The effect of two 12 kHz multibeam mapping surveys on the foraging behavior of Cuvier's beaked whales off of southern California.

Academic Article


  • The impact of multibeam echosounder (MBES) operations on marine mammals has been less studied compared to military sonars. To contribute to the growing body of MBES knowledge, echolocation clicks of foraging Cuvier's beaked whales were detected on the Southern California Antisubmarine Warfare Range (SOAR) hydrophones during two MBES surveys and assembled into foraging events called group vocal periods (GVPs). Four GVP characteristics were analyzed Before, During, and After 12 kHz MBES surveys at the SOAR in 2017 and 2019 to assess differences in foraging behavior with respect to the mapping activity. The number of GVP per hour increased During and After MBES surveys compared with Before. There were no other differences between non-MBES and MBES periods for the three other characteristics: the number of clicks per GVP, GVP duration, and click rate. These results indicate that there was not a consistent change in foraging behavior during the MBES surveys that would suggest a clear response. The animals did not leave the range nor stop foraging during MBES activity. These results are in stark contrast to those of analogous studies assessing the effect of Naval mid-frequency active sonar on beaked whale foraging, where beaked whales stopped echolocating and left the area.
  • Authors

  • Kates Varghese, Hilary
  • Miksis-Olds, Jennifer
  • DiMarzio, Nancy
  • Lowell, Kim
  • Linder, Ernst
  • Mayer, Larry
  • Moretti, David
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • June 2020
  • Keywords

  • Acoustics
  • Animals
  • California
  • Echolocation
  • Sound
  • Whales
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 32611139
  • Start Page

  • 3849
  • Volume

  • 147
  • Issue

  • 6