A whale alarm fails to deter migrating humpback whales: an empirical test

  • Published source details Harcourt R., Pirotta V., Heller G., Peddermors V. & Slip D. (2014) A whale alarm fails to deter migrating humpback whales: an empirical test. Endangered Species Research, 25, 35-42.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use acoustic devices on moorings

Action Link
Marine and Freshwater Mammal Conservation
  1. Use acoustic devices on moorings

    A controlled study in 2012 of a pelagic site in the South Pacific Ocean, Australia (Harcourt et al. 2014; same study area as Pirotta et al. 2016) found that when an acoustic device was deployed on a mooring, a similar number of migrating humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae pods passed when the device was turned on or off, and the direction of whale pod movement and dive durations were also similar. The total number of whale pods passing within range (500 m) of the device did not differ significantly when the device was turned on (51 of 78, 65%) or off (31 of 59, 52%). The same was true for the average direction of whale pod movement (device on: 20° from north; device off: 19° from north) and average dive duration (device on or off: both 1.3 minutes). The acoustic device (Fumunda F3 Whale Pinger) was deployed at a depth of 5 m on a fixed mooring 1.3 km offshore in the centre of a whale migration route. The device was turned on (emitting 300 ms pulses at 3 kHz) for 18 days and off (silent) for 16 days. A total of 137 migrating whale pods were tracked from the shore using a theodolite during 430 h in June–August 2012.

    (Summarised by: Anna Berthinussen)

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