Passive acoustic monitoring as a tool to measure spatial and temporal distribution of bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) and other marine mammals in the Western Canadian Arctic
The proposed research will aim on a better understanding of both temporal and spatial distribution of marine mammals in the Western Canadian Arctic, with a main focus on bowhead whales. Compared to other marine areas, the Arctic Ocean currently shows less noise disturbance due to the presence of sea ice throughout most times of the year, however reduction in sea ice caused by climate change is likely to allow for increased underwater noise. The study will be performed using acoustic data, collected over a 3-year period, examining bowhead distribution patterns based on acoustic detections and relative to noise disturbances. All study results will directly benefit the partner organisation WCS Canada by providing important information that will further the conservation of bowhead whales. Since WCS Canada will provide the data and scientific equipment, as well as supervise this project, the organisation relies on the outcomes as deliverables on multiple grants.