DECAF - AUTEC Sperm Whales - Multiple Sensors - Complete Dataset

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.
This data represents sperm whale detections on the range during the complete study period. 44 days were monitored using an automatic detector for the presence of sperm whales: 12 Aug 2007 (julian day 224) – 24 Sept 2007 (julian day 267). This file documents when sperm whales were detected by the AUTEC range (the detections were verified by an observer).


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

The related dataset of number of whale groups localized can be found at

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

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.



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 described below represent those in the original dataset provided by the provider.
All attributes are included in the downloadable file (CSV or ESRI File Geodatabase) for "Complete Set of Dataset".

Attributes in dataset

Attribute (table column)Description
oidUnique ID number (generated by OBIS-SEAMAP)
setdefinition not provided
songdefinition not provided
archive_filenamedefinition not provided
start_datetimedefinition not provided
end_datetimedefinition not provided
presencedefinition not provided
sperm_whale_start_timedefinition not provided
sperm_whale_stop_timedefinition not provided
start_hydsdefinition not provided
questionable_hydrophonesdefinition not provided
sperm_whales_on_quest_hydsdefinition not provided
commentsdefinition not provided
hydrophonedefinition not provided
sp_tsnTaxonomic Serial Number added by OBIS-SEAMAP
sp_obsSpecies name
obs_dateDate of the detection
obs_timeTime of the detection
latitudeLatitude in decimal degrees
longitudeLongitude in decimal degrees
end_datedefinition not provided
end_timedefinition not provided
obs_countdefinition not provided
geomGeometry field added by OBIS-SEAMAP
Marine mammals675
Sea turtles0
Rays and sharks0
Other species0
Non spatial0
Non species0
Date, Begin2007-08-15
Date, End2007-09-23
Temporal prec.111111
Latitude24.30 - 24.76
Longitude-77.64 - -77.39
Coord. prec.6 decimal digits
Data typeAcoustic - #call
EffortYES (ID: 683)
Traveled (km)0
Travel hours26,388
Contr. through
Sharing policy CC-BY (All)
Shared with None
See metadata in static HTML
See metadata in FGDC XML
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