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EARTH SCIENCE > BIOLOGICAL CLASSIFICATION > ANIMALS/VERTEBRATES > MAMMALS > CETACEANS > BALEEN WHALES

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  • This is a parent record for data collected from AAS project 4102. Project 4102 also follows on from ASAC project 2683, "Passive acoustic monitoring of antarctic marine mammals" (see the related metadata record at the provided URL). Public Summary: Half a century ago the Antarctic blue whale was perilously close to extinction. Over 350,000 were killed before the remaining few were fully protected. A decade ago this elusive and poorly understood species was estimated to be less than 5% of its pre-whaling abundance. This multi-national, circumpolar project will develop and apply powerful new techniques to survey these rare whales and gain an insight into their recovery and ecology. The project is the flagship of the Southern Ocean Research Partnership - an International Whaling Commission endorsed collaborative program.

  • Echosounder data were collected on a multidisciplinary research voyage conducted from the RV Tangaroa, operated by New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Limited (NIWA). The voyage lasted 42 days, departing from Wellington, New Zealand on January 29th , 2015 and returning to the same port on 11th March 2015. Active acoustic data were obtained continuously using a calibrated scientific echosounder (Simrad EK60, Horten, Norway). The echosounder operated at 38 and 120 kHz for the duration of the voyage with a pulse duration of 1.024 ms, a pulse repetition rate of one ping per second and a 7° beam width. The echosounder data here are a subset of that collected throughout the voyage and include only data from south of 65°S. This subset of data focuses on research questions pertaining to Antarctic blue whales and krill.

  • During the 2013 Antarctic Blue Whale Voyage Acousticians noted all whale calls and other acoustic events that were detected during real-time monitoring in a Sonobuoy Event Log. The acoustic tracking software, difarBSM, stored processed bearings from acoustic events and cross bearings in tab delimited text files. Each event was assigned a classification by the acoustician, and events for each classification were stored in separate text files. The first row in each file contains the column headers, and the content of each column is as follows: buoyID: Buoy ID number is the number of the sonobuoy on which this event was detected. This can be used as a foreign key to link to the sonobuoy deployment log. timeStamp_matlabDatenum: Date and time (UTC) at the start of the event represented as a Matlab datenum (i.e. number of days since Jan 0 0000). Latitude: Latitude of the sonobuoy deployment in decimal degrees. Southern hemisphere latitudes should be negative. Longitude: Longitude of sonobuoy deployment in decimal degrees. Western hemisphere longitudes should be negative. Altitude: Depth of the sonobuoy deployment in metres. For DIFAR sonobuoys either 30, 120 or 300. magneticVariation_degrees: The estimated magnetic variation of the sonobuoy in degrees at the time of the event. Positive declination is East, negative is West. At the start of a recording this will be entered from a chart. As the recording progresses, this should be updated by measuring the bearing to the vessel. bearing_degreesMagnetic: Magnetic bearing in degrees from the sonobuoy to the acoustic event. Magnetic bearings were selected by the acoustician by choosing a single point on the bearing-frequency surface (AKA DIFARGram) produced by the analysis software difarBSM. frequency_Hz: The frequency in Hz of the magnetic bearing that the acoustician selected from the bearing-frequency surface (DIFARGram). logDifarPower: The base 10 logarithm of the height of the point on the DIFARGram receiveLevel_dB: This column contains an estimate of the The RMS receive level (dB SPL re 1 micro Pa) of the event. Received levels were estimated by applying a correction for the shaped sonobuoy frequency response, the receiver’s frequency response, and were calculated over only the frequency band specified in each classification (see below). soundType: soundType is the classification assigned to the event by the acoustician. Analysis parameters for each classification are included in the csv file classificationParameters.txt. The columns of this file are as follows: outFile: The name of the tab-separated text file that contains events for this classification. analysisType: A super-class describing the broad category of analysis parameters soundType: The name of the classification sampleRate: When events are processed, they are downsampled to this sample rate (in Hz) in order to make directional processing more efficient and precise FFTLength: The duration (in seconds) used for determining the size of the FFT during difar beamforming (i.e. creation of the DIFARGram). numFreqs: Not used during this voyage targetFreq: The midpoint of the frequency axis (in Hz) displayed in the DIFARGram Bandwidth: This describes the half-bandwidth (Hz) of the frequency axis of the DIFARGram. The frequency axis of the DIFARGram starts at targetFreq-bandwidth and ends at targetFreq + bandwidth frequencyBands_1: The lower frequency (Hz) used for determining RMS received level. frequencyBands_2: The upper frequency (Hz) used for determining RMS received level. preDetect: Duration of audio (in seconds) that will be loaded before the start of the event. The processed audio includes the time-bounds of the event marked by the acoustician as well as preDetect seconds before the start of the event. postDetect: Duration of audio (in seconds) that will be loaded after the end of the event. The processed audio includes the time-bounds of the event marked by the acoustician + postDetect seconds.

  • With the aim of estimating the proportion of Antarctic minke whales (Balaenoptera bonaerensis) in pack ice over summer, an Australian fixed-wing aerial survey programme, based in east Antarctica, was conducted in the austral summers of 2007/2008, 2008/09 and 2009/10 (See Kelly et al. 2010; SC/62/IA8). The first season (2007/08) comprised of three 'test' flights. As such, there were no real 'survey' data collected during these three flights, but video and digital stills data have been included in the dataset supplied. The surveys (2008/09 and 2009/10) covered two general regions: Vincennes Bay (66 degrees 24'S 110 degrees 18'E) which was surveyed multiple times across both seasons and within the 2009/10 season, and north and east of the Shackleton Ice Shelf and into the eastern section of the Davis Sea, which was surveyed once (2009/10). The primary focus was on Antarctic minke whales, however sightings of other species were also collected (killer whale, Southern right whale, penguins and seals). The survey was conducted in a CASA 212:400 aircraft at an altitude was 228m (750ft) and survey speed was 204 km/hr (110 knots). The survey was conducted as independent double-platform: the front and back observers were isolated visually and audibly. The aircraft was also fitted with a number of digital still, video and infrared cameras. Data Available 1. Sighting data set A .csv file of animal sightings. Two files, one for each survey season, has been supplied. The observers field of view was between 30 degrees and 60 degrees declination (approximately) from the horizon, corresponding to an on the ground area width of 264 metres each side of the aircraft. Protocol was followed as for traditional line transect surveys for marine mammals, with observers searching ahead of the aircraft in a 'D' pattern. The recorded observations consisted of cue counting (where possible) and the angle of declination when the animals were abeam to the observer (using a Suunto inclinometer). Cues were not recorded after the animals had moved past abeam. The angle of declination of groups was measured at the centre of the group. Perpendicular distance out to animals was calculated using angle of declination and flying height (but no correction for curvature of the earth or aircraft drift angle was applied). Other information recorded included species, group size (minimum, maximum and best estimate), cue type, number of animals at surface when perpendicular, direction of travel and any behavioural features of the animal(s). Please note that no formal sighting data was collected for the January 2008 test flights. 2. Effort data set A .csv file of survey effort and environmental conditions. Two files, one for each survey season, has been supplied. The flight leader recorded environmental covariates (ice coverage (to the nearest 10%), glare, Beaufort sea state, and cloud cover, etc) at regular intervals, or when conditions changed. 3. Still images The data includes jpeg files of images. A still camera was mounted vertically in the base of the aircraft to cover the trackline (10 megapixel Nikon D200 with 35mm lens); camera was situated behind a Perspex window. In addition in the final survey year (2009/10) two Nikon D300 cameras (12 megapixel with 50mm lens) were mounted at the side windows obliquely at an angle of 45 degrees (please note side-camera was used only during final season of survey, Dec 2009-Feb 2010). Focus set to infinity, and image settings given to account for high-light, high-contrast environments. GPS/altitude data was embedded in each images EXIF information. Still image coverage underneath the aircraft was uninterrupted along the trackline with a shutter-release of around 1 photograph per second and a swath width of around 157 m. Similarly the oblique mounted cameras had a coverage over 450 m each side of the trackline (i.e., configured to be approximately the same as the human observers). 4. Video cameras A number of streampix video files. Two high definition video cameras (Prosilica GC1350C GigE with 5mm F1.4 lens) were also fitted to the aircraft. Streampix is propriety software. 5. Infrared A number of .mov files recorded from an Infra-red camera (FLIR Photon 320 with 9mm lens) mounted in the base of the aircraft. Infrared camera was situated behind an infrared window. 6. Telemetry A number of text files (.txt) containing aircraft telemetry (yaw/roll etc) and gps. The telemetry is not that reliable, nor does it go anywhere close to covering all flights conducted (see below), but included for completeness. 7. Flight data 'dat' files dumped from the aircraft flight recorder containing flight data, including geographical position, velocity and altitude. These are ascii files. 8. GPS data In addition to flight and telemetry data, we've also included two post-processed GPS data files (two .csv files, one for each survey season). These files contain GPS data from a number of sources; this was to help buffer against GPS drop-outs. Therefore, this data is much more complete than the telemetry and flight data, and has been corrected for any time syncing issues. 9. "Season_overview_2010.xls" This Excel spreadsheet file contains details on each transect, effort and other sighting information. It accompanies the .csv files for the 2009/10 season as an overview. (A similar summary does not exist for 2008/09 season.)

  • These aerial survey data of southern right whales (Eubalaena australis) off southern Australia were collected in August 2017. Such annual flights in winter/spring between Cape Leeuwin (Western Australia) and Ceduna (South Australia) have now been conducted over a 25-year period 1993-2017. These surveys have provided evidence of a population trend of around 6% per year, and a current (at 2014) population size of approximately 2300 of what has been regarded as the 'western' Australian right whale subpopulation. With estimated population size in the low thousands, it is presumed to be still well below carrying capacity. No trend information is available for the 'eastern' subpopulation of animals occurring around the remainder of the southern Australian Coast, to at least as far as Sydney, New South Wales and the populations size is relatively small, probably in the low hundreds. A lower than expected 'western' count in 2015 gives weak evidence that the growth rate may be starting to show signs of slowing, though an exponential increase remains the best description of the data. If the low 2015 count is anomalous, future counts may be expected to show an exponential increase, but if it is not, modelling growth as other than simple exponential may be useful to explore in future

  • These aerial survey data of southern right whales (Eubalaena australis) off southern Australia were collected in August 2018. Such annual flights in winter/spring between Cape Leeuwin (Western Australia) and Ceduna (South Australia) have now been conducted over a 26-year period 1993-2018. These surveys have provided evidence of a population trend of around 6% per year, and a current (at 2014) population size of approximately 2300 of what has been regarded as the 'western' Australian right whale subpopulation. With estimated population size in the low thousands, it is presumed to be still well below carrying capacity. No trend information is available for the 'eastern' subpopulation of animals occurring around the remainder of the southern Australian Coast, to at least as far as Sydney, New South Wales and the populations size is relatively small, probably in the low hundreds. A lower than expected 'western' count in 2015 gives weak evidence that the growth rate may be starting to show signs of slowing, though an exponential increase remains the best description of the data. If the low 2015 count is anomalous, future counts may be expected to show an exponential increase, but if it is not, modelling growth as other than simple exponential may be useful to explore in future.

  • These aerial survey data of southern right whales (Eubalaena australis) off southern Australia were collected in August 2019. Such annual flights in winter/spring between Cape Leeuwin (Western Australia) and Ceduna (South Australia) have now been conducted over a 27-year period 1993-2019. These surveys have provided evidence of a population trend of around 6% per year, and a current (at 2014) population size of approximately 2300 of what has been regarded as the 'western' Australian right whale subpopulation. With estimated population size in the low thousands, it is presumed to be still well below carrying capacity. No trend information is available for the 'eastern' subpopulation of animals occurring around the remainder of the southern Australian Coast, to at least as far as Sydney, New South Wales and the populations size is relatively small, probably in the low hundreds. A lower than expected 'western' count in 2015 gives weak evidence that the growth rate may be starting to show signs of slowing, though an exponential increase remains the best description of the data. If the low 2015 count is anomalous, future counts may be expected to show an exponential increase, but if it is not, modelling growth as other than simple exponential may be useful to explore in future.

  • An outline of the blue whale voyages of 2012 can be found here: http://www.marinemammals.gov.au/sorp/antarctic-blue-whale-project/bonney-upwelling-acoustic-testing-expeditions with further information here: http://www.marinemammals.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/135617/SC-64-SH11.pdf The 'Logger' data entry system was developed by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and is a flexible system to record information during a voyage. This system was the primary data entry system for the voyage and all events were recorded in Logger’s database. Blue whale voyage 1 datasets: 12 - 25 January 2012 Sightings from the first blue whale voyage are recorded across three access databases: 20120117LoggerFinalPart1Updated.mdb 20120121LoggerFinalPart2Updated.mdb 20120125LoggerFinalPart3Updated.mdb These databases contain tables describing: Comments: details additional to sightings entered or data entry omissions, time stamped (UTC) Observer effort - codes found in lookup table, date/time in UTC GPS data (time stamped, UTC) and heading Lookup - contains all topic codes to apply to all other tables Resights: resighting details for sightings already recorded, time/date in UTC, initial sighting number, blow count and notes Cetacean sightings - date/time in UTC, sighting number, observer name, vessel, estimate of distance, bearing, heading, species code, sighting cue code, estimate of number of individuals (low, best and high), group behaviour, pod compaction, surface synchronicity and comments Weather: Date/time in UTC, sightability, glare, sea state, wind strength, swell, weather, cloud cover, cloud height, notes Blue whale voyage 2 datasets: 13 - 30 March 2012 GPS data is stored in the file called 'gps_meld_data_exp.csv'. This is an amalgam dataset of two GPS data streams, that has been checked and corrected (see 'Quality' for further details. Date time is stored in two formats. The first is %Y-%m-%d %H-%M-%S format, as in "2012-03-16 17:54:32". The second format is a concatenated, orderable numeric string, as in 20120316175432. ### The small file 'trip_db.csv' contains a quick reference as to when the four trips of blue whale voyage 2 started, to the minute. These times have been corrected for the minor (i.e, 2 mins 15 second) error (see 'Quality' below). ### Effort database is contained in the file 'VWhale2_database_effort_corrected.csv'. A fair amount of 'correction' has gone on with this data as there were great variations in the way different people were adding new information into Logger. Furthermore, there were 'innovations' made to the Logger system, particularly after the first couple of trips. In particular, the effort was added to Logger in the first trip was exactly as it was in the first voyage (the VL was too seasick to make any amendments). So, according to the older effort classification, effort for the *first trip* started and ended, but there were no observer rotations or notes taken as to what platform the observers were perched on. Given there was quite a bit of seasickness that first day, the only observers likely to be working would have been PE, PO and DD. These observers favoured the Fly Bridge so all sighting effort for the first trip has been allocated to these observers on the Fly Bridge. The subsequent innovations were: observers were not told how far away a potential calling whale was. If, however, the acousticians thought that we were almost upon the animal(s), they will indicate this to the observing team. Acoustic.search == 1 indicates when the acousticians have notified observers that there was a group of blue whales in the area. Local.Search == 1 indicates that after an initial sighting was made, sighting effort and boat movement converted into a search to get closer to the animal(s) in order to confirm their species (not usually such a huge issue with blue whales, admittedly), group size and to get photo-ID. FD == 1 when effort on the foredeck either started or continued. FB == 1 when effort on the fly bridge either started or continued. For the effort types, the effort interval is defined as the time between the row the '1' value first appears and the date/time of the next row of the similar effort type. Index.new: Because two databases were merged to form the one effort dataset (the first trip had its own Logger MS-Access database), an overall index, Index.new, was created for continuity. Index: Effort index as it appears in the original Logger MS-Access databases. GpsIndex: In Logger, each Effort (or sighting) row is tagged with the accompanying GPS index number. This ties an effort event with the date/time and geographical location information displayed in the GPS data. GPSIndex.cor: As with GpsIndex but, again, as the databases were merged, a new GPSIndex value was created (.cor == corrected) to account for this, and for the added BPM GPS data. GpsTime: Date (only), as derived from GPS. Has been abbreviate to only date due to the joys of how Microsoft packages deal with date/time objects; full date/time value for each effort row can be derived from the GPS data, via the GPSIndex.cor value EffortNo: Each effort row has been assigned a unique number within each respective MS-Access Logger file. This is somewhat redundant with the Index value. Local time: When Logger records an event, it also takes a date/time value from the local computer. It's not really clear to me what this value actually represents. Observer: The head observer at the time the effort event was logged. Basically, just means the person driving the Logger computer (i.e., physically entering values and making weather obs) Event: Each event has a unique descriptor number. See the 'Lookup' table in the MS-Access database. Event.cor: This column should be completely ignored. Notes: Any comments that accompanied particular effort entries. See also the Comments table for notes not specifically related to any Effort entries. Platform: Which sighting platforms observers either started or stopped effort on, or rotated through. Unfortunately, this information wasn't always consistently recorded. See the FB and FD columns for a more correct record of when sighting effort was on and off. Platform.cor: This column should be ignored. Observers: All observers on rotation. Sonobuoy: when the launching of a sonobuoy was noted in Logger, here are the numbers (this is not a complete list) Trip: which trip it was ##### Sightings for all species are given in 'sightings.csv'. ##### Weather observations are in 'weather.csv'. Recording of glare angles (i.e., start and end bearing) started on third trip. ##### Comments in 'comments.csv'. Please note there were no comments recorded during the first trip.

