The whistles of Irrawaddy dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris) from the waters of Matang, western Peninsular Malaysia are described. Duration, frequency and frequency modulation variables were measured from 163 whistles recorded using a broadband towed hydrophone. Irrawaddy dolphins produced whistles with a mean duration of 0.366 s (S.D. ± 0.217 s). The fundamental frequency of whistles extended from 3040 to 17,123 Hz with low levels of frequency modulation. These dolphins produced whistles that were comparable to those of conspecifics recorded from the waters of Kalimantan, but were generally different from the related Australian snubfin dolphin (O. heinsohni). They also differed from the whistles of the sympatric Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis). Characteristics of Irrawaddy dolphin whistles may be useful in future passive acoustic monitoring studies to investigate differences in sympatric species and their habitat.
Whistles, Irrawaddy dolphin, Orcaella brevirostris, Malaysia, animal communication