Resources related to Species of Concern

Searching for the cause of sea ducks’ dire health

Thousands of Common Eider carcasses have been found floating in the cold water off Cape Cod or rotting on beaches. Many more of the birds have been found emaciated, exhausted, and suffering, often near death. In recent years, a mysterious virus has taken a mounting toll on the region’s common eiders, a normally bulky sea duck considered a barometer for the health of Cape Cod Bay.

Disturbance effects of high-speed ferries on wintering sea ducks

Human offshore activities are increasingly threatening waterbird conservation interests. The impacts of disturbance by high-speed ferries on Common Eiders
Somateria mollissima and Common Scoters Melanitta nigra were studied at a wintering site in the Kattegat Sea, Denmark. Spatial patterns of winter site
use, close-range distribution patterns relative to ferry passages and escape distances were examined using aerial surveys and ferry-based observations.

Fitting statistical distributions to seaduck count data: Implications for survey design and abundance estimation

Determining appropriate statistical distributions for modeling animal count data is important for accurate estimation of abundance,distribution,and trends.In the case of
seaducks along the U.S.Atlantic coast,managers want to estimate local and regional abundance to detect and track population declines, to define

Wintering Sea Duck Distribution Along the Atlantic Coast of the United States

Although monitoring data for sea ducks (Tribe Mergini) are limited, current evidence suggests that four of the most common species wintering along the eastern coast of the United States—long-tailed duck Clangula hyemalis, white-winged scoter Melanitta fusca, surf scoter Melanitta perspicillata, and black scoter Melanitta americana—may be declining, while the status of American common eider Somateria mollissima dresseri is uncertain.

A Management Plan for Barrows Goldeneye Bucephala islandica Eastern Population

The world distribution of Barrow’s Goldeneye (Bucephala islandica) consists of three
separate populations: 150 000 to 200 000 birds in western North America (Eadie et al 2000),
a resident population of 2000 in Iceland (Gardarsson 1978), and approximately 4500 birds in
eastern North America (Savard and Dupuis 1999; Robert et al 2000a). The breeding range is
discontinuous in North America and is largely restricted to northwestern North America, where
more than 90% of the world’s population breeds (del Hoyo et al 1992). Little is known of the

Distribution and Abundance of Steller's Eider's In The Kodiak Archipelago, Alaska Jan-Feb 2001

Concerns about apparent declines in Steller's eider (Kertell 1991) and other sea duck populations
prompted personnel of the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge to initiate an annual winter aerial
survey to assess and monitor sea duck populations.The fourth Kodiak aerial Steller's eider winter survey was flown from 29 January to 2 February
2001, covering most of the eastern coastal portion of the Kodiak Archipelago. The survey design
consisted of a single flight parallel to the shoreline between 200 and 400 meters offshore, with s-

Testing the feasibility and effectiveness of a fall Steller’s eider molt survey in southwest Alaska

Since 1992, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Migratory Bird Management has flown a spring
aerial survey in southwest Alaska to monitor trends in the Pacific population of Steller’s eiders
and improve understanding of habitat use and timing of spring migration. Due to constraints with
the traditional spring survey, we sought to test
the feasibility of an alternative monitoring approach using photography of fall molting flocks
along the Alaska Peninsula. Our goal was to determine whether different survey timing and methods

Stellers Eider Spring Migration Surveys Southwest Alaska 2012

The majority of the Pacific population of Steller's eiders migrates along the Bristol Bay coast of the
Alaska Peninsula in the spring, crosses Bristol Bay toward Cape Pierce, then continues northward
along the Bering Sea coast. Most then cross the Bering Strait to their breeding grounds in Siberia, with
a smaller number continuing north to the Alaska North Slope to breed (U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service
2002, Gill et al. 1978). During migration the eiders linger to feed at the mouths of lagoons and other

Monitoring Beaufort Sea Waterfowl and Marine Birds Aerial Survey Component

The U.S. Department of Interior investigated potential disturbance effects of human
activities on the distribution and density of Long-tailed Ducks (Clangula hyemalis), and eiders
(Somateria spp.) in lagoons and offshore waters of the south-central Beaufort Sea. The primary
objectives of this study were to compare Long-tailed Duck population trends between
“industrial” and “control” areas, describe the relationship between bird density and human activities, and document distribution patterns of eiders and other marine birds in the south-central

Waterfowl Breeding Population Survey Coastal Plain Alaska 2011

Waterfowl breeding population surveys have been completed annually on the Arctic Coastal Plain of
Alaska since 1986. Methods for the 2011 Arctic Coastal Plain Waterfowl Breeding Population Survey (ACP
survey) were similar to those employed since 2007, when a single survey was implemented to address objectives of
two pre-existing surveys: the geographically comprehensive 1986 ACP survey conducted in mid-June to early July,
and the geographically limited 1992-2006 North Slope Eider Survey, conducted in early to mid June to target the