Pacific common eider breeding surveys in western Canada

Project Number: 140
Year Funded: 2014
Lead Institution(s): Canadian Wildlife Service
Project Lead: Eric Reed
Collaborator(s): Cindy Wood (CWS), Myra Robertson (CWS)
Location: Canada
Focal Species: Common Eider (Somateria mollissima)
Project Description: A large proportion of the Pacific Common Eider population nests in central and western Canada in the Bathurst Inlet, Dolphin and Union Strait, Coronation Gulf, and Queen Maud Gulf areas. These eiders migrate through the Beaufort Sea during spring and fall migration, and winter in ice-free regions of the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska. Pacific Common Eiders are inadequately monitored throughout their range. The population estimates and trends for Canada are currently based on counts obtained about every 10 years during spring migration at Point Barrow, Alaska. The Canadian Wildlife Service conducted breeding surveys for common eiders in Bathurst Inlet, Nunavut in 2006-2008, but there is currently no regular survey to monitor population trends in Canada (Fig 1). Discovery of off-shore oil and gas reserves in two key spring staging areas, as well as increasing resource development in Canadian Arctic breeding areas, will likely result in increased human activity and may have potential adverse effects on this population. We are proposing to expand the surveys into the offshore islands of the Queen Maud Gulf region (Fig 1) in order to provide more complete coverage of the breeding area and establish a long-term operational monitoring program to address the lack of current information on population trends.
Project Reports: 

Interim Report FY15
Interim Report FY16

Pacific common eider breeding surveys in western Canada