  • A spreadsheet detailing the filenames of the best left and/or right photos of blue whales photographed and individually identified during the Antarctic blue whale voyage 2013. The 'best' photos are also included as jpegs. See http://www.marinemammals.gov.au/sorp/antarctic-blue-whale-project for further detail regarding the Antarctic blue whale voyage.

  • This annotated library contains both a data set and a data product. The data set contains a sub-sample of underwater recordings made around Antarctica from 2005-2017. These recordings were curated and sub-sampled from a variety of national and academic recording campaigns. Recordings were made using a variety of different instruments, and sub-samples span 11 different combinations of site and year. Spatial coverage of the recordings includes sites in the Western Antarctic Peninsula, Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific sectors. Temporal coverage of recordings covers a representative sample throughout each recording year for the years of 2005, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017. The focus is on low-frequency sounds of blue and fin whales, so curated recordings have been downsampled to sample rates of either 250, 500, 1000 or 2000 Hz. Recordings are all in 16-bit wav format. The file name of each wav file contains a timestamp with the date and time of the start of that file. Recordings are contained in the /wav/ subfolder for each site-year (e.g. Casey2014/wav). The data product is in the form of annotations that describe the times within each WAV file that contain detections of blue and fin whale sounds. Each annotations are stored as a row in a tab-separated text file (with descriptive column headers), and each text file describes a particular type of sound. These annotation text files are formatted as Selection Tables that can be directly imported into the software program Raven Pro 1.5 (Cornell Bioacoustics Laboratory). Full description of the details of the creation and use of this dataset are described in the draft manuscript contained in the documentation folder.