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Title: The acoustic repertoire and behavioural context of the vocalisations of a nocturnal dasyurid, the eastern quoll (Dasyurus viverrinus)
Contributor(s): Dorph, Annalie (author); McDonald, Paul  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2017
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0179337Open Access Link
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Abstract: Defining an acoustic repertoire is essential to understanding vocal signalling and communicative interactions within a species. Currently, quantitative and statistical definition is lacking for the vocalisations of many dasyurids, an important group of small to medium-sized marsupials from Australasia that includes the eastern quoll (Dasyurus viverrinus), a species of conservation concern. Beyond generating a better understanding of this species' social interactions, determining an acoustic repertoire will further improve detection rates and inference of vocalisations gathered by automated bioacoustic recorders. Hence, this study investigated eastern quoll vocalisations using objective signal processing techniques to quantitatively analyse spectrograms recorded from 15 different individuals. Recordings were collected in conjunction with observations of the behaviours associated with each vocalisation to develop an acoustic-based behavioural repertoire for the species. Analysis of recordings produced a putative classification of five vocalisation types: Bark, Growl, Hiss, Cp-cp, and Chuck. These were most frequently observed during agonistic encounters between conspecifics, most likely as a graded sequence from Hisses occurring in a warning context through to Growls and finally Barks being given prior to, or during, physical confrontations between individuals. Quantitative and statistical methods were used to objectively establish the accuracy of these five putative call types. A multinomial logistic regression indicated a 97.27% correlation with the perceptual classification, demonstrating support for the five different vocalisation types. This putative classification was further supported by hierarchical cluster analysis and silhouette information that determined the optimal number of clusters to be five. Minor disparity between the objective and perceptual classifications was potentially the result of gradation between vocalisations, or subtle differences present within vocalisations not discernible to the human ear.The implication of these different vocalisations and their given context is discussed in relation to the ecology of the species and the potential application of passive acoustic monitoring techniques.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: PLoS One, 12(7), p. 1-16
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Place of Publication: United States of America
ISSN: 1932-6203
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 060809 Vertebrate Biology
060801 Animal Behaviour
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 310914 Vertebrate biology
310901 Animal behaviour
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 280102 Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Environmental and Rural Science

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