DECAF - AUTEC Sperm Whales - Multiple Sensors - Samples
Density Estimation of Cetaceans from passive Acoustic Fixed sensors (DECAF)

Dataset credit



Primary contact Jessica Ward Naval Undersea Warfare Center
Data entry Melissa Soldevilla Duke University



This archive contains data on sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) recorded at the Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center (AUTEC) in the Tongue of the Ocean, Bahamas in August-September 2007. Data are provided showing when sperm whales were detected on the range during the time period, details about the availability of the acoustic data used in the analysis and finally, the number and size of sperm whale groups localized.
Records in this dataset represent a sample of data used in the sperm whale group localizations. Fifty 10-minute periods were randomly subsampled from the available acoustic files, and clicking animals were localized, where possible. By chance, some 10-minute periods did not contain any sperm whale clicks.


This dataset used multiple hydrophones at AUTEC to detect sperm whale clicks. Click trains from individual whales were identified, enabling the number of diving whales to be estimated. Assuming that all diving sperm whale groups at a given time are detected by AUTEC, then density of diving sperm whales can be estimated.

Supplemental information

Records in this dataset represent the sample of data used in the sperm whale group localizations. Each record represents the detection of a whale on a given hydrophone. A single whale may be heard on multiple hydrophones, as indicated in series.
The related dataset describing when sperm whales were detected on the range is available at

Original data can be downloaded at under Case Study 2: Sperm whale data

Time zone is GMT.
Hydrophone locations are approximate.


Jessica A. Ward, Len Thomas, Susan Jarvis, Nancy DiMarzio, David Moretti, Tiago A. Marques, Charlotte Dunn, Diane Claridge, Eva Hartvig and Peter Tyack. 2012. Passive Acoustic Density Estimation of Sperm Whales in the Tongue of the Ocean, Bahamas. Marine Mammal Science. 28, E444–E455.



Attributes described below represent those in the original dataset provided by the provider.
Only minimum required attributes are visible and downlodable online. Other attributes may be obtained upon provider's permission unless otherwise noted below.

This section explains attributes included in the original dataset. OBIS-SEAMAP restricts the attributes available to the public to date/time, lat/lon and species names/counts only. Should you need other attributes described here, you are encouraged to contact the data provider.

Attributes in dataset provided

Attribute (table column)Description
Marine mammals49
Sea turtles0
Rays and sharks0
Other species0
Non spatial0
Non species0
Date, Begin2007-08-17
Date, End2007-09-03
Temporal prec.111111
Latitude24.34 - 24.71
Longitude-77.64 - -77.39
Coord. prec.6 decimal digits
Data typeAcoustic - group size
EffortYES (ID: 681)
Sharing policy CC-BY (All)
Also availalbe from iOBIS
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See metadata in FGDC XML
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