Jonathan Gordon

Jonathan Gordon
University of St Andrews · Sea Mammal Research Unit

About

111
Publications
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Publications

Publications (111)
Article
Culture, a pillar of the remarkable ecological success of humans, is increasingly recognized as a powerful force structuring nonhuman animal populations. A key gap between these two types of culture is quantitative evidence of symbolic markers—seemingly arbitrary traits that function as reliable indicators of cultural group membership to conspecifi...
Article
Full-text available
Passive acoustic surveys are becoming increasingly popular as a means of surveying for cetaceans and other marine species. These surveys yield large amounts of data, the analysis of which is time consuming and can account for a substantial proportion of the survey budget. Semi‐automatic processes enable the bulk of processing to be conducted automa...
Article
Full-text available
Previous studies off western Ireland have suggested that substantial numbers of, mainly male, sperm whales may be found in these habitats. Whaling vessels operating from shore stations in Ireland in the early 20th century frequently caught sperm whales in oceanic waters. It is likely that this North Atlantic region contains important foraging habit...
Article
Lack of baseline knowledge is often the principal conservation barrier, especially if the species of concern shows steady decline. The primary goal of the current project is to fill the knowledge gaps in understudied cetacean populations through dedicated visual and acoustic surveys in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea of Turkey. The surveys were condu...
Poster
Full-text available
Scientific knowledge holds the most important warrior on the species protection. Yet, research effort is scarce in the Eastern Mediterranean while human food print increases in a pressure more than ever. Our project is the first dedicated seasonal survey effort in the area, targeting both coastal and deep-diving cetaceans with a goal to fill the kn...
Article
Full-text available
The Protocol on Environmental Protection of the Antarctic Treaty stipulates that the protection of the Antarctic environment and associated ecosystems be fundamentally considered in the planning and conducting of all activities in the Antarctic Treaty area. One of the key pollutants created by human activities in the Antarctic is noise, which is pr...
Article
• Some anthropogenic activities pose acute risks for marine species. For example, pile driving could damage the hearing of marine mammals while underwater explosions can also result in physical damage or death. Effective mitigation is required to reduce these risks, but the exclusion zones specified in regulations can extend over hundreds or thousa...
Article
• Understanding how marine predators utilize habitats requires that we consider their behaviour in three dimensions. Recent research has shown that marine mammals often make use of tidally energetic locations for foraging, yet data are generally limited to observations of animals at the water surface. Such areas are also of interest to the renewabl...
Poster
Full-text available
In waters greater than 300m deep, sperm whale density equals 3.2 whales per 1000 km-2. The average densities reported here are similar to those reported from other sperm whales concentrations to the south of this study area, and highlight the importance of western Irish waters, particularly north of 52oN. These data will assist management authori...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract 1. Many species and populations of marine megafauna are undergoing substantial declines, while many are also very poorly understood. Even basic information on species presence is unknown for tens of thousands of kilometres of coastline, particularly in the developing world, which is a major hurdle to their conservation. 2. Rapid ecological...
Article
Full-text available
Loud sound emitted during offshore industrial activities can impact marine mammals. Regulations typically prescribe marine mammal monitoring before and/or during these activities to implement mitigation measures that minimise potential acoustic impacts. Using seismic surveys under low visibility conditions as a case study, we review which monitorin...
Article
Destructive fishing using explosives occurs in a number of countries worldwide, negatively impacting coral reefs and fisheries on which millions of people rely. Documenting, quantifying and combating the problem has proved problematic. In March-April 2015 231h of acoustic data were collected over 2692km of systematically laid transects along the en...
Article
Full-text available
Short-term measures of behavioural responses of cetaceans to tourism operations have been used in many studies to interpret and understand potential long-term impacts of biological importance. The short-beaked common dolphin ( Delphinus delphis ) is the species most frequently observed in the Azores and constitutes an important component of the mar...
Article
Full-text available
The growing interest in generating electrical power from tidal currents using tidal turbine generators raises a number of environmental concerns, including the risk that marine mammals might be injured or killed through collision with rotating turbine blades. To understand this risk, information on how marine mammals use tidal rapid habitats and in...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Executive Summary 1. Cetaceans are important and charismatic components of ocean biodiversity, however many populations and species are undergoing substantial declines. In many parts of the world cetaceans remain very poorly known, and this is a major challenge to effective conservation and to informed management. This is the case in Tanzania, wher...
Article
Fisheries acoustics surveys provide platforms for deploying passive acoustic equipment to detect cetacean vocalizations. Passive acoustic methods are developing as viable alternatives to visual surveys, particularly for small, inconspicuous species such as the harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena). Passive acoustic monitoring using a towed hydrophon...
Presentation
Full-text available
15 minute talk presented at SMM conference. Keywords: passive acoustic monitoring, echolocation behaviour, 3D biosonar beam profile.
Poster
Full-text available
Photo-identification of female and juvenile sperm whales in the North Atlantic reveals long distance matches
Research
Full-text available
Natural Resources Wales working with SMRU Consulting, Sea Mammal Research Unit and the Scottish Association of Marine Sciences have recently published a new set of guidance on marine mammal surveying requirements at wave and tidal stream energy sites in Wales. This report now provides a framework for assessing risk to marine mammals from wave and t...
Article
Full-text available
Surveys were conducted off the southern coast of Sri Lanka in 2014 and 2015 to investigate the distribution patterns of blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus spp.) in relation to current shipping lanes, and further offshore. There have been several reported ship strikes of blue whales in this area and the IWC Scientific Committee has recognised the po...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) are one of Europe’s most common cetaceans and they are protected under European law. The current expansion of the tidal energy industry has highlighted concerns about anthropogenic activity in tidal habitats, particularly whether deployed turbines may pose a collision risk to animals. However, the ecological si...
Article
Long-lived animals across a range of taxa display substantial social complexity that often includes hierarchical modularity of their social structures. A complete understanding of how their social systems function is achieved by understanding not only how individuals interact with each other, but also how their social groups relate to one another....
Article
The growing interest in generating electrical power from tidal currents using tidal turbine generators raises a number of environmental concerns, including the risk that cetaceans might be injured or killed through collision with rotating turbine blades. To understand this risk we need better information on how cetaceans use tidal rapid habitats an...
Article
The sperm whale is one of only two great whales regularly encountered in the Mediterranean Sea. It was once considered to be quite abundant in some parts of the Mediterranean, but large herds are not reported nowadays and several lines of evidence support the hypothesis that the population is depleted. While no estimate of population size exists fo...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The aim of the project is to provide the capability to establish potential risks to cetaceans and seals from the use of acoustic deterrent devices in Scottish waters. Acoustic Deterrent Devices (ADDs) are often used on aquaculture sites to reduce predation of seals on fish stocks using acoustic emissions. These acoustic emissions may also have seco...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The growing interest in generating electrical power from tidal currents using tidal turbine generators raises a number of environmental concerns, including the risk that cetaceans might be injured or killed through collision with rotating turbine blades. To understand this risk we need better information on how cetaceans use tidal rapid habitats an...
Chapter
Currently, there is great uncertainty surrounding the environmental impacts of tidal turbines on marine mammals; one major concern derives from the potential for physical injury through direct contact with the moving structures of turbines. Collecting data to quantify these risks is challenging and methods for measuring movements underwater and int...
Article
There is substantial geographic variation in the behavior and social structure of sperm whales worldwide. The population in the Eastern Caribbean is thought to be isolated from other areas in the North Atlantic. We describe the behavior and social structure of the sperm whales identified off Dominica during an eight year study (2005–2012; 92% of ph...
Article
Full-text available
Methods for the fully automatic detection and species classification of odontocete whistles are described. The detector applies a number of noise cancellation techniques to a spectrogram of sound data and then searches for connected regions of data which rise above a pre-determined threshold. When tested on a dataset of recordings which had been ca...
Article
Full-text available
The European Union (EU) Habitats Directive requires Member States to monitor and maintain at favourable conservation status those species identified to be in need of protection, including all cetaceans. In July 2005 we surveyed the entire EU Atlantic continental shelf to generate robust estimates of abundance for harbour porpoise and other cetacean...
Article
Full-text available
It is hypothesized that the primary function of permanent social relationships among female sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) is to provide allomothers for calves at the surface while mothers make foraging dives. In order to investigate how reciprocity of allocare within units of sperm whales facilitates group living, we constructed weighted so...
Article
Full-text available
The west coast of Scotland is comprised of complex coastlines and topography, and a range of physical processes influence its coastal marine environment. The region is host to one of the highest densities of harbour porpoise Phocoena phocoena in Europe. The aim of this study was to identify habitat preferences driving the distribution of harbour po...
Article
The European Union (EU) Habitats Directive requires Member States to monitor and maintain at favourable conservation status those species identified to be in need of protection, including all cetaceans. In July 2005 we surveyed the entire EU Atlantic continental shelf to generate robust estimates of abundance for harbour porpoise and other cetacean...
Article
Full-text available
Little is known about the movements of male sperm whales, Physeter macrocephalus, in the North Atlantic. Recoveries of traditional harpoons and tags during commercial whaling indicated movements from Nova Scotia to Spain and from the Azores to Iceland and Spain. We compared collections of photo-identification images from different areas using the N...
Article
The vaquita (Phocoena sinus) is a critically endangered small cetacean found only in the upper Gulf of California, where fisheries bycatch remains an acute threat. Cost, shallow heavily fished areas, and the vaquitas extreme avoidance of noisy motorized vessels argue against using large vessels typically used for visual line transect surveys. Towed...
Article
Social animals may develop behavioural strategies that are based on individualized relationships among members. In these cases, there might be selection pressures for the development of identity signals and mechanisms that allow discrimination and recognition of particular individuals. Female sperm whales, Physeter macrocephalus, live in long-term,...
Article
A computer based system for the collection of line transect survey data is described. The primary goals of the system were to measure (rather than estimate) distances and angles wherever possible, to provide accurate time-stamps for surfacing events as an aid toduplicate identification and to facilitate accurate data collection by using computers t...
Article
Sperm whale clicks are characterized by a multi-pulsed structure. The time lag between consecutive pulses, i.e., the inter-pulse interval (IPI), is related to the size of the sound production organ such that its measurement provides a means to acoustically estimate the size of individual whales. Due to off-axis effects the identification of pulses...
Article
The harbour porpoise is a highly mobile species and thus represents a considerable challenge in the context of using marine protected areas (MPAs) for conservation. The shelf waters off the west coast of Scotland have been identified as an area of year-round presence, high density in comparison to surrounding areas, and a high young to adult ratio...
Article
Full-text available
The first recordings from free-ranging Gervais' beaked whale (Mesoplodon europaeus) are presented. Nine Gervais' beaked whales were observed visually for over 6 h. Clicks were only detected over a 15 min period during the encounter, which coincided with an 88 min period during which no whales were observed at the surface. Click lengths were typical...
Article
PAMGUARD is open-source, platform-independent software to address the needs of developers and users of Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) systems. For the PAM operator-marine mammal biologist, manager, or mitigator-PAMGUARD provides a flexible and easy-to-use suite of detection, localization, data management, and display modules. These provide a sta...
Article
The click vocalizations of sperm whales often contain several regularly-spaced, discrete pulses of sound. Norris & Harvey (1972) hypothesized that these were caused as a single pulse of sound produced at the front of the whale's head bounced between reflective air sacs at either end of the spermaceti organ. Thus the interval between pulses will be...
Article
Sperm whales exhibit highly structured social behavior that depends on sex, age, and possibly local ecological characteristics. We analyzed sighting data collected between 1994 and 2005 to determine the social structure of sperm whale groups in the northern Gulf of Mexico (714 good-quality photographs of 285 individual whales). Average typical grou...
Article
Beaked whales are extremely difficult to sight at sea and this hampers attempts to study them, and makes real time mitigation difficult. Passive acoustic monitoring could improve detection efficiency. Blainville's beaked whales, (Mesoplodon densirostris) are known to produce most of their vocalizations at depth. They are routinely detected on botto...
Article
In its current stage of development PAMGUARD provides a powerful, flexible and easy to use program for real time acoustic detection and localisation of cetacean vocalisations that combines the functionality of several previous software products and, in many cases, extends them. Thus PAMGUARD is well positioned to provide the standard tool for PAM d...