Blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus spp.) were once abundant in the Southern Hemisphere, but commercial whaling hunted them to near extinction in the previous century. The species is currently listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The Chiloé-Corcovado region in Chile is one of the most important areas in the Southern Hemisphere for blue whales since it functions as a feeding and nursing ground. In recent years, ship traffic has increased considerably in the area and noise pollution is a major concern. We review what is known about blue whales in this area, and also about potential effects of noise on their communication and behavior. Since we still know so little about the functions of blue whale vocalizations, and since reactions to various kinds of anthropogenic noise can be so variable, further research is required to understand the biological implications of the effects of ship noise on blue whale communication and overall fitness in the Chiloé-Corcovado region.
|Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics
|Published - 10 Jul 2016
|4th International Conference on the Effects of Noise on Aquatic Life 2016 - Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 10 Jul 2016 → 16 Jul 2016
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics