Resources related to Zones of Temperature

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

Alaska - Yukon Waterfowl breeding Population Survey 2011

Waterfowl breeding conditions within the survey area depend largely on the timing of spring
phenology. Relatively normal spring phenology occurred in Interior and Coastal Alaska in 2011.
Overall, waterfowl production is expected to be good across the survey area compared to
previous long-term (1957-2010) production.
Total duck numbers were down 28% from the previous 10-year mean, but were only down 3%
from the long-term mean (1957–2010). Dabbler ducks decreased from the previous 10-year

Marine Bird Populations of Prince William Sound, Alaska,

We estimated the summer and winter abundance of marine birds in Prince William
Sound, Alaska, following the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, examined changes in population size
between pre-spill and post-spill surveys, and compared pre- to post-oil spill population trends in
the oiled zone of the Sound relative to trends in the unoiled zone.
Ninety-nine species of birds were observed on surveys. Not all species were equally vulnerable to
the oil spill because of the seasonal and geographic distribution. Estimated populations of 15 to

Damage Assessment Closeout-Injury Assessment of Hydrocarbon Uptake by Sea Ducks

The goal of this project was to determine whether the Exxon Valdez oil spill had measurable sublethal effects on six species of migratory and resident seaducks in Prince William Sound and the Kodiak Archipelago. The six seaduck species were harlequin ducks, Barrow's and common goldeneyes, and surf, black, and white-winged scoters. The harlequin ducks are both resident in and winter migrants to the oil spill area. The other species do not breed in the oil spill area but are winter migrants.

Recovery Status of Barrow's Goldeneyes

Data available at the onset of this project (population trends and indices of contaminant exposure) raised concern that Barrow's goldeneye populations may have been injured by the oil spill, may not be fully recovered, and may continue to suffer deleterious effects of the spill. This project is designed to critically assess the recovery status of Barrow's goldeneye populations through assemblage and analysis of all existent, relevant data.