Importance of the Alaskan Beaufort Sea to King Eiders

Project Number: 24
Year Funded: 2004
Lead Institution(s): University of Alaska Fairbanks
Project Lead: Abby Powell
Collaborator(s): Eric Taylor (USFWS), Eric Rexstad (UAF), Laura Phillips (UAF), CMI, NSB, CPA
Location: Alaska
Focal Species: King Eider (Somateria spectabilis)
Project Description: King eiders (Somateria spectabilis) migrate east along the Beaufort Sea during spring (May- June) to arctic nesting areas in Russia, Alaska and Canada. During the molt migration (early July - August) and fall migration (mid-August - October), eiders move west along the Beaufort Sea coast to areas in the Chukchi and Bering Seas; however, some adult male king eiders molt in the Beaufort Sea. Although the timing and route of the offshore spring migration is likely determined by the availability of open water in the pack ice, information on distance offshore and the frequency and location of potential staging areas is lacking. Little is known about the migration corridor and staging and molting areas of non-breeders. This study was begun to better understand use (timing, location, duration) of nearshore (barrier island to the mainland coast) and offshore (seaward of the barrier islands) habitats of the Beaufort Sea to migrating, staging, and molting adult king eiders using satellite telemetry (PTTs).
Project Reports:
Importance of the Alaskan Beaufort Sea to King Eiders