SYMP 24 - Population-Level Effects of Acoustic Disturbance on Marine Mammals

Friday, August 12, 2011: 8:00 AM-11:30 AM
Ballroom G, Austin Convention Center
Organizer: Erica Fleishman
Co-organizers: Daniel P. Costa , John Harwood , Peter Tyack and Michael Weise
Moderator: Erica Fleishman
Anthropogenic sound may affect marine life at multiple levels, including behavior, life functions, vital rates, and populations. Until recently, knowledge of how effects transfer between behavior and life functions, and between life functions and vital rates, was limited. Recent theoretical and empirical work has substantially improved understanding of the population-level effects of multiple sources of disturbance, including sound, on marine mammals. The work presented in this symposium will help to guide research and management, and to project how marine mammals may respond to alternative future scenarios of natural and anthropogenic environmental change. Inferences are directly relevant to assessing the potential effects of climate change on marine systems and the effects of changes in human density and development in coastal regions. Our work reflects an interactive, synthetic process over the past three years that has engaged 30 researchers and practitioners from 20 institutions spread across three continents. Career stages of participants range from postdoctoral to emeritus. We will introduce motivations for exploring effects of anthropogenic sound on marine mammals and conceptual frameworks that were developed within the past three years. We will illustrate how the conceptual models were translated into a formal, transferable mathematical structure with data on northern and southern elephant seals, coastal bottlenose dolphins, northern right whales, and beaked whales. Effects of other disturbances for which extensive data are available can be examined as a proxy for acoustic disturbance. For example, we developed a model structure for analyzing energy change during foraging trips by elephant seals and the effects of this energy change on pup survival. We also developed a model that infers changes in the energy levels of individual bottlenose dolphins from a set of behavioral observations. The activity of an individual at a given time is determined by motivational states such as fear and desire to socialize, behavior of others in its social group, and external covariates. We believe the model could be applied to other marine mammals that are social and are income breeders. The results of the work directly inform planning and actions of government agencies and, potentially, industry. For example, the U.S. Office of Naval Research is using the work to inform plans for further research and to assess quantitatively the biological significance to marine populations of disturbance associated with naval exercises.
8:15 AM
A conceptual frameworks for evaluating the effects of sound on marine mammals
John Harwood, University of St Andrews; Daniel P. Costa, University of California Santa Cruz; Peter Tyack, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; Michael Weise, Office of Naval Research
8:30 AM
Translating conceptual to parameterized models for multiple taxonomic groups
Len Thomas, University of St Andrews; James S. Clark, Duke University; John Harwood, University of St Andrews
9:00 AM
Environmental variation and experimental manipulation as proxies for disturbance in elephant seals
Daniel P. Costa, University of California Santa Cruz; Lisa Schwarz, Dept. of Biology, University of California Santa Cruz
9:30 AM
9:40 AM
Relations among foraging, disturbances to foraging, and vital rates in southern elephant seals
Leslie New, University of St Andrews; Clive McMahon, Charles Darwin University; Mark Hindell, University of Tasmania
9:55 AM
Population consequences of whalewatching disturbances on cetaceans
David Lusseau, University of Aberdeen; Rob Williams, University of St Andrews; Fredrik Christiansen, University of Aberdeen; Lars Bejder, Murdoch University
10:25 AM
Potential effects of acoustic disturbance on foraging behavior, body condition, and demography in North Atlantic right whales
Rob Schick, Duke University; Scott Kraus, New England Aquarium; Rosalind Rolland, New England Aquarium; Phil Hamilton, New England Aquarium; Peter Corkeron, NOAA; Christopher Clark, Bioacoustics Research Program, Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology; James S. Clark, Duke University
10:55 AM
Population Level Effects of Mid-Frequency Active (MFA) sonar on Blainville’s (Mesoplodon densirostris) and Cuvier’s (Ziphius cavirostris) Beaked Whales on U.S. Navy Ranges
David Moretti, NUWC; Nancy DiMarzio, NUWC; Elena McCarthy, NUWC; Ashley Dilley, NUWC; Ronald Morrissey, NUWC; Jessica Ward, NUWC; Susan Jarvis, NUWC; Len Thomas, University of St Andrews
11:10 AM
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