SAMBAH (Static Acoustic Monitoring of the Baltic Sea Harbor Porpoise) is an EU LIFE + -funded project with the primary goal of estimating the abundance and distribution of the critically endangered Baltic Sea harbor porpoise. From May 2011 to April 2013, project members in all EU countries around the Baltic Sea undertook a static acoustic survey using 304 porpoise detectors distributed in a randomly positioned systematic grid in waters 5–80 m deep. In the recorded data, click trains originating from porpoises have been identified automatically using an algorithm developed specifically for Baltic conditions. To determine the click train C-POD detection function, a series of experiments have been carried out, including acoustic tracking of wild free ranging porpoises using hydrophone arrays in an area with moored C-PODs and playbacks of porpoise-like signals at SAMBAH C-PODs during various hydrological conditions. Porpoise abundance has been estimated by counting the number of individuals detected in short time interval windows (snapshots), and then accounting for false positive detections, probability of animals being silent, and probability of detection of non-silent animals within a specified maximum range. We describe the method in detail, and how the auxiliary experiments have enabled us to estimate the required quantities.
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Large-scale static acoustic survey of a low-density population—Estimating the abundance of the Baltic Sea harbor porpoise
Jens C. Koblitz, Mats Amundin, Julia Carlström, Len Thomas, Ida Carlén, Jonas Teilmann, Nick Tregenza, Daniel Wennerberg, Line Kyhn, Signe Svegaard, Radek Koza, Monika Kosecka, Iwona Pawliczka, Cinthia Tiberi Ljungqvist, Katharina Brundiers, Andrew Wright, Lonnie Mikkelsen, Jakob Tougaard, Olli Loisa, Anders Galatius, Ivar Jüssi, Harald Benke; Large-scale static acoustic survey of a low-density population—Estimating the abundance of the Baltic Sea harbor porpoise. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 1 October 2014; 136 (4_Supplement): 2248. https://doi.org/10.1121/1.4900114
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