Population Delineation and Wintering Ecology of Surf Scoters in Southeast Alaska

Esler, Dan
Hupp, Jerry
Van Stratt, Corey
MacDonnald, Rob
Chester, Dennis
Centre for Wildlife Ecology, Simon Fraser University
Alaska Science Center
Migratory Bird Management - U.S Fish and Wildlife Service
Juneau Ranger District - Tongass - U.S. Forest Service
Sea Duck Joint Venture
Publication Date: 

Population delineation and wintering ecology of Surf Scoters have been studied in detail through much of their range. A conspicuous gap exists for Southeast Alaska, which is near the northern end of their winter distribution. Because Southeast Alaska is an important wintering habitat for a sizeable number of Pacific Surf Scoters, we propose to mark birds with satellite transmitters to quantify links among annual cycle stages, define management units, and conduct studies of wintering ecology that will be directly comparable to work at more southerly wintering sites, allowing a full consideration of latitudinal variation in wintering ecology of the species. This work will provide data to evaluate population dynamics and identify important habitats of this declining species - high priorities in the Sea Duck Joint Venture (SDJV) Strategic Plan.