Relative roles of eelgrass vs. hard-mixed substrates as habitatfor scoters (Melanitta spp.) in Puget Sound
Scoters ( Melanitta spp. ) are sea ducks that breed in freshwater wetlands of Canada and Alaska and winter in estuaries and bays on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts (Fig. 1). As with most sea ducks, scoter populations have declined in many parts of their Pacific Coast ranges. Three species of scoter can be found in wintering in Puget Sound, the common scoter ( Melanitta nigra ), the white-winged scoter ( Melanitta deglandi ) and the surf scoter ( Melanitta perspicillata ). The combined population of all three scoters declined by 57% between 1978-79 and 1992-99.