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The Yellow-billed loon, the largest of the world’s five loon species, and also the rarest, has oneof the highest nesting densities in the world on the central Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska (Earnstet al. 2005). In Alaska, this species typically breeds on the edges of relatively deep (>2 m), large(usu. >12 ha) fish-bearing lakes (http://alaska.fws.gov/). Little is known about their diet inAlaska, but they are believed to depend on several fish species, with cisco (Coregonus spp.)being the most important (J. Schmutz, pers. comm.). Although previously thought to winter offthe coast of the Pacific Northwest, new evidence suggests the North American breedingpopulation winters in East Asia from the western Kuril Islands...
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This table contains information related to references, such as reports and other publications, that summarize information on threatened eiders and is one component of the Threatened Eider Geodatabase. This database is intended to be a qualitative “first look” at where these two species of eider have been recorded and where surveys have been conducted. This spatial dataset is intended for general planning and mapping purposes rather than for deriving density estimates.The geodatabase is comprised of two feature classes (SPEI_STEI_Observations and Survey_Polys) and two tables (Eider_Incidental_attributes and Eider_Reference_Information).
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The Steller’s Eider, is the smallest of the four eiders and in many ways resembles dabbling ducksmore than sea ducks. This species was listed as “threatened” in 1997 under the EndangeredSpecies Act as it has virtually disappeared from historic breeding areas in the YukonKuskokwimDelta, once the most populated breeding ground in Alaska. In Arctic Alaska,Steller’s Eiders nest in polygonal tundra near the coast or up to 30km inland on sites with acomplex of interconnected ponds (Fredrickson 2001). During the breeding season, their dietconsists primarily of aquatic insects including chironomid and tipulid larvae (Fredrickson 2001).Alaskan breeders spend their winters along the Alaskan panhandle and the eastern AleutianIslands...
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The Bar-tailed Godwit completes one of the most incredible journeys of any bird species,traveling non-stop across the Pacific Ocean from Alaska to Australia and New Zealand during itsfall migration. In Arctic Alaska, this species is found most commonly west of the Colville Riverand is particularly frequent in the Brooks Range foothills (Johnson et al. 2007). On the NorthSlope, Bar-tailed Godwits nest in moist tussock tundra near wetlands to wet sedge meadows(McCaffery and Gill 2001). They typically forage in shallow, flooded areas on insects but willeat berries upon arrival to breeding grounds (McCaffery and Gill 2001). Current populationestimate for North American breeders (baueri subspecies) is 90,000 with a declining...
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Polar bears along Alaska’s Beaufort Sea frequently give birth to young in land-based snow dens.These dens are established in November, typically in deep snowdrifts that have developed in thelee of cut-banks found along streams, rivers, and the coast. Durner et al. (2001, 2006) indicatedthat, for 24 known land den sites, the local slopes ranged from 15 to 50° and were 1.3 to 34 mhigh. The dens faced all directions but east. They published a distribution map based on habitatcharacteristics, presumably reflecting snow drifting, largely bracketing the generally northwardflowing drainages of the region. No attempt was made in the cited studies to model snow driftingexplicitly, though it was recognized that this was an...
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We assessed change in the seasonal timing of insect emergence from tundra ponds near Barrow, Alaskaover a four-decade timespan, and explored factors that regulate this significant ecological phenomenon.The early-summer pulse of adult insects emerging from myriad tundra ponds on the Arctic Coastal Plainis an annual event historically coincident with resource demand by tundra-nesting avian consumers.Asymmetrical changes in the seasonal timing of prey availability and consumer needs may impact arcticbreedingshorebirds, eiders, and passerines. We have found evidence of change in the thermal behaviorof these arctic wetlands, along with a shift in the phenology of emerging pond insects. Relative to the1970s, tundra ponds...
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The Black-bellied Plover breeds regularly in Arctic Alaska with the highest numbersconcentrated in the central portion of the Arctic Coastal Plain (Johnson et al. 2007). Ingeneral, this species tends to choose dry habitats for nesting such as dry heath tundra, exposedridges, and river banks. They will occasionally nest in wetter tundra habitats but tend to selectdrier microsites (Paulson 1995). Black-bellied Plovers search for invertebrate prey visually onopen tundra during the breeding season. This species winters along the coastlines of NorthAmerica from southern Canada to Middle America (Paulson 1995). Current Alaskapopulation estimate (P. s. squatarola) is 50,000 with a declining population trend (Morrisonet...
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The Long-tailed Jaeger, the most sleek and graceful of the three jaegers, is a common bird inArctic Alaska. Similar to the larger Pomarine Jaeger, this species diet consists primarily oflemmings and voles, however, unlike the Pomarine Jaeger, Long-tailed Jaegers can withstandcyclical rodent crashes as they can readily switch to other food sources (Wiley and Lee 1998).The Long-tailed Jaegers breeding range in Alaska extends more deeply into the interior thaneither the Pomarine or Parasitic Jaeger and typically nests in drier upland tundra (Wiley and Lee1998). The current global population estimate is >150,000 – 5,000,000 (BirdLife International2012). There is no Alaska population estimate available.
BioMap Alaska is a citizen science observation and information management tool. BioMap Alaska engages residents of coastal communities to voluntarily report observations and local knowledge of marine life. This project is intended to improve and expand upon science based monitoring activities, and to further cooperation and collaboration among local people, researchers, and resource managers. We provide a field guide of “species of interest” on which we are seeking information and web-based data logging so that that observers can enter their observations and view these on an online map. Anyone who is interested can view the BioMap data.WHY DO WE NEED BIOMAP ALASKA?There are ongoing and significant ocean environment...
Water availability, distribution, quality and quantity are critical habitat elements for fish and other water-dependent species. Furthermore, the availability of water is also a pre-requisite for a number of human activities. The density of weather and hydrology observation sites on the North Slope is orders of magnitude less than in other parts of the U.S., making it difficult to document hydrologic trends and develop accurate predictive models where water is a key input. The information that does exist is scattered among many entities, and varies in format. This multi-year data rescue effort project brought together scarce and scattered hydrology data sets, including high-priority datasets held by the Bureau of...
In Alaska, changes in snow, ice, and weather, have resulted in risks to human lives, infrastructure damage, threats to valuable natural resources, and disruption of hunting, fishing, and livelihoods.Leaders from the Aleutians to the Chukchi Sea came together for a series of Coastal Resilience and Adaptation Workshops, spearheaded by three Landscape Conservation Cooperatives and the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association. Tribal leaders, resource managers, community planners, and scientists explored strategies to adapt to these unprecedented changes.The workshop series brought together 14 Organizing Partners 34 Tribes, 15 State & Federal Agencies, and a total of more than 200 participants to meet in four regional...
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The Savannah Sparrow has a widespread breeding range across North America from thesouthern U.S. to Arctic Alaska. This species will breed in open habitats ranging from meadows,cultivated fields, grazed pastures, roadsides, coastal grasslands and tundra (Wheelwright andRising 2008). On the coastal plain of Arctic Alaska, tundra nesting habitat is often associatedwith stream/river drainages, nesting on the ground often hidden under low shrubs (Wheelwrightand Rising 2008). During the breeding season they forage in a wide range of habitats on a varietyof insect prey although seeds and other vegetative matter are also consumed (Wheelwright andRising 2008). Savannah Sparrows are short-distance migrants and winter in the...
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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.
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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.
Lack of complete snow cover for the past 3 winters in southwestern Alaska has forced agencies to postpone conducting moose surveys due to the likelihood of underestimating the population/lack of comparability to previous surveys. Poor snow conditions are known to lower the sightability of moose, yet, for most regions of Alaska, the variation in moose sightability during suboptimal conditions has not yet been quantified. Because scientists are predicting less snowfall in this region over the long term, research was initiated to estimate sightability correction factors (SCFc) to apply to abundance estimates.
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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...
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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).
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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...
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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.
The Bureau of Land Management- Arctic Field Office has a requirement for coordinating research andmonitoring projects related to the effectiveness of stipulations and surface resource impacts in theNational Petroleum Reserve - Alaska. Yellow-billed Loons are among the least common breeding birdsin the mainland United States and the U.S. breeding population is concentrated largely within theNational Petroleum Reserve – Alaska (NPR-A). Interest in developing the oil and gas reserves withinNPR-A has increased within the last 10 years, along with a need for better information with which toprotect loon populations. Fundamental to protection strategies is a good understanding of distributionand abundance.In 2007, the...


map background search result map search result map Hydroclimatological Data Rescue, Data Inventory, Network Analysis, and Data Distribution Changing Climate-Biomes Prediction Output Fish CAFE Project Information Handout BioMap Alaska - Citizen Science for Alaska's Oceans Changing Climate-Biomes Model factsheet Snowy Owl Seasonality of Invertebrates Final Report Bar-tailed Godwit Black-bellied Plover Savannah Sparrow Mapping Suitable Snow Habitat for Polar Bear Denning Final Report Threatened Eider GDB, 2012 Edition shapefiles and tables Assessing Climate Change Vulnerability of Breeding Birds in Arctic Alaska Yellow-billed Loon Steller's Eider Long-tailed Jaeger Common Eider Mapping Suitable Snow Habitat for Polar Bear Denning Final Report Seasonality of Invertebrates Final Report Fish CAFE Project Information Handout Snowy Owl Bar-tailed Godwit Black-bellied Plover Savannah Sparrow Threatened Eider GDB, 2012 Edition shapefiles and tables Assessing Climate Change Vulnerability of Breeding Birds in Arctic Alaska Yellow-billed Loon Steller's Eider Long-tailed Jaeger Common Eider BioMap Alaska - Citizen Science for Alaska's Oceans Hydroclimatological Data Rescue, Data Inventory, Network Analysis, and Data Distribution Changing Climate-Biomes Prediction Output Changing Climate-Biomes Model factsheet