Tracking Data for Common Eiders (Somateria mollissima)

Science Center Objects

Available here are tracking data of Common Eider, a sea duck species found across Alaska and the Arctic.  Some populations migrate between distant breeding and wintering areas while others are essentially nonmigratory.  These data were collected to better understand the migration of the different populations in Alaska and migratory connectivity to adjacent regions, such as Russia.

Return to Ecosystems >> Wildlife Tracking Data Collection

USGS Alaska Science Center scientists collect data from wildlife tracking devices to: determine locations of animals throughout their annual cycles, understand patterns of habitat use, quantify time spent on various behaviors, and identify geographic areas repeatedly used by wildlife that may indicate sites of importance to species and populations. Tracking data from other wildlife species can be found at:

Argos Wildlife Tracking Common Eiders - animation

Argos Wildlife Tracking of Common eiders.
(Credit: David Douglas, USGS. Public domain.)

Tracking Maps

Common Eider Tracking Maps

These webpages contain four different types of browse maps and other visualizations of the tracking data.

  • Maps (Animated, Static, Interactive, and Google Earth)
  • Summary graphs of the data: where, when, duration
  • Note: These maps serve only as a depiction of the geographic content of the specific data provided and may be inappropriate for inferences and interpretation outside the intent of the original study. For example, maps may portray only certain ages, sexes, limited numbers of animals or variable tracking duration and start times that may limit inference for other questions. Users are advised to read the publication(s) and data set metadata associated with these maps to understand appropriate use and data limitations.

Data Packages

Argos Satellite Telemetry Data

These data packages contain the data collected from satellite transmitters attached to free-ranging animals. The packages include both raw and processed location and sensor data. The raw data includes data as originally retrieved from the Argos System. The processed data have been filtered for location plausibility, and sensor data have been decoded into standard measurement units. For most users, the processed data will be preferred.

Suggested Citation

Petersen, M.R., Flint, P.L., Mulcahy, D.M., Douglas, D.C., 2021, Tracking data for Common Eiders (Somateria mollissima) (ver 1.0, September 2021): U.S. Geological Survey data release,