Resources related to Species of Concern

Sea Duck Research at the Centre for Wildlife Ecology

The Centre for Wildlife Ecology has several studies underway that address conservation issues affecting sea ducks along the Pacific coast. The issues, species, and populations being studied are shared concerns of the Centre for Wildlife Ecology, the Canadian Wildlife Service, and agency and academic collaborators throughout North America.

Environmental Health Issues

We review nesting sea duck population declines in Alaska during recent decades and explore the possibility that contaminants may be implicated. Aerial surveys of the surf scoter (Melanitta perspicillata) , white-winged scoter (M. fusca) , black scoter (M. nigra) , oldsquaw (Clangula hyemalis) , spectacled eider (Somateria fischeri) , and Steller's eider (Polysticta stelleri) show long-term breeding population declines, especially the latter three species. The spectacled eider was recently classified threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

Molecular Genetic Characterization Of Spatial Population Structuring In Contemporary And Historical Populations Of The Threatened Spectacled Eider

Understanding the ecological and evolutionary forces which influence the abundance and diversity of biological resources is important for effective management and conservation. In the absence of important ecological data on movements and breeding ecology, molecular genetic markers can provide critical empirical sources of data. Results from studies of the threatened spectacled eider (Somateria fischeri) are described based on molecular markers with different patterns of inheritance.

Population Dynamics Of Spectacled Eiders On The Yukon- Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska

Spectacled Eider (Somateria fischeri) populations in western Alaska have declined precipitously since the late 1970's. Subsequently, the species was listed as threatened in 1993. To investigate the potential causes of the decline, we developed a deterministic model of Spectacled Eider population dynamics based on demographic data we collected on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska, from 1991-1996. The model incorporated estimates of nest success, clutch size at hatch, duckling survival, age of first reproduction, and adult female survival collected at a two locations.