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Passive Acoustic Detection of Beaked Whales: Easy Within 1km, Harder Beyond That, and Take Your Time!

Science, Sonar 1 Comment »

The US Navy and others are working hard to find ways to detect elusive beaked whales so that they may be less apt to be triggered into behaviors that seem to cause them to occasionally beach and die.  One “great white hope” is passive acoustic detection, or listening for their calls.  A recent paper from a team of well-known researchers suggests that we should be able to quite easily detect beaked whales while they are foraging (and echolocating)….but with several important caveats.  First, detection is highly likely only within 700 meters, with perhaps 50% likelihood of detection at 2-3km, and virtually no chance of hearing them beyond 4km. Read the rest of this entry »