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We examined King Eider (Somateria spectabilis) brood survival in the Kuparak oil field in northern Alaska in 2002 and 2003 by monitoring hens with broods using radiotelemetry. We observed complete brood loss in eight of 10 broods. Broods survived less than 2 weeks on average, and most mortality occurred within 10 days of hatch. Distance hens traveled overland did not affect brood survival. Apparent King Eider brood survival in our study area was lower than reported for eider species in other areas. We recommend future studies examine if higher densities of predators in oil fields reduces King Eider duckling survival. Received 26 September 2008. Accepted 18 January 2009.
Additional Publication Details
Brood rearing ecology of king eiders on the north slope of Alaska