Hide menu
Picture 1: Liivi is in position waiting for a pinger sound, pinger is visible to the left

The seals who participated were Marcus the harbour seal ( Phoca vitulina) , and the grey seals ( Halichoerus grypus ) Liivi and Sten. All tests and training took place in the exhibit of the seals.  

Since the goal was to test if the seals could hear the sounds or not there needed to be a clear sign, a clear reaction from the seals. It was decided that the seals should go to the pinger when any of the eight sounds were played.  First the sounds had to be connected to something good, and what is better than fish? The seals already had a recall signal, a slap with the hand on the surface of the water. This was connected to the pinger and then faded out. The goal for this training was that pinger sound means go to the pinger, no sound means stay with the trainer. To make the reponse even more clear the seals were to touch the pinger with the nose to get reinforced. 

Data collection
The pinger sessions were filmed with a GoPro camera attached to a pole to get a view from above. All observations were made from these films. T o check if the procedure worked or not the seals response to the sounds were recorded. Going to the pinger was recorded as 'go'. Not going to the pinger was recorded as 'no go'. Other parameters such as who the trainer was, the session of day was also noted and a Generalized Linear Model was used to distinguish wcich of the parameters influenced the response of the seals.

Responsible for this page: Agneta Johansson
Last updated: 06/15/16