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Keywords:

  • A-tag;
  • diel activity pattern;
  • echolocation;
  • Ganges River dolphin;
  • Platanista gangetica gangetica ;
  • passive acoustic monitoring

Abstract

We monitored the underwater movements of Ganges River dolphins using stationed stereo acoustic data loggers. We estimated these movements using changes in the relative angle of the sound source direction (trajectory). Of the total acoustic recordings (66 h), 26.2% contained trajectories of dolphins, and 78.6% of these trajectories involved single animals, suggesting that dolphins tended to swim alone and were localized near the monitoring station. The observed trajectories were categorized as follows: staying type characterized by small changes in the sound source direction, moving type A (moving in the same direction), and moving type B (moving up and down the stream during recording). The average interpulse intervals of sounds in moving types A and B were significantly shorter than that of the staying type, suggesting that dolphins produce the former types of trajectories to echolocate across shorter distances during movement. The frequency of occurrence of moving type A increased during the night, whereas that of type B increased in the late afternoon and that of the staying type increased during the daytime. These results indicate that dolphins moving at night tended to use short-range echolocation, whereas during the day, they remained in relatively small areas and used long-range sonar.