Male fin whales sing by producing 20-Hz pulses in regular patterns of inter-note intervals. While singing, fin whales may also alternate the frequency ranges of their notes. Different song patterns have been observed in different regions of the world's oceans. New song patterns suddenly emerging in an area have been hypothesized to either be indicators of new groups of whales in the area or signs of cultural transmission between groups. Since the status of fin whales around Hawaii is unknown and visual surveys are expensive and difficult to conduct in offshore areas, passive acoustic monitoring has been proposed as a way to monitor these whales. We used passive acoustic recordings from an array of 14 hydrophones to analyze the song patterns of 115 fin whale encounters made up of 50,034 unique notes off Kauai, Hawaii from 2011--2017.
Fin whale singing patterns were more complicated than previously described. Fin whales off Hawaii sang in five different patterns made of two 20-Hz note types and both singlet and doublet inter-note interval patterns. The inter-note intervals present in their songs were 28/33 s for the lower frequency doublet, 30 s for the lower frequency singlet, 17/24 s for the higher frequency doublet, 17 s for the higher frequency singlet, and 12/20 s for the doublet that lternated between both note types.
Some of these song patterns were unique to these fin whales in Hawaiian waters, while others were similar to song patterns recorded from fin whales off the U.S. west coast. Individual fin whales often utilized several different song patterns which suggests that multiple song patterns are not necessarily indicators of different individuals or groups.
The dominant song pattern also changed over these years. Cultural transmission may have occurred between fin whales in Hawaiian waters and off the U.S. west coast, which has resulted in similar songs being present at both locations but on lagged timescales. Alternatively, groups occupying the Hawaiian waters could shift over time resulting in different song patterns becoming dominant. This work has implications for the population structure and behavior of Hawaii fin whales.
[UPDATE] Effort data were updated on 2021-03-01.
14 stationary hydrophones were used to detect. The monitoring effort for the 14 hydrophones were same. The locations of the hydrophones are rounded and approximate.
TrackNum: Song Patterns 1: Mostly A-A Singlet, but also A-B doublet and B-B singlet 2: A-A singlet 3: A-A doublet 4: A-A doublet 5: A-B doublet and B-B doublet 6: A-B doublet, B-B singlet, A-A doublet 7: A-A doublet 8: A-A doublet 9: A-A singlet 10: A-A singlet 11: A-B doublet and A-A singlet 12: A-B doublet 13: A-A doublet 14: A-A doublet 15: A-A doublet 16: B-B singlet 17: A-A doublet 18: A-A doublet 19: A-A singlet 20: A-A doublet 21: A-A singlet 22: A-A singlet 23: A-A doublet 24: A-A singlet 25: B-B singlet 26: A-B doublet, B-B doublet, A-A singlet 27: A-A doublet 28: B-B doublet 29: A-A doublet 30: B-B doublet 31: A-A doublet 32: A-B doublet, A-A doublet 33: B-B doublet 34: A-A doublet 35: B-B doublet 36: B-B doublet 37: A-B doublet, B-B doublet, A-A singlet 38: A-B doublet 39: A-B doublet, B-B doublet, A-A singlet 40: A-B doublet, B-B doublet, A-A singlet 41: B-B doublet 42: B-B singlet 43: A-B doublet, B-B doublet, A-A singlet 44: A-B doublet, B-B doublet 45: A-B doublet 46: A-A singlet 47: B-B singlet 48: A-A doublet 49: Mostly A-B doublet, but also A-A doublet and B-B singlet 50: A-B doublet, B-B singlet 51: A-B doublet, B-B singlet, A-A singlet 52: A-A singlet 53: A-B doublet, B-B doublet 54: A-B doublet 55: A-B doublet, B-B singlet 56: B-B doublet 57: A-B doublet 58: B-B doublet 59: A-B doublet, B-B singlet 60: B-B singlet 61: A-A doublet 62: A-B doublet 63: A-B doublet 64: A-A singlet 65: A-B doublet, B-B singlet 66: A-A doublet 67: A-B doublet, A-A doublet 68: A-A singlet 69: A-B doublet, A-A singlet 70: A-B doublet, A-A singlet 71: A-A singlet, B-B singlet 72: A-A singlet 73: A-A singlet 74: A-B doublet, B-B doublet, A-A doublet 75: A-B doublet, A-A singlet 76: A-B doublet, A-A singlet 77: A-B doublet, A-A singlet 78: A-B doublet, A-A singlet 79: A-B doublet, A-A singlet 80: A-B doublet, A-A singlet 81: A-B doublet 82: A-B doublet 83: A-B doublet, A-A singlet 84: A-B doublet 85: A-B doublet, B-B singlet 86: A-B doublet 87: A-B doublet, A-A singlet 88: B-B singlet 89: A-B doublet 90: A-B doublet, B-B singlet 91: A-B doublet, A-A singlet 92: B-B singlet 93: A-B doublet, B-B singlet 94: A-B doublet, B-B singlet 95: A-B doublet 96: A-B doublet 97: A-A doublet 98: A-A doublet 99: A-A singlet 100: A-B doublet 101: A-B doublet 102: A-B doublet, B-B singlet 103: A-B doublet 104: B-B doublet 105: A-B doublet, B-B singlet 106: A-B doublet, B-B singlet 107: A-A doublet, B-B doublet 108: A-B doublet, B-B singlet 109: A-B doublet, A-A doublet 110: A-B doublet 111: A-B doublet, A-A singlet 112: A-B doublet 113: A-B doublet, B-B singlet 114: A-B doublet 115: A-B doublet
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