Associated Projects >> Hawaii

As awareness of the effects of anthropogenic noise on marine mammals has grown, research has broadened from evaluating physiological responses including injury and mortality to considering effects on behavior and acoustic communication. Most mitigation efforts attempt to minimize injury by enabling animals to move away as noise levels are increased gradually. Recent experiences demonstrate that this approach is inadequate or even counterproductive for small, localized marine mammal populations, for which displacement of animals may itself cause harm.

There are 18 species of odontocetes found around the main Hawaiian Islands, and 11 of these have resident, island-associated populations in the eastern main Hawaiian Islands (Baird 2016). Until recently, relatively little was known about the presence and residency status of most of these species in the western main Hawaiian Islands, in particular around Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau. The U.S.

Divergence in acoustic signals used by different populations of marine mammals can be caused by a variety of environmental, hereditary, or social factors, and can indicate isolation between those populations. Two types of genetically and morphologically distinct short-finned pilot whales, called the Naisa- and Shiho-types when first described off Japan, have been identified in the Pacific Ocean.

This study characterizes daytime acoustic and dive behavior of pantropical spotted dolphins (Stenella attenuata) in Hawai'i using 14.58 h of data collected from five deployments of digital acoustic recording tags (DTAG3) in 2013. For each tagged animal, the number of whistles, foraging buzzes, dive profiles, and dive statistics were calculated. Start, end, minimum, and maximum frequencies, number of inflection points and duration were measured from 746 whistles.

A joint project in February 2016 on and around the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) was carried out utilizing combined boat-based field efforts and passive acoustic monitoring from the Marine Mammal Monitoring on Navy Ranges (M3R) system. Five days of small boat effort were funded by the U.S. Navy and an additional two days of effort were funded by the National Marine Fisheries Service. There were 581 kilometers (36 hours [hr]) of small-vessel survey effort over the course of the seven‑day project.

Rough-toothed dolphins have a worldwide tropical and subtropical distribution, yet little is known about the population structure and social organization of this typically open-ocean species. Although it has been assumed that pelagic dolphins range widely due to the lack of apparent barriers and unpredictable prey distribution, recent evidence suggests rough-toothed dolphins exhibit fidelity to some oceanic islands.