Baird Robin W.

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Robin W.

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Now showing 1 - 6 of 6
  • Article
    Repeated call types in Hawaiian melon-headed whales (Peponocephala electra)
    (Acoustical Society of America, 2014-09) Kaplan, Maxwell B. ; Mooney, T. Aran ; Sayigh, Laela S. ; Baird, Robin W.
    Melon-headed whales are pantropical odontocetes that are often found near oceanic islands. While considered sound-sensitive, their bioacoustic characteristics are relatively poorly studied. The goal of this study was to characterize the vocal repertoire of melon-headed whales to determine whether they produce repeated calls that could assist in recognition of conspecifics. The first tag-based acoustic recordings of three melon-headed whales were analyzed. Tag records were visually and aurally inspected and all calls were individually extracted. Non-overlapping calls with sufficient signal-to-noise were then parameterized and visually grouped into categories of repeated call types. Thirty-six call categories emerged. Categories differed significantly in duration, peak and centroid frequency, and −3 dB bandwidth. Calls of a given type were more likely to follow each other than expected. These data suggest that repeated calls may function in individual, subgroup, or group recognition. Repeated call production could also serve to enhance signal detection in large groups with many individuals producing simultaneous calls. Results suggest that caution should be used in developing automatic classification algorithms for this species based on small sample sizes, as they may be dominated by repeated calls from a few individuals, and thus not representative of species- or population-specific acoustic parameters.
  • Preprint
    Could beaked whales get the bends? : effect of diving behaviour and physiology on modelled gas exchange for three species: Ziphius cavirostris, Mesoplodon densirostris and Hyperoodon ampullatus
    ( 2009-04) Hooker, Sascha K. ; Baird, Robin W. ; Fahlman, Andreas
    A mathematical model, based on current knowledge of gas exchange and physiology of marine mammals, was used to predict blood and tissue tension N2 (PN2) using field data from three beaked whale species: northern bottlenose whales, Cuvier’s beaked whales, and Blainville’s beaked whales. The objective was to determine if physiology (body mass, diving lung volume, dive response) or dive behaviour (dive depth and duration, changes in ascent rate, diel behaviour) would lead to differences in PN2 levels and thereby decompression sickness (DCS) risk between species. Diving lung volume and extent of the dive response had a large effect on end-dive PN2. The dive profile had a larger influence on end-dive PN2 than body mass differences between species. Despite diel changes in dive behaviour, PN2 levels showed no consistent trend. Model output suggested that all three species live with tissue PN2 levels that would cause a significant proportion of DCS cases in terrestrial mammals. Cuvier’s beaked whale diving behaviour appears to put them at higher risk than the other species, which may explain their prevalence in strandings after the use of mid-frequency sonar.
  • Article
    Whistle characteristics and daytime dive behavior in pantropical spotted dolphins (Stenella attenuata) in Hawai‘i measured using digital acoustic recording tags (DTAGs)
    (Acoustical Society of America, 2016-07-19) Silva, Tammy L. ; Mooney, T. Aran ; Sayigh, Laela S. ; Tyack, Peter L. ; Baird, Robin W. ; Oswald, Julie N.
    This study characterizes daytime acoustic and dive behavior of pantropical spotted dolphins (Stenella attenuata) in Hawai‘i using 14.58 h of data collected from five deployments of digital acoustic recording tags (DTAG3) in 2013. For each tagged animal, the number of whistles, foraging buzzes, dive profiles, and dive statistics were calculated. Start, end, minimum, and maximum frequencies, number of inflection points and duration were measured from 746 whistles. Whistles ranged in frequency from 9.7 ± 2.8 to 19.8 ± 4.2 kHz, had a mean duration of 0.7 ± 0.5 s and a mean of 1.2 ± 1.2 inflection points. Thirteen foraging buzzes were recorded across all tags. Mean dive depth and duration were 16 ± 9 m and 1.9 ± 1.0 min, respectively. Tagged animals spent the majority of time in the upper 10 m (76.9% ± 16.1%) of the water column. Both whistle frequency characteristics and dive statistics measured here were similar to previously reported values for spotted dolphins in Hawai‘i. Shallow, short dive profiles combined with few foraging buzzes provide evidence that little spotted dolphin feeding behavior occurs during daytime hours. This work represents one of the first successful DTAG3 studies of small pelagic delphinids, providing rare insights into baseline bioacoustics and dive behavior.
  • Preprint
    Successful suction-cup tagging of a small delphinid species, Stenella attenuata : insights into whistle characteristics
    ( 2016-09) Silva, Tammy L. ; Mooney, T. Aran ; Sayigh, Laela S. ; Baird, Robin W. ; Tyack, Peter L.
