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Acoustic harbour porpoise monitoring in Schleswig-Holstein 2019

Project data

Project leader: Prof. Prof. h. c. Dr Ursula Siebert
Scientific work: Johannes Baltzer
Project term: November 2019 - October 2020
Sponsorship: Landesbetrieb für Küstenschutz, Nationalpark und Meeresschutz Schleswig-Holstein, (LKN), Tönning

Project description

Harbour porpoises are top mammalian predator representatives in the North and Wadden Seas. With the amendment of the National Park law of 1999, a part of the National Park has been dedicated to the protection of harbour porpoises explicitly, because a high density of mother-calf groups has been located there.

Within the framework of the federation-state marine program (Bund-Länder-Meeresprogramm (BLMP)) reform, in January 2011 a conjoint marine mammal monitoring program has been agreed, which complies with the requirements of a monitoring by relevant European guidelines and international conventions. The National Park Administration (NPV) in the Landesbetrieb für Küstenschutz, Nationalpark und Meeresschutz Schleswig-Holstein (LKN) has been mandated with the task of organising, conducting and financing the acoustic monitoring of harbour porpoises during this program.

At this juncture the ITAW assumes the acoustic examinations for the NPV as part of the conjoint marine mammal monitoring within the framework of the BLMP. Therefor  measuring stations over a period of eight years at four determined locations in the Wadden Sea of Schleswig-Holstein  (Lister Tief, Meldorfer Bucht, Rochelsteert and Westerland) are pursued. At these measuring staions click detectors (C-POD) are deployed for collecting echolocation activities of harbour porpoise. The C-PODs are maintained and monitored rotational. To ensure the comparability of the detection results the C-PODs have to be calibrated regularly. The gained data will be evaluated against the background of optimisation of the acoustic monitoring plus necessary enhancements during the permanent operation of the measuring stations. Ultimately, the data of this long term study is to provide information about a potential rhythmicity as well as tidal dependence of harbour porpoise detections throughout the day and in the course of the year.

In this year, aditionally to the four measuring stations in the Wadden Sea of Schleswig-Holstein an extra test point in the astuary of the Elbe will be conducted. This is for having some information about harbour porpoise activities in rivers.



Contact person

Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover
Institute for Terrestrial and Aquatic Wildlife Research
Werftstr. 6
25761 Büsum


Johannes Baltzer


Tel.: +49 511 856-8166
Fax.: +49 511 856-8181

E-Mail schreiben

Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover
Institute for Terrestrial and Aquatic Wildlife Research
Werftstr. 6
25761 Büsum
Tel.:+49 511 856-8166
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