Acoustic Detections of Beluga Whales in the Northeastern Chukchi Sea, July 2007 to July 2008
Keywords: beluga whale, Delphinapterus leucas, Chukchi Sea, distribution, migration, sea ice, acoustic detection
AbstractBeluga calls were detected during two consecutive deployments of autonomous acoustic recorders in the northeastern Chukchi Sea. During the first deployment, calls were recorded between July and October 2007, primarily near the Barrow Canyon in July and August. During the second deployment, calls were detected in November 2007 off Point Lay and again between mid-April and June 2008 in a broad area 90 – 150 km off Point Lay and Wainwright, Alaska. The summer and fall 2007 detections were consistent with movement and residency patterns identified through satellite tagging studies. In the following spring, detections were recorded by four out of five monitoring stations for 19 to 37 consecutive days (depending on the station) between 13 April and 21 June 2008. These acoustic detections provide additional information about the timing and distribution of beluga migrations in the Chukchi Sea in spring.