    The Delphinidae is the most diverse family of cetaceans, with 38 species recognized. Small pelagic delphinids are also the most abundant cetaceans world-wide, yet their communication and behavior remain poorly understood. Many populations live in relatively remote habitats, which creates challenges in accessing study animals. Small odontocete species often face numerous anthropogenic stressors. For example, many pelagic delphinids incur significant interactions with fisheries (Gerrodette and Forcada 2005, Geijer and Read 2013). With a wide distribution, many delphinid populations utilize habitats that also are important for human seagoing activities that produce intense sound, such as seismic surveys or naval sonar exercises that may disturb or harm them. Many U.S. naval sonar exercises take place on naval training ranges such as those in in Hawai‘i (Baird et al. 2013), California (Carretta et al. 1995, Henderson et al. 2014), and the Bahamas (DeRuiter et al. 2013). At least one delphinid stranding event involving melon-headed whales (Peponocephala electra) was correlated with military activities (Southall et al. 2006); a mass stranding of melon-headed whales has also been associated with multi-beam echosounder operations as part of a seismic survey (Southall et al. 2013). Because many of these delphinid groups can number in the 100s to 1,000s, fisheries or sonar exposures can account for the highest estimates of marine mammal “takes” in related Environmental Impact Assessments (Department of the Navy 2013). Given the potential for anthropogenic interactions with large numbers of individual delphinids, improved methods of studying small delphinids are invaluable to understand, reduce, or mitigate potential human influences on these animals.
  • Article
    Marine mammal skin microbiotas are influenced by host phylogeny
    (The Royal Society, 2020-05-20) Apprill, Amy ; Miller, Carolyn A. ; Van Cise, Amy M. ; U'Ren, Jana M. ; Leslie, Matthew S. ; Weber, Laura ; Baird, Robin W. ; Robbins, Jooke ; Landry, Scott ; Bogomolni, Andrea L. ; Waring, Gordon T.
    Skin-associated microorganisms have been shown to play a role in immune function and disease of humans, but are understudied in marine mammals, a diverse animal group that serve as sentinels of ocean health. We examined the microbiota associated with 75 epidermal samples opportunistically collected from nine species within four marine mammal families, including: Balaenopteridae (sei and fin whales), Phocidae (harbour seal), Physeteridae (sperm whales) and Delphinidae (bottlenose dolphins, pantropical spotted dolphins, rough-toothed dolphins, short-finned pilot whales and melon-headed whales). The skin was sampled from free-ranging animals in Hawai‘i (Pacific Ocean) and off the east coast of the United States (Atlantic Ocean), and the composition of the bacterial community was examined using the sequencing of partial small subunit (SSU) ribosomal RNA genes. Skin microbiotas were significantly different among host species and taxonomic families, and microbial community distance was positively correlated with mitochondrial-based host genetic divergence. The oceanic location could play a role in skin microbiota variation, but skin from species sampled in both locations is necessary to determine this influence. These data suggest that a phylosymbiotic relationship may exist between microbiota and their marine mammal hosts, potentially providing specific health and immune-related functions that contribute to the success of these animals in diverse ocean ecosystems.
  • Article
    Acoustic differentiation of Shiho- and Naisa-type short-finned pilot whales in the Pacific Ocean
    (Acoustical Society of America, 2017-02) Van Cise, Amy M. ; Roch, Marie ; Baird, Robin W. ; Mooney, T. Aran ; Barlow, Jay
    Divergence in acoustic signals used by different populations of marine mammals can be caused by a variety of environmental, hereditary, or social factors, and can indicate isolation between those populations. Two types of genetically and morphologically distinct short-finned pilot whales, called the Naisa- and Shiho-types when first described off Japan, have been identified in the Pacific Ocean. Acoustic differentiation between these types would support their designation as sub-species or species, and improve the understanding of their distribution in areas where genetic samples are difficult to obtain. Calls from two regions representing the two types were analyzed using 24 recordings from Hawai‘i (Naisa-type) and 12 recordings from the eastern Pacific Ocean (Shiho-type). Calls from the two types were significantly differentiated in median start frequency, frequency range, and duration, and were significantly differentiated in the cumulative distribution of start frequency, frequency range, and duration. Gaussian mixture models were used to classify calls from the two different regions with 74% accuracy, which was significantly greater than chance. The results of these analyses indicate that the two types are acoustically distinct, which supports the hypothesis that the two types may be separate sub-species.