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Tundra vegetation in the Teshekpuk Lake area of the Alaskan Arctic Coastal Plain was mapped to assess distribution and abundance of waterfowl habitats. Three SPOT satellite scenes were acquired and registered to a 20 m Universal Transverse Mercator grid. Two clustering techniques were used to develop statistical parameters by which the SPOT data were spectrally classified. A maximum likelihood algorithm that correlated spectral classes with land cover types was applied to the SPOT data. Field data were used to assist in spectral class labeling and vegetation descriptions. Twelve cover classes were mapped. The most common type was moist sedge meadow tundra (13.5%); the least common was moss/peat shoreline (0.2%)....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Arctic
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Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) of the southern Beaufort Sea population, distributed from approximately Icy Cape, west of Point Barrow, to Pearce Point, east of Paulatuk in Canada, are harvested by hunters from both countries. In Canada, quotas to control polar bear hunting have been in place, with periodic modifications, since 1968. In Alaska, passage of the United State Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) of 1972 banned polar bear hunting unless done by Alaska Natives for subsistence. However, the MMPA placed no restrictions on numbers or composition of the subsistence hunt, leaving open the potential for an overharvest with no possible legal management response until the population was declared depleted. Recognizing...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Arctic
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Using satellite telemetry, we monitored the movements of an adult female polar bear (Ursus maritimus) as she traveled from the Alaskan Beaufort Sea coast to northern Greenland. She is the first polar bear known to depart the Beaufort Sea region for an extended period, and the first polar bear known to move between Alaska and Greenland. This bear traveled for four months across the polar basin and came within 2 degrees of the North Pole. During the first year following her capture, she traveled 5256 km. Evidence to suggest her use of maternity dens in northern Alaska and in northern Greenland demonstrates the potential for genetic exchange between two widely separate populations of polar bears. The long life spans...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Arctic
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Most emperor geese (Chen canagica) nest in a narrow coastal region of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta (YKD) in western Alaska, but their winter distribution extends more than 3000 km from Kodiak Island, Alaska, to the Commander Islands, Russia. We marked 53 adult female emperor geese with satellite transmitters on the YKD in 1999, 2002, and 2003 to examine whether chronology of migration or use of seasonal habitats differed among birds that wintered in different regions. Females that migrated relatively short distances (650-1010 km) between the YKD and winter sites on the south side of the Alaska Peninsula bypassed autumn staging areas on the Bering Sea coast of the Alaska Peninsula or used them for shorter periods (mean...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Arctic
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Late Quaternary pollen, plant macrofossils, and insect fossils were studied from sites along three rivers in the foothills north of the Alaska Range in Denali National Park and Preserve. The aim was to carry out a reconaissance of late Quaternary organic sediments in the region, emphasizing the mid-Wisconsin, or Boutellier interstadial interval. Samples of probable early- to mid-Boutellier age (ca. 60 000 to 40 000 B.P.) from Unit 2 at the Toklat High Bluffs site indicate open boreal woodland with dense alder shrub vegetation. Organic Unit 1 at the Foraker River Slump site indicates open taiga with shrubs of probable Boutellier age. Fossil evidence from the youngest horizon in this unit indicates graminoid tundra...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Arctic
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Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) give birth to and nurture their young in dens of ice and snow. During 1999-2001, we measured the structure of 22 dens on the coastal plain of northern Alaska after polar bear families had evacuated their dens in the spring. During the summers of 2001 and 2002, we revisited the sites of 42 maternal and autumn exploratory dens and recorded characteristics of the under-snow habitat. The structure of polar bear snow dens was highly variable. Most were simple chambers with a single entrance/egress tunnel. Others had multiple chambers and additional tunnels. Thickness of snow above and below dens was highly variable, but most dens were overlain by less than 1 m of snow. Dens were located...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Arctic
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A three-year study of epipelagic fishes inhabiting Beaufort Sea coastal waters in Alaska documented spatial and temporal patterns in fish distribution and abundance and examined their relationships to thermohaline features during summer. Significant interannual, seasonal, and geographical differences in surface water temperatures and salinities were observed. In 1990, sea ice was absent and marine conditions prevailed, whereas in 1988 and 1991, heavy pack ice was present and the dissolution of the brackish water mass along the coast proceeded more slowly. Arctic cod, capelin, and liparids were the most abundant marine fishes in the catches, while arctic cisco was the only abundant diadromous freshwater species....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Arctic
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Glaucous gulls (Larus hyperboreus) are major predators in the Arctic and may benefit from human development. We studied use of garbage by glaucous gulls in Barrow, Alaska, in 2007, when municipal waste was disposed of in a landfill, and in 2008, when it was incinerated. In both years, diet samples from breeding adult gulls contained less garbage than those from loafing nonbreeding gulls (mostly subadults of less than four years), possibly because the breeding colony was more distant than many loafing sites from the landfills. Although breeding gull samples showed no change, garbage in regurgitated pellets and food remains of nonbreeding gulls was significantly less prevalent in 2008 than in 2007 (28% vs. 43% occurrence...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Arctic
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Between spring 1976 and fall 1980 we studied the occurrence, abundance, and habitat use of birds over a 2000 square km segment of the northcentral Alaska Peninsula. During this period observers were present 473 days and obtained records for all seasons. A total of 125 species was recorded; 63% (79 of 125) were water-associated. The breeding avifauna was found to be a mixture of Panboreal (49%), North American (34%), and Aleutican (17%) species. The Aleutican group was dominant in terms of biomass and numbers of individuals during the nonbreeding period. Forty-two species were confirmed breeding in the area and another 19 were suspected of breeding. The majority of birds occurred as migrants; 14 species were considered...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Arctic
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Aboriginal peoples want their ecological knowledge used in the management of wildlife populations. To accomplish this, management agencies will need regional summaries of aboriginal knowledge about long-term changes in the distribution and abundance of wildlife populations and ecological factors that influence those changes. Between 1983 and 1994, we developed a method for collecting Inuit knowledge about historical changes in a caribou (Rangifer tarandus) population on southern Baffin Island from c. 1900 to 1994. Advice from Inuit allowed us to collect and interpret their oral knowledge in culturally appropriate ways. Local Hunters and Trappers Associations (HTAs) and other Inuit identified potential informants...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Arctic
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This dataset provides information on fish species composition and their diet information for 16 lakes and 16 ponds at two locations on the central Arctic Coastal Plain, Alaska. In one table, we provide the presence of fish species and the total species count for each lake or pond sampled. This table also includes metrics of surface water connectivity to the stream network. In a second table, stomach content information is provided for fish collected during summer sampling periods (late June to mid-August) over three years (2011–2013). The third table includes stable carbon isotope and stable nitrogen isotope signature data for fish species and snails (the baseline organism) from 16 water bodies at one study location...
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Maps of mean monthly surface temperature and precipitation for Alaska and adjacent areas of Canada, produced by Oregon State University's Spatial Climate Analysis Service (SCAS) and the Alaska Geospatial Data Clearinghouse (AGDC), were analyzed. Because both sets of maps are generally available and in use by the community, there is a need to document differences between the processes and input data sets used by the two groups to produce their respective set of maps and to identify similarities and differences between the two sets of maps and possible reasons for the differences. These differences do not affect the observed large-scale patterns of seasonal and annual variability. Alaska is divided into interior and...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Arctic
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Ultraclean field and laboratory procedures were used to examine trace element concentrations in northern Alaskan snow. Sixteen soluble trace elements and total mercury were determined in snow core samples representing the annual snowfall deposited during the 1993-94 season at two sites in the Prudhoe Bay oil field and nine sites in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (Arctic NWR). Results indicate there were two distinct point sources for trace elements in the Prudhoe Bay oil field - a source associated with oil and gas production and a source associated with municipal solid-waste incineration. Soluble trace element concentrations measured in snow from the Arctic NWR resembled concentrations of trace elements measured...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Arctic
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Shallow-marine ostracode assemblages from upper Pliocene sediments of the upper part of the Sagavanirktok Formation and lower part of the Gubik Formation record the last warm period that occurred before the onset of significant cooling of the Arctic Ocean and the initiation of Northern Hemisphere continental glaciation. The informally named Colvillian and Bigbendian transgressions represent the oldest deposits of the Gubik Formation and are dated, based on various lines of evidence, between 2.48 and 3 Ma. Ostracode faunas from the lower part of the Gubik Formation indicate a cold-temperate to subfrigid marine climate with summer bottom temperatures 1-4 C warmer than today. Deposits of the upper part of the Sagavanirktok...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Arctic
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Available information on the distribution of breeding shorebirds across the Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska is dated, fragmented, and limited in scope. Herein, we describe the distribution of 19 shorebird species from data gathered at 407 study plots between 1998 and 2004. This information was collected using a single-visit rapid area search technique during territory establishment and early incubation periods, a time when social displays and vocalizations make the birds highly detectable. We describe the presence or absence of each species, as well as overall numbers of species, providing a regional perspective on shorebird distribution. We compare and contrast our shorebird distribution maps to those of prior studies...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Arctic
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On Ellesmere Island in 2006, arctic wolves (Canis lupus arctos) were observed making a two-pronged approach to a herd of muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus) and, on another occasion, ambushing muskoxen. Both observations seemed to provide evidence that the wolves were using foresight, understanding, and planning. Although the possible use of insight and purposiveness has been documented in captive wolves, the present report is one of the few to document the possibility that free-ranging wolves use these other three mental processes. ?? The Arctic Institute of North America.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Arctic
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We conducted seabird surveys along the entire coast of the Chukotka Peninsula (northwestern Siberia, Russia) from 1983 to 1991. We present the first comprehensive descriptions of the distribution and size of Chukotkan seabird colonies. Thirteen species of seabirds were recorded breeding on the peninsula, with an additional 13 migrant or vagrant species. Our estimate that at least 3 300 000 seabirds breed on the Chukotka Peninsula demonstrates the importance of this region to arctic seabird populations. Colony size and species composition may be determined by availability of adequate breeding sites, access to foraging areas, and variable ice conditions.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Arctic
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Indigenous knowledge is a valuable but under-used source of information relevant to landscape change research. We interviewed Iñupiat elders, hunters, and other knowledge-holders in the villages of Barrow and Atqasuk on the western Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska to gain further insight into the processes governing the ubiquitous lakes and the dynamics of landscape change in this region of continuous permafrost. The interviews provided a suite of information related to lakes and associated drained lake basins, as well as knowledge on landforms, environmental change, human events, and other phenomena. We were able to corroborate many observations independently and verify the timing of several large and...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Arctic
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Satellite radio-location data from 57 adult male Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) were used to estimate haul-out fidelity, broadly describe seasonal foraging distributions, and determine the approximate timing of autumn migration from Bristol Bay, Alaska. Data were collected intermittently during 1987-91 and 1995-2000, primarily during the period from May to October. Transmitter longevity ranged from less than 1 day to 560 days (median 75 d). The four tagging sites were the only haul-outs that were commonly used in the bay from spring through autumn. Mean fidelity, defined as the chance that an animal will return to an area where it previously hauled out, was 0.56 (SE = 0.09). However, small sample...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Arctic
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Population estimates for long-tailed ducks in North America have declined by nearly 50% over the past 30 years. Life history and population dynamics of this species are difficult to ascertain, because the birds nest at low densities across a broad range of habitat types. Between 1991 and 2004, we collected information on productivity and survival of long-tailed ducks at three locations on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. Clutch size averaged 7.1 eggs, and nesting success averaged 30%. Duckling survival to 30 days old averaged 10% but was highly variable among years, ranging from 0% to 25%. Apparent annual survival of adult females based on mark-recapture of nesting females was estimated at 74%. We combined these estimates...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Arctic


map background search result map search result map The polar bear management agreement for the southern Beaufort Sea: an evaluation of the first ten years of a unique conservation agreement Fish Species Composition and Diet Information in Lakes of the Arctic Coastal Plain, Alaska, 2011-2013 Fish Species Composition and Diet Information in Lakes of the Arctic Coastal Plain, Alaska, 2011-2013 The polar bear management agreement for the southern Beaufort Sea: an evaluation of the first ten years of a unique conservation agreement