Researchers from the University of Alaska (UAF), The NatureConservancy, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will use‘climate envelope’ models (i.e., models that infer a species’environmental requirements from locations where they arecurrently found) to explore how patterns in temperature,precipitation, and landcover (i.e., climate-biomes) may shift as aresult of changing climate.
Results indicate that the regions most vulnerableto ecological shifts under the influence of climatechange are likely to be the interior and northernmountainous portions of Alaska; the northernYukon; and much of the Northwest Territories.Although the A1B and A2 emissions scenarios predictmore cliome shift overall, as compared to themore conservative B1 scenario, the patterns holdtrue across all three. Notably, there are no areas ofthe NWT predicted to retain their current cliomes.
The Snowy Owl, a conspicuous and majestic bird of the circumpolar arctic, is an efficient hunterof small mammals in tundra environs. In years of high lemming numbers they will focus on thisabundant food source but will readily switch to a wide variety of other prey when lemmings arescarce (Parmelee 1992). Their breeding range in Alaska is generally restricted to the ArcticCoastal Plain, typically nesting in more upland tundra habitats, although they often, though notexclusively, forage in wetter tundra (Parmelee 1992). Snowy Owls are unpredictable migrantsand will sometimes “invade” portions of southern Canada and the northern contiguous US, inwinters when lemmings are scarce in the Arctic. The current global population...
The Common Eider, a large sea duck, is more closely tied to marine environments than are manyother sea ducks. On the Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska this species nests primarily on barrierislands and peninsulas of the Arctic Coastal Plain (a small proportion of the total area) while inother parts of its range they select quite varied nesting sites (Goudie et al. 2000). Common eidersdepend on a marine prey base, eating invertebrates (primarily mollusks and crustaceans) bydiving to the sea floor. Alaskan breeders spend their winters nearby in the Bering Sea, Gulf ofAlaska, and off Russia’s Chukotka Peninsula (SDJV 2004). Current Arctic Coastal Plainpopulation is estimated at approximately 2,000 (Dau and Bollinger 2009).
The Fish Creek Watershed encompasses diverse aquatic habitats representative of much of the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska. Beyond surface water and permafrost responses caused by changes in climate, this landscape is also subject to potential land-use impacts related to petroleum development in the National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska (NPR-A). Thus, this region is an ideal setting to address aquatic habitat questions of longstanding interest to Arctic resource managers, scientists, and other stakeholders. Our multidisciplinary team is focusing on broad hypothesis that surface-water availability, connectivity, and temperature mediate aquatic habitats and trophic dynamics. We are working to understand and...
Final report detailing the results of the climate change vulnerability assessment conducted by the Wildlife Conservation Society.The specific goals of this assessment were to: provide a climate change vulnerability ranking for selected Arctic Alaskan breeding bird species; evaluate the relative contribution of specific sensitivity and exposure factors to individual species rankings; consider how this assessment may be integrated with other approaches; and appraise the effectiveness of the NatureServe Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI) tool.