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Lover's lane for birds found in Arctic
Date:3/10/2011

udy, WCS scientists calculated nest densities (number of nests per unit of area) at the remote Teshekpuk site. Those results were compared to six other areas (including both human impacted and remote sites) where nest densities were measured in previous studies. The results showed that Teshekpuk densities far exceeded those at the other locations.

Additionally, nests were periodically monitored every 3-6 days at Teshekpuk and at a site in the Prudhoe Bay region 150 miles to the east where oil extraction activities are occurring. Results showed that for some species, nest survivorship (production of young) was higher at Teshekpuk.

WCS's Conservation Zoologist Steve Zack said: "Teshekpuk Lake is in the middle of the world's biggest Arctic wetland, and thus at the heart of an international migration of shorebirds, waterfowl, loons, and songbirds that nest in this highly productive region during the short summer. This study makes clear how valuable this region is to breeding birds."

Currently, BLM is evaluating how best to balance wildlife protection and future energy development in the NPR-A. WCS has been engaged in the western Arctic for 10 years, identifying where wildlife protection would be most effective in the NPR-A in advance of development. The results of the study will help inform BLM's decision-making process.


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Contact: Scott Smith
ssmith@wcs.org
718-220-3698
Wildlife Conservation Society
Source:Eurekalert  

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