Data was collected from January to April 2019, using autonomous underwater acoustic recorders. The recorders were programmed to sample the soundscape for 1-min every 10 min during a 24-hour cycle. I analyzed a 48-hour period per month to determine monthly variation of toadfish call emission and boat detection. Toadfish are considered ecological indicators of habitat quality. Therefore, understanding their acoustic behavior and how it varies through time can help establish a monitoring surveillance effort of habitat health in Bocas del Toro.