Changing Arctic Ecosystems

Science Center Objects

Arctic regions of Alaska are important for cultural and economic sustainability and host a wide variety of wildlife species, many of which are of conservation and management interest to the U.S. Department of the Interior. The USGS and collaborators provide information about Arctic ecosystems that are used by Arctic residents, management agencies, and industry.

Return to Ecosystems

The objectives of the USGS Changing Arctic Ecosystems Initiative are to:

  • Quantify the responses of wildlife species and their habitats to ecosystem change in the Arctic through research and assessments,
  • Provide projections of likely future wildlife and habitat responses, and
  • Make information publicly available to inform land and species management decisions and Alaska Native subsistence and co-management council actions.

Arctic Ecosystem Assessments

The USGS conducts natural hazard and resource assessments of the Earth’s ecosystems and the response of those ecosystems to environmental change, human activities, and land use. Information on recent assessments can be found in the fact sheets below:

Additionally, a list of upcoming assessments is listed below:

  • Response of molting black brant geese to helicopter-induced disturbance in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska,
  • Population trends of Pacific walrus and southern Beaufort Sea polar bears from 2015 to the present,
  • Effects of marine traffic on Pacific walrus behaviors in the Chukchi Sea, and
  • Fall abundance of Pacific walrus in the northeastern Chukchi Sea.

Decisions Informed by the USGS Changing Arctic Ecosystems Initiative

Below are some examples of how this program is informing decision-making: