Shabangu Fannie

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Shabangu
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Fannie
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Inter-annual decrease in pulse rate and peak frequency of Southeast Pacific blue whale song types

2020-05-15 , Malige, Franck , Patris, Julie , Buchan, Susannah J. , Stafford, Kathleen M. , Shabangu, Fannie , Findlay, Ken , Hucke-Gaete, Rodrigo , Neira, Sergio , Clark, Christopher W. , Glotin, Hervé

A decrease in the frequency of two southeast Pacific blue whale song types was examined over decades, using acoustic data from several different sources in the eastern Pacific Ocean ranging between the Equator and Chilean Patagonia. The pulse rate of the song units as well as their peak frequency were measured using two different methods (summed auto-correlation and Fourier transform). The sources of error associated with each measurement were assessed. There was a linear decline in both parameters for the more common song type (southeast Pacific song type n.2) between 1997 to 2017. An abbreviated analysis, also showed a frequency decline in the scarcer southeast Pacific song type n.1 between 1970 to 2014, revealing that both song types are declining at similar rates. We discussed the use of measuring both pulse rate and peak frequency to examine the frequency decline. Finally, a comparison of the rates of frequency decline with other song types reported in the literature and a discussion on the reasons of the frequency shift are presented.