Underwater Sound Study with Dolphins – Dolphin Quest Bermuda

I’m Paige Stephens and I’m from Oklahoma State University in the Integrative Biology Department. We are studying the
impacts of anthropogenic noise on dolphins. Anthropogenic is a fancy way of
saying human effects on animals. Specifically we’re looking at how sounds
under water affect bottlenose dolphins We’re interested in the animals
responses for this project in the various sounds that we play so my
student Paige has derived some sounds that we think are really important in
terms of animal noise in the wild. Things like jet skis, boat noise, sounds that are
used in industrial radar and sonar applications. And so the process is about
really setting up all this equipment putting hydrophones which are underwater microphones and the water to listen in to what they whistle back when we play
them sounds and we want to see how are they going to pay attention to these new
sounds are they going to react as if you know this is interesting to them, are
they going to just give us a look and kind of swim away, and that tells us
really about how they’re perceiving the sound. Basically through the experience I
have with working with marine mammals we gauge when playbacks should be a little
quieter little louder making sure the animals are safe as we do the study.
Without these types of assessments it’s going to be very difficult for
regulators and officials to really make decisions about what’s a safe amount of
like boat noise or industrial noise and this allows us to ask the dolphins well
okay what is too much noise for you? Without facilities like dolphin quest
we’re in a really difficult position trying to collect these types of
conservation data. Nowadays it’s important that researchers work with
facilities that care for animals to develop these types of projects in order
to help these animals wild brethren

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