Breeding status, population trends and diets of seabirds in Alaska, 2008

Metadata Updated: October 10, 2019

This report is the thirteenth in a series of annual reports summarizing the results of seabird monitoring efforts at breeding colonies on the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) and elsewhere in Alaska (see Byrd and Dragoo 1997, Byrd et al. 1998 and 1999, Dragoo et al. 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2006-2010 for compilations of previous years’ data). The seabird monitoring program in Alaska is designed to keep track of selected species of marine birds that indicate changes in the ocean environment. Furthermore, the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service has the responsibility to conserve seabirds, and monitoring data are used to identify conservation problems. The objective is to provide long-term, time-series data from which biologically significant changes may be detected and from which hypotheses about causes of changes may be tested. The Alaska Maritime NWR was established specifically to conserve marine bird populations and habitats in their natural diversity and the marine resources upon which they rely and to provide for an international program for research on marine resources (Alaska National Interests Land Conservation Act of 1982). The monitoring program is an integral part of the management of this refuge and provides data that can be used to define “normal” variability in demographic parameters and identify patterns that fall outside norms and thereby constitute potential conservation issues. Although approximately 80% of the seabird nesting colonies in Alaska occur on the Alaska Maritime NWR, marine bird nesting colonies occur on other public lands (e.g., national and state refuges) and on private lands as well. The strategy for colony monitoring includes estimating timing of nesting events, reproductive success, population trends and prey used by representative species of various foraging guilds (e.g., murres are offshore diving fish-feeders, kittiwakes are offshore surface-feeding fish-feeders, auklets are diving plankton-feeders, etc.) at geographically dispersed breeding sites along the entire coastline of Alaska (Figure 1). A total of 10 sites on the Alaska Maritime NWR, located roughly 300-500 km apart, are scheduled for annual surveys (Byrd 2007), and at least some data were available from most of these in 2008. Furthermore, data are recorded annually or semiannually at other sites in Alaska (e.g., Middleton Island). In addition, colonies near the annual sites are identified for less frequent surveys to “calibrate” the information at the annual sites. Data provided from other research projects (e.g., those associated with evaluating the impacts of invasive rodents on marine birds) also supplement the monitoring database. In this report, we summarize information from 2008 for each species; i.e., tables with estimates of average hatch dates and reproductive success, and maps with symbols indicating the relative timing of hatching and success at various sites. In addition, historical patterns of hatching chronology and productivity are illustrated for those sites for which we have adequate information. Population trend information is included for sites where adequate data have been gathered. Seabird diet data from several locations are presented as well.

Access & Use Information

Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: No license information was provided. If this work was prepared by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person's official duties it is considered a U.S. Government Work.

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Metadata Created Date May 1, 2019
Metadata Updated Date October 10, 2019

Metadata Source

Harvested from DOI CKAN Harvest Source

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date May 1, 2019
Metadata Updated Date October 10, 2019
Publisher Fish and Wildlife Service
Unique Identifier FWS_ServCat_73987
Brent Frakes
Maintainer Email
Public Access Level public
Bureau Code 010:18
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