VFF: Soundscapes of Four Hawaiian Spinner Dolphin Resting Bays
Friday, September 18, 2015
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Heather Heenehan · Marine Science and Conservation
Hawaiian spinner dolphins have a predictable daily schedule, they feed at night and rest in shallow bays during the day. Since sound travels so well underwater, marine animals, including Hawaiian spinner dolphins, rely heavily on sound as their primary means of communicating and sensing the environment, and use sound for critical life functions. Given the importance of sound for marine animals, it is key to monitor the soundscape of significant marine habitats like Hawaiian spinner dolphin resting bays. Between January 8, 2011 and March 30, 2013 we recorded more than 150,000 30-second recordings in each of four bays. With this large amount of data in hand, our goal was to to establish a baseline for soundscape in these four critically important areas, understand normal variability within and across the four sites and assess the effects of natural and human-caused events on the soundscape. By quantifying ambient noise characteristics and patterns and quantifying changes during unexpected events we can objectively measure the resting bay soundscape and alterations from human noise sources.