Acoustic classification of dolphins in the California Current using whistles, echolocation clicks, and burst pulses

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Authors Shannon Rankin, Frederick I. Archer, +4 authors Jay Barlow
Journal/Conference Name Marine Mammal Science
Paper Category
Paper Abstract Passive acoustic monitoring of dolphins is limited by our ability to classify calls to species. Significant overlap in call characteristics among many species, combined with a wide range of call types and acoustic behavior, makes classification of calls to species challenging. Here, we introduce BANTER, a compound acoustic classification method for dolphins that utilizes information from all call types produced by dolphins rather than a single call type, as has been typical for acoustic classifiers. Output from the passive acoustic monitoring software, PAMGuard, was used to create independent classifiers for whistles, echolocation clicks, and burst pulses, which were then merged into a final, compound classifier for each species. Classifiers for five species found in the California Current ecosystem were trained and tested using 153 single-species acoustic events recorded during a 4.5 mo combined visual and acoustic shipboard cetacean survey off the west coast of the United States. Correct classification scores for individual species ranged from 71% to 92%, with an overall correct classification score of 84% for all five species. The conceptual framework of this approach easily lends itself to other species and study areas as well as to noncetacean taxa.
Date of publication 2017
Code Programming Language R
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