We documented the breeding status and relative abundance of all avian species on the coastal portion of the Indigirka River Delta during spring and summer 1993-95. Data on avifaunal composition were then compared to data from adjacent areas from Eastern Siberia to the Chukotka Peninsula to evaluate how species composition changes longitudinally within the arctic and typical tundra zones of northern Russia. We recorded 63 species on the Indigirka River Delta, 37 (58.7 %) of which were confirmed breeders during at least one of the three years. Five new species were recorded breeding (Arenaria interpres, Calidris acuminata, Limnodromus scolopaceus, Stercorarius parasiticus, and Asio flammeus), and 13 previously unrecorded species were observed during this study. We also identified several species of rare or threatened status in Russia and North America, including Branta bernicla, Somateria fischeri, Polysticta stelleri, and Rhodostethia rosea. We used parsimony and distance matrix methods to compare the breeding species richness on the Indigirka River Delta to that of six other Russian Arctic areas. Biogeographic comparisons revealed the presence of two clades in the Russian Arctic: the Lena River Delta east to Chaun Delta and the Chukotka Peninsula.
Additional publication details
Birds of the Indigirka River Delta, Russia: Historical and biogeographic comparisons