Presentation Title

Geographical Variation of Pantropical Spotted Dolphins Whistle Acoustic Structure

Project Collaborators

Joelle De Weerdt (Association ELIS · Environmental Conservation Organization), Nicole Ransome (Aquatic Megafauna Research Unit - AMRU), Jose David Palacios (Fundacion Keto), Eric Ramos (CUNY) and Laura May-Collado (UVM mentor)

Abstract

Dolphins produce narrow banded frequency modulated sounds called whistles that are used in several social contexts and to convey information about the environment. Understanding the factors that shape dolphin whistle’s acoustic structure can provide key information about population connectivity. Here we present the first comparative study of Pantropical spotted dolphin’s whistles from Central America, including data from México, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panamá, and Costa Rica. Dolphins were recorded using bottom-mounted hydrophones and from the research boat using an over-the-side hydrophone at a frequency rate of 48 kHz. Frequency and time variables were extracted from whistle contours using RAVEN and comparisons were made considering distance between recording sites. We expect distanced populations to be significantly different from adjacent populations. Our research provides insight on the complex vocal repertoire of pantropical spotted dolphin whistles and the potential factors that may explain variation among populations.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Dr. Laura May-Collado

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Program/Major

Animal Science

Primary Research Category

Biological Sciences

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Geographical Variation of Pantropical Spotted Dolphins Whistle Acoustic Structure

Dolphins produce narrow banded frequency modulated sounds called whistles that are used in several social contexts and to convey information about the environment. Understanding the factors that shape dolphin whistle’s acoustic structure can provide key information about population connectivity. Here we present the first comparative study of Pantropical spotted dolphin’s whistles from Central America, including data from México, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panamá, and Costa Rica. Dolphins were recorded using bottom-mounted hydrophones and from the research boat using an over-the-side hydrophone at a frequency rate of 48 kHz. Frequency and time variables were extracted from whistle contours using RAVEN and comparisons were made considering distance between recording sites. We expect distanced populations to be significantly different from adjacent populations. Our research provides insight on the complex vocal repertoire of pantropical spotted dolphin whistles and the potential factors that may explain variation among populations.