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Characterising whale vocalisation can help map migration


Killer whale pods each have their own set of calls they use to communicate, sometimes referred to as the pod’s “dialect.” By characterising an individual pod’s calls, researchers can track the pod’s seasonal movements, gaining a better understanding of the whales’ lives.

Jessica Sportelli, at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, studies a pod of relatively unknown killer whales in Pond Inlet, Nunavut, Canada. Because little is currently known about this pod’s ecology, Sportelli will describe their repertoire of calls at the 178th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, which will take place Dec. 2-6, at the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego.

The talk, “Call discrimination for an unknown pod of killer whales (Orcinus orca) in the Eastern Canadian Arctic,” will be presented at 10:05 a.m. Pacific (U.S.) on Tuesday, Dec. 3 as part of a session on low-frequency sound production and passive acoustic monitoring. MORE

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