Molting ecology of Surf and White-winged Scoters in Southeast Alaska

Project Number: 107
Year Funded: 2010
Lead Institution(s): Alaska Science Center
Project Lead: Jerry Hupp
Collaborator(s): Dan Esler (SFU), Rian Dickson (SFU), Brian Uher-Koch (SFU)
Location: Alaska
Focal Species: Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata), White-winged Scoter (Melanitta delgandi)
Project Description: Although Surf and White-winged Scoters (Melanitta perspicillata and M. fusca) are being studied at most parts of their annual cycle, the period of wing molt has not been addressed on the Pacific coast. Surveys have shown that at least 185,000 scoters, a sizeable proportion of the Pacific populations of these species, undergo wing molt in SE Alaska (Hodges et al. 2008). To provide a comprehensive evaluation of the ecology of these sea ducks, and to consider potential constraints on population dynamics, we have conducted research to quantify several aspects of molt ecology. This will provide data to evaluate population dynamics and identify important habitats of these declining species - high priorities in the SDJV Strategic Plan.
Project Reports:
Alaska Science Center