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Acoustic classification of echolocation clicks of three killer whale ecotypes in the Northeastern Pacific


Echolocation click features are compared for three different killer whale ecotypes in the Northeast Pacific off the coast of Washington. A dataset consisting of manually labeled killer whale encounters identified to ecotype based on pulsed call matching was used to generate echolocation click archetypes for resident, transient and offshore killer whales. Results indicate that resident and offshore killer whales can be distinguished acoustically based on the spectral shape and inter-click intervals of their echolocation clicks. Efficient, semi-automated identification will allow expanded use of passive acoustic monitoring for management of these populations.

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