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Breeding distribution of the Black Turnstone

January 1, 1991
Eighty-five percent of the world population of Black Turnstones (Arenaria melanocephala) nest on the central Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska, 65% concentrated in a narrow band of salt grass, graminoid, and dwarf shrub meadows within two km of the coast. An estimated 61,000 to 99,000 birds (95% CI), with a point estimate of 80,000 birds, breed on the central delta. About 15,000 others nest elsewhere in Alaska. Abundance varies among habitats and with distance from the coast. On the central delta, highest breeding densities occur in coastal salt grass meadows (1.11 ± 0.16 birds · ha-1) and lowest densities occur on dwarf shrub mat tundra (0.04 ± 0.04 birds · ha-1). Breeding densities in mixed graminoid and dwarf shrub meadows decline significantly with distance from the coast, decreasing abruptly from 0.75 ± 0.11 birds · ha-1 within the first two km to 0.09 ± 0.03 birds · ha-1 farther inland. Although salt grass meadows constitute only 5% of the coastal lowlands, they support 25% of the population.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1992
Title Breeding distribution of the Black Turnstone
Authors Colleen M. Handel, Robert E. Gill
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title The Wilson Bulletin
Series Number
Index ID 70185420
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Alaska Science Center

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