Sturgeon Song: Implications for Conservation

Sturgeon, as a group, are among the most imperiled fishes in the world. One reason for the decline of these fishes is the interruption of spawning migrations by dams. Dams create reservoirs, which are unsuitable habitat for larval sturgeon.  As sturgeon numbers decline, finding enough animals to study their natural habitat and life history, and to capture for propagation has become extremely difficult. The populations of many other aquatic animals (whales, redfish, etc.),are monitored by their acoustic signals, and this may be a good technique for monitoring sturgeon as well.

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Document the acoustic signals of sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus) during the breeding season.
Find spawning aggregations of sturgeon in rivers by monitoring acoustic signals.

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In 2001, Auburn University Fisheries and Allied Aquaculture researchers made the first recordings of sturgeon sounds in North America, using pallid sturgeon as study species. The complex sounds are relatively high amplitude and high frequency and consist of several components. A typical pallid sturgeon sound can be heard at this site: sound. Current work is aimed at describing the signal and at recording sounds from several species in order to determine the call structure of different species.

This work will pave the way for field investigations in the future and may assist in the conservation of the Alabama sturgeon, one of the world’s most endangered vertebrate animals.

Principal Investigator

Wayne Brewer
Visiting Professor
301 Funchess Hall
Auburn Univ, AL 36849
334-844-5006
Vondraniece L. Johnson
TES Clerical
301 Poultry Science Building
Auburn, AL 36849
334-844-8271
Steven M. Gratz
203 Swingle Hall
Auburn, AL 36849
334-844-4786
David R. Brasher
TES Clerical
204 Extension Hall
Auburn Univ, AL 36849
334-844-4100
Lloyd D. Chapman
Regional Extension Agent III
P.O. Box 159
Belle Mina, AL 35615
256-262-2703
Troy M. Farmer
Postdoctoral Fellow
222 Swingle Hall
Auburn Univ, AL 36849
334-844-9305
Jaden K. Brown
Administrative Agriculture
107 Comer Hall
Auburn Univ, AL 36849
334-844-2345
Lillian Culp
Undergraduate Intern
217 Rouse Life Sciences Building
Auburn University, AL 36849
334-844-5015
William B. Head
Graduate Research Assistant
251 Upchurch Hall
Auburn Univ, AL 36849
334-844-4100
Colton T. Christjohn
Animal Sciences
210 Upchurch Hall
Auburn Univ, AL 36849
334-844-1521
Kristina M. Dattilo
TES General Labor
106 Greene Hall
Auburn Univ, AL 36849
334-844-4000
Phillip A. Gunter
Animal Sciences
210 Upchurch Hall
Auburn Univ, AL 36849
334-844-1521
Bill Abernethy
Vice President of Global Market Development at Prosensa Therapeutics
Erin M. Forte
Clinical Sciences
210 Upchurch Hall
Auburn Univ, AL 36849
334-844-1521
Christy D. Hicks
Regional Extension Agent I
302 A Byrne Street
Bay Minette, AL 36507
334-844-4022
Tracey L. Jeffery
TES Technician
203B Swingle Hall
Auburn Univ, AL 36849
334-844-4786
Dr. Covadonga R. Arias
Professor
327 CASIC
Auburn University, AL 36849
334-844-9215
Claude E. Boyd
Professor
131 Aquatic Resource Management Building
Auburn University, AL 36849
334-844-4075
Yolanda J. Brady
Associate Professor
209 Swingle Hall
Auburn University, AL 36849
334-844-9122
Dr. Stephen A. Bullard (Ash)
Associate Professor
324 Upchurch Hall
Auburn Univ, AL 36849
334-844-9278
Dr. Matt Catalano
Assistant Professor
217 Swingle Hall
Auburn University, AL 36849
334-844-7366
Dr. Jesse A. Chappell
Associate Professor Extension Specialist
125 Swingle Hall
Auburn Univ, AL 36849
334-844-9209
Bill Daniels
Acting Director of Global Programs, College of Agriculture; Associate Professor, School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences; WAS President-Elect
Auburn University, AL 36849-5419
1-334-844-3212 (Global Programs)
1-334-844-9123 (SFAAS office)
1-334-844-9208 fax
Dr. Dennis DeVries
Professor
311 Swingle Hall
Auburn University, AL 36849
334-844-9322
Dr. Terrill R. Hanson (Terry)
Professor Extension Specialist
213 Swingle Hall
Auburn University, AL 36849
334-844-9207

Affiliated Departments or Institutions

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service