The Arctic Ice Monitoring (AIM) observatory has been maintained on the Chukchi Plateau at 75.1° N 168.0° W nearly continuously since 2003. The AIM site consists of a submerged mooring that, since October 2008, has been instrumented with a passive acoustic recorder to sample ambient sound, with a focus on marine mammal detections in the High Arctic. Year-long data sets for 2009, 2012, and 2014–2020 were analyzed for the presence of signals from Arctic species including bowhead and beluga whales, bearded seals, and walrus. Calls from subarctic ribbon seals were commonly detected in autumn months, suggesting they have expanded their distribution much further northward. Killer whale calls were detected in recent years providing evidence that they have moved further north into the Pacific Arctic. No other subarctic cetaceans were heard. Year-round passive acoustic sampling of sounds produced by marine mammals over a decadal timescale has enhanced our understanding of how climate-driven changes in biodiversity are affecting even the very High Arctic.
Marine mammal detections on the Chukchi Plateau 2009–2020a)
Kathleen M. Stafford, Humfrey Melling, Sue E. Moore, Catherine L. Berchok, Eric K. Braen, Arial M. Brewer, Brynn M. Kimber; Marine mammal detections on the Chukchi Plateau 2009–2020. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 1 April 2022; 151 (4): 2521–2529. https://doi.org/10.1121/10.0010208
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