Acoustic Foraging Behavior of Beluga Whales Via Combined Technology: Satellite Telemetry, Passive Acoustics, Accelerometry, and Stomach Temperature Sensing (Abstract)
Poster for Alaska Marine Mammal Symposium
In Nushagak Bay, within Bristol Bay, Alaska, seven temporarily restrained wild belugas were instrumented with a short-term multi-sensor tag (DTAG3), a long-term satellite tag (Splash 10), and a stomach temperature pill (STP3) in August 2014 and May 2016. DTAG deployments provided 20 to 40 hours of dive depth, 3D acceleration, and recordings of echolocation and vocalizations of tagged and nearby belugas. For all belugas, data consisted of a long period of silence (i.e., transit), until a beluga group was joined, followed by alternating periods of vocalizations (i.e., social interaction), quiet (i.e., resting at the surface), and episodes of intense echolocation activity related to feeding behavior, confirmed by sudden decreases in stomach temperature.