Factors influencing the vocal production of common bottlenose dolphins of Walvis Bay, Namibia.

Dolphins live in an environment where the use of several sensory modalities, including olfaction and vision are limited and therefore often rely on sound generation for feeding, orientation and communication with con-specifics. Bottlenose dolphins produce different types of sounds including echolocation clicks, whistles and burst-pulses. Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) using hydrophones to record the different vocalizations naturally produced by dolphins can generate important information on their behaviour, habitat use and response to human induced stress. Such monitoring is particularly important in coastal habitats, where the soundscape of dolphin habitat may be affected by boat traffic noise and coastal construction, and determining human pressures is necessary for adequate management of threatened populations. The overall aim of this project is to assess whether a small population of common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) inhabiting Walvis Bay, Namibia alter the production of their sounds under different behavioural context, composition and tour boat activity. This study will use acoustic data from 2009 to 2015 and behavioural data collected during focal follows with groups to investigate the function of different sound classes and to determine whether production rates are influenced by man-made sound generated through marine tourism activities.

Promotor(s) & Supervisor: Tess Gridley
Thesis Institute: Sea Search Africa Pty / Namibian Dolphin Project

ISCED Categories

The highlighted icons, represent the fields of education (in compliance with ISCED Classification) engaged during this course/programme.

0521 - Ecology", "0522 - Conservation and environmental management