Comparative and Cumulative Energetic Costs of Odontocete Responses to Anthropogenic Disturbance
NOAA NMFS Northwest Fisheries Science Center Seattle United States
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Cetacean responses to marine anthropogenic activities include changes in acoustic behavior, surface behavior, dive behavior, direction of travel, and behavioral activity states. However, the consequences of these behavioral responses are often difficult to quantify in biological currencies. Previous studies, including our ONR-supported work on the metabolic costs of communicative sound and click production and the metabolic costs of changes in vocal behavior in bottlenose dolphins, have empirically measured the energetic consequences of these behavioral responses that may have acute or chronic impacts. The current investigation involves separate but related studies that will address energetic costs of behavioral responses to anthropogenic disturbance, including acoustic effects, in odontocetes. The first component addresses, in a comparative framework, metabolic costs of sound production and vocal modification across different sound types and odontocete species. The second component addresses cumulative energetic costs of behavioral responses to disturbance. These analyses will provide quantitative information that can be incorporated into models such as the Population Consequence of Acoustic Disturbance PCADPCoD as well as provide input data for environmental assessmentsimpact statements and other permit processes involving anthropogenic activities that have the potential to impact marine mammals.