Wildlife Program

Publications

Filter Total Items: 272
Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2015

An experimental investigation of chemical communication in the polar bear

The polar bear (Ursus maritimus), with its wide-ranging movements, solitary existence and seasonal reproduction, is expected to favor chemosignaling over other communication modalities. However, the topography of its Arctic sea ice habitat is generally lacking in stationary vertical substrates routinely used for targeted scent marking in other...

Owen, Megan A.; Swaisgood, Ronald R.; Slocomb, C.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Durner, George M.; Simac, Kristin S.; Pessier, Allan P.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2015

Implications of the circumpolar genetic structure of polar bears for their conservation in a rapidly warming Arctic

We provide an expansive analysis of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) circumpolar genetic variation during the last two decades of decline in their sea-ice habitat. We sought to evaluate whether their genetic diversity and structure have changed over this period of habitat decline, how their current genetic patterns compare with past patterns, and how...

Peacock, Elizabeth L.; Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Obbard, Martyn E.; Boltunov, Andrei N.; Regehr, Eric V.; Ovsyanikov, Nikita; Aars, Jon; Atkinson, Stephen N.; Sage, George K.; Hope, Andrew G.; Zeyl, Eve; Bachmann, Lutz; Ehrich, Dorothee; Scribner, Kim T.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Belikov, Stanislav; Born, Erik W.; Derocher, Andrew E.; Stirling, Ian; Taylor, Mitchell K.; Wiig, Øystein; Paetkau, David; Talbot, Sandra L.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2015

Evaluating and ranking threats to the long-term persistence of polar bears

The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) was listed as a globally threatened species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 2008, mostly due to the significant threat to their future population viability from rapidly declining Arctic sea ice. A core mandate of the ESA is the development of a recovery plan that identifies steps to maintain viable...

Atwood, Todd C.; Marcot, Bruce G.; Douglas, David C.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Rode, Karyn D.; Durner, George M.; Bromaghin, Jeffrey F.
Atwood, T.C., Marcot, B.G., Douglas, D.C., Amstrup, S.C., Rode, K.D., Durner, G.M., and Bromaghin, J.F., 2015, Evaluating and ranking threats to the long-term persistence of polar bears: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2014-1254, 114 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20141254.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2015

Demography of the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens): 1974-2006

Global climate change may fundamentally alter population dynamics of many species for which baseline population parameter estimates are imprecise or lacking. Historically, the Pacific walrus is thought to have been limited by harvest, but it may become limited by global warming-induced reductions in sea ice. Loss of sea ice, on which walruses rest...

Taylor, Rebecca L.; Udevitz, Mark S.
Demography of the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens): 1974-2006; 2014; Article; Journal; Marine Mammal Science; Taylor, Rebecca L.; Udevitz, Mark S.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2014

Identifying polar bear resource selection patterns to inform offshore development in a dynamic and changing Arctic

Although sea ice loss is the primary threat to polar bears (Ursus maritimus), little can be done to mitigate its effects without global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Other factors, however, could exacerbate the impacts of sea ice loss on polar bears, such as exposure to increased industrial activity. The Arctic Ocean has enormous oil...

Wilson, Ryan R.; Horne, Jon S.; Rode, Karyn D.; Regehr, Eric V.; Durner, George M.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2014

Occupancy of yellow-billed and Pacific loons: evidence for interspecific competition and habitat mediated co-occurrence

Interspecific competition is an important process structuring ecological communities, however, it is difficult to observe in nature. We used an occupancy modelling approach to evaluate evidence of competition between yellow-billed (Gavia adamsii) and Pacific (G. pacifica) loons for nesting lakes on the Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska. With multiple...

Haynes, Trevor B.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Lindberg, Mark S.; Wright, Kenneth G.; Uher-Koch, Brian D.; Rosenberger, Amanda E.
Haynes, T.B., J.A. Schmutz, M.S. Lindberg, K.G. Wright, B.D. Uher-Koch, and A.E. Rosenberger. 2014. Occupancy of yellow-billed and Pacific loons: evidence for interspecific competition and habitat mediated co-occurrence. Journal of Avian Biology 45(3):296-304. doi:10.1111/jav.00394

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2014

Historic and contemporary mercury exposure and potential risk to yellow-billed loons (Gavia adamsii) breeding in Alaska and Canada

The Yellow-billed Loon (Gavia adamsii) is one of the rarest breeding birds in North America. Because of the small population size and patchy distribution, any stressor to its population is of concern. To determine risks posed by environmental mercury (Hg) loads, we captured 115 Yellow-billed Loons between 2002 and 2012 in the North American Arctic...

Evers, David C.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Basu, Niladri; DeSorbo, Christopher R.; Fair, Jeff; Gray, Carrie E.; Paruk, James D.; Perkins, Marie; Regan, Kevin; Uher-Koch, Brian D.; Wright, Kenneth G.
Evers, D. C., J. A. Schmutz, N. Basu, C. R. DeSorbo, J. S. Fair, C. E. Gray, J. Paruk, M. Perkins, K. Regan, B. D. Uher-Koch, and K. G. Wright. 2014. Historic and contemporary mercury exposure and potential risk to Yellow-billed Loons breeding in Alaska and Canada. Waterbirds 37(sp1):147-159. doi:10.1675/063.037.sp117

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2014

Factors influencing immediate post-release survival of spectacled eiders following surgical implantation of transmitters with percutaneous antennae

Surgically implanted transmitters are a common method for tracking animal movements. Immediately following surgical implantation, animals pass through a critical recovery phase when behaviors may deviate from normal and the likelihood of individual survival may be reduced. Therefore, data collected during this period may be censored to minimize...

Sexson, Matthew G.; Mulcahy, Daniel M.; Spriggs, Maria; Myers, Gwen E.
Sexson, M. G., D. M. Mulcahy, M. Spriggs, and G. E. Myers. 2014. Factors influencing immediate post-release survival of Spectacled Eiders following surgical implantation of transmitters with percutaneous antennae. Journal of Wildlife Management 78(3):550-560. doi:10.1002/jwmg.690

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2014

Temporal patterns in the foraging behavior of sea otters in Alaska

Activity time budgets in apex predators have been proposed as indicators of population status relative to resource limitation or carrying capacity. We used archival time-depth recorders implanted in 15 adult female and 4 male sea otters (Enhydra lutris) from the northernmost population of the species, Prince William Sound, Alaska, USA, to examine...

Esslinger, George G.; Bodkin, James L.; Breton, André R.; Burns, Jennifer M.; Monson, Daniel H.
Esslinger, G. G., J. L. Bodkin, A. R. Breton, J. M. Burns, and D. H. Monson. 2014. Temporal patterns in the foraging behavior of sea otters in Alaska. Journal of Wildlife Management 78(4):689-700. doi:10.1002/jwmg.701

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2014

Quantifying fall migration of Ross's gulls (Rhodostethia rosea) past Point Barrow, Alaska

The Ross’s gull (Rhodostethia rosea) is a poorly known seabird of the circumpolar Arctic. The only place in the world where Ross’s gulls are known to congregate is in the near-shore waters around Point Barrow, Alaska, where they undertake an annual passage in late fall. Ross’s gulls seen at Point Barrow are presumed to originate from nesting...

Maftei, Mark; Davis, Shanti E.; Uher-Koch, Brian D.; Gesmundo, Callie; Suydam, R.S.; Mallory, Mark L.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2014

Energy demands for maintenance, growth, pregnancy, and lactation of female Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens)

Decreases in sea ice have altered habitat use and activity patterns of female Pacific walruses Odobenus rosmarus divergens and could affect their energetic demands, reproductive success, and population status. However, a lack of physiological data from walruses has hampered efforts to develop the bioenergetics models required for fully...

Noren, Shawn R.; Udevitz, Mark S.; Jay, Chadwick V.
Noren, S. R., M . S. Udevitz, and C. V. Jay. 2014. Energy Demands for maintenance, growth, pregnancy, and lactation of female Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens). Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 87(6):837-854.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2014

Changing Arctic ecosystems: resilience of caribou to climatic shifts in the Arctic

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Changing Arctic Ecosystems (CAE) initiative strives to inform key resource management decisions for Arctic Alaska by providing scientific information and forecasts for current and future ecosystem response to a warming climate. Over the past 5 years, a focal area for the USGS CAE initiative has been the North...

Gustine, David D.; Adams, Layne G.; Whalen, Mary E.; Pearce, John M.
Changing Arctic ecosystems: resilience of caribou to climatic shifts in the Arctic; 2014; FS; 2014-3103; Gustine, David; Adams, Layne; Whalen, Mary; Pearce, John