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Ruggedized Portable Instrumentation Package for Marine Mammal Evoked Potential Hearing Measurements (DURIP)
HAWAII INST OF MARINE BIOLOGY KAILUA HI MARINE MAMMAL RESEARCH PROGRAM
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The long-term goal of this research is to examine the hearing of as many marine mammals and species as possible to develop an understanding of the normal hearing capabilities of marine mammals. The research also seeks to advance the technology for testing hearing in the laboratory and in the field. The specific objective of this study is to build a ruggedized, field-ready, portable, battery-operated system to measure the hearing capabilities of marine mammals in the lab, on ships, on the beach, or wherever we have the opportunity. The approach is to assemble equipment into a field-ready system, test the system in the laboratory, improve it with use, deploy it to stranded animals and field situations as they become available, and test the hearing of marine mammals. The Beaked whale audiograms collected indicate that the best frequencies for Blainvilles beaked whale are the same as recorded echo returns between 40 and 50 kHz. The portable equipment was used at the Hilo Stranding Center to obtain the audiograms. The equipment is ready and available for RIMPAC exercises. Of the 85 species of whales and dolphins that we would like to study, we have basic hearing measurements for only 17 species. Many of our audiograms come from a single animal. This equipment will greatly assist us in gathering information on what marine mammals hear. If Naval operations are stopped because of the effects of noise on whales, it is imperative that we have baseline information on marine mammal hearing beforehand.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE