Use of large-scale, multi-species surveys to monitor gyrfalcon and ptarmigan populations

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Edited by: Richard T. WatsonTom J. CadeMark FullerGrainger Hunt, and Eugene Potapov


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We evaluated the ability of three large-scale, multi-species surveys in the Arctic to provide information on abundance and habitat relationships of Gyrfalcons (Falco rusticolus) and ptarmigan. The Program for Regional and International Shorebird Monitoring (PRISM) has surveyed birds widely across the arctic regions of Canada and Alaska since 2001. The Arctic Coastal Plain survey has collected abundance information on the North Slope of Alaska using fixed-wing aircraft since 1992. The Northwest Territories-Nunavut Bird Checklist has collected presenceabsence information from little-known locations in northern Canada since 1995. All three surveys provide extensive information on Willow