The acoustic structure of calls within call types can vary as function of individual identity, sex, and social group membership and is important in kin and social group recognition. Belding's ground squirrels (Spermophilus beldingi) produce alarm chirps that function in predator avoidance but little is known about the acoustic variability of these alarm chirps. The purpose of this preliminary study was to analyze the acoustic structure of alarm chirps with respect to individual differences (e.g., signature information) from eight Belding's ground squirrels from four different lakes in the High Sierra Nevada. Results demonstrate that alarm chirps are individually distinctive, and that acoustic similarity among individuals may correspond to genetic similarity and thus dispersal patterns in this species. These data suggest, on a preliminary basis, that the acoustic structure of calls might be used as a bioacoustic tool for tracking individuals, dispersal, and other population dynamics in Belding's ground squirrels, and perhaps other vocal species.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics