Spatial and Temporal Maps of Population Change of Waterbirds on Alaska's North Slope

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A main objective of the USGS Changing Arctic Research Initiative is to quantify and provide projections of the responses of wildlife species and their habitats to ecosystem change in the Arctic.  The following project provides information for Department of Interior agencies, industry, and other stakeholders related to this objective.

Return to Ecosystems >> Terrestrial Ecosystems >> Waterfowl Research

USGS and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists published a paper in May 2019 that includes over 60 maps showing the distribution, abundance, population trends, and important areas for 20 waterbird species breeding on the Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska. This area includes portions of the National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska, Prudhoe Bay and the coastal plain (1002 area) of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (Figure 1) and has been surveyed by the USFWS nearly every year since 1983.

Arctic Coastal Plain Boundaries and Transects

Figure 1.  Arctic Coastal Plain, Alaska, survey boundary, human settlements (red points), and relevant federal land management units including (a) the National Petroleum Reserve—Alaska (NPR-A), the Teshekpuk Lake Special Area (TLSA), and Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and (b) transect locations for the early and later-flown surveys. Survey transects were flown in a four-year rotation. 
(Credit: Courtney Amundson, USGS. Public domain.)

Below, we summarize maps taken from paper appendices organized by species.  Each map contains mean density, population trend, and important areas for each species based on USFWS Arctic Coastal Plain survey data collected from 1992 to 2016. More information on the survey and methods used to derive maps can be found in Amundson et al. (2019).

Citation: Amundson, C. L., P. L. Flint, R. M. Stehn, H. M. Wilson, W. W. Larned, and J. B. Fischer. 2019. Spatio-temporal population change of Arctic-breeding waterbirds on the Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska. Avian Conservation and Ecology 14(1):18. doi:10.5751/ACE-01383-140118