Northern bottlenose #whales in a pristine #environment respond strongly to close and distant #navy #sonar signals (Proc Roy Soc B., abstract)

[Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society, Biological Sciences, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Northern bottlenose whales in a pristine environment respond strongly to close and distant navy sonar signals

Paul J. Wensveen, Saana Isojunno, Rune R. Hansen, Alexander M. von Benda-Beckmann, Lars Kleivane, Sander van IJsselmuide, Frans-Peter A. Lam, Petter H. Kvadsheim, Stacy L. DeRuiter, Charlotte Curé, Tomoko Narazaki, Peter L. Tyack andPatrick J. O. Miller

Published: 20 March 2019 / DOI:



Impact assessments for sonar operations typically use received sound levels to predict behavioural disturbance in marine mammals. However, there are indications that cetaceans may learn to associate exposures from distant sound sources with lower perceived risk. To investigate the roles of source distance and received level in an area without frequent sonar activity, we conducted multi-scale controlled exposure experiments (n = 3) with 12 northern bottlenose whales near Jan Mayen, Norway. Animals were tagged with high-resolution archival tags (n = 1 per experiment) or medium-resolution satellite tags (n = 9 in total) and subsequently exposed to sonar. We also deployed bottom-moored recorders to acoustically monitor for whales in the exposed area. Tagged whales initiated avoidance of the sound source over a wide range of distances (0.8–28 km), with responses characteristic of beaked whales. Both onset and intensity of response were better predicted by received sound pressure level (SPL) than by source distance. Avoidance threshold SPLs estimated for each whale ranged from 117–126 dB re 1 µPa, comparable to those of other tagged beaked whales. In this pristine underwater acoustic environment, we found no indication that the source distances tested in our experiments modulated the behavioural effects of sonar, as has been suggested for locations where whales are frequently exposed to sonar.

Keywords: Environmental pollution; Wildlife.


#Dolphin #Morbillivirus Associated with a Mass #Stranding of Sperm #Whales, #Italy (@CDC_EIDjournal, abstract)

[Source: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Emerging Infectious Disease Journal, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Volume 23, Number 1—January 2017 / Letter

Dolphin Morbillivirus Associated with a Mass Stranding of Sperm Whales, Italy



In September 2014, seven sperm whales were stranded along Italy’s Adriatic coastline. Postmortem investigations on 3 female adult whales and 1 male fetus carried by the largest female revealed molecular and immunohistochemical evidence of dolphin morbillivirus infection. A possible role of the virus in the stranding event was considered.

Keywords: Whales; Morbillivirus; Italy.


#Morbillivirus and Pilot #Whale #Deaths, Canary Islands, #Spain, 2015 (@CDC_EIDjournal, extract)

[Source: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal, full page: (LINK). Extract.]

Volume 22, Number 4—April 2016  / Letter

Morbillivirus and Pilot Whale Deaths, Canary Islands, Spain, 2015  [      ]


To the Editor:

Four strains of cetacean morbillivirus (CeMV; family Paramyxoviridae, genus Morbillivirus) have been detected in the global cetacean population: porpoise morbillivirus (1), dolphin morbillivirus (2), pilot whale morbillivirus (PWMV) (3), and Longman’s beaked whale morbillivirus (4). In addition, 2 novel CeMV sequences or strains isolated from the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) and the Guiana dolphin (Sotalia guianensis) have been recently reported in the Southern Hemisphere (5,6).


Eva Sierra, Antonio Fernández, Cristian Suárez-Santana, Aina Xuriach, Daniele Zucca, Yara Bernaldo de Quirós, Natalia García-Álvarez, Jesús De la Fuente, Simona Sacchini, Marisa Andrada, Josué Díaz-Delgado, and Manuel Arbelo

Author affiliations: University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Arucas (Las Palmas), Canary Islands, Spain



We thank other members of the Canary Islands Cetacean Stranding Network (Society for the Study of Cetaceans in the Canary Islands and Canary Islands Conservation) for participating in this study.

This study was supported by National Project CGL2012-39681 (Subprograma BOS); Regional Project SolSub C200801000288 and ProID 20100091; Technical Assistant Contract by Canary Islands Government delegation (TEC0002955); and precompetitive project ULPGC2013-21.

Suggested citation for this article: Sierra E, Fernández A, Suárez-Santana C, Xuriach A, Zucca D, Bernaldo de Quirós Y, et al. Morbillivirus and pilot whale deaths, Canary Islands, Spain, 2015 [letter]. Emerg Infect Dis. 2016 Apr [date cited].

DOI: 10.3201/eid2204.150954

Keywords: Research; Abstracts; Whales; Morbillivirus; Spain.


#Mediterranean Fin #Whales (Balaenoptera physalus) Threatened by #Dolphin #MorbilliVirus (@CDC_EIDjournal, abstract)

[Source: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Volume 22, Number 2—February 2016  / Dispatch

Mediterranean Fin Whales (Balaenoptera physalus) Threatened by Dolphin MorbilliVirus  [      ]

Sandro Mazzariol, Cinzia Centelleghe, Giorgia Beffagna, Michele Povinelli, Giuliana Terracciano, Cristiano Cocumelli, Antonio Pintore, Daniele Denurra, Cristina Casalone, Alessandra Pautasso, Cristina Esmeralda Di Francesco, and Giovanni Di Guardo

Author affiliations: University of Padova, Padua, Italy (S. Mazzariol, C. Centelleghe, G. Beffagna, M. Povinelli); Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Lazio e della Toscana, Rome, Italy (G. Terracciano, C. Cocumelli); Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Sardegna, Sassari, Italy (A. Pintore, D. Denurra); Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Piemonte, Liguria e Valle d’Aosta, Turin, Italy (C. Casalone, A. Pautasso); University of Teramo Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Teramo, Italy (C.E. Di Francesco, G. Di Guardo)



During 2011–2013, dolphin morbillivirus was molecularly identified in 4 stranded fin whales from the Mediterranean Sea. Nucleoprotein, phosphoprotein, and hemagglutinin gene sequences of the identified strain were highly homologous with those of a morbillivirus that caused a 2006–2007 epidemic in the Mediterranean. Dolphin morbillivirus represents a serious threat for fin whales.

Keywords: Research; Abstracts; European Region; Whales; Morbillivirus.