Quantifying fall migration of Ross's gulls (Rhodostethia rosea) past Point Barrow, Alaska

Polar Biology
By: , and 



The Ross’s gull (Rhodostethia rosea) is a poorly known seabird of the circumpolar Arctic. The only place in the world where Ross’s gulls are known to congregate is in the near-shore waters around Point Barrow, Alaska, where they undertake an annual passage in late fall. Ross’s gulls seen at Point Barrow are presumed to originate from nesting colonies in Siberia, but neither their origin nor their destination has been confirmed. Current estimates of the global population of Ross’s gulls are based largely on expert opinion, and the only reliable population estimate is derived from extrapolations from previous counts conducted at Point Barrow, but these data are now over 25 years old. In order to update and clarify the status of this species in Alaska, our study quantified the timing, number, and flight direction of Ross’s gulls passing Point Barrow in 2011. We recorded up to two-thirds of the estimated global population of Ross’s gulls (≥27,000 individuals) over 39 days with numbers peaking on 16 October when we observed over 7,000 birds during a 3-h period.

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Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Quantifying fall migration of Ross's gulls (Rhodostethia rosea) past Point Barrow, Alaska
Series title Polar Biology
DOI 10.1007/s00300-014-1552-4
Volume 37
Issue 11
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher Springer
Contributing office(s) Alaska Science Center Biology WTEB
Description 6 p.
First page 1705
Last page 1710
Country United States
State Alaska
Other Geospatial Point Barrow
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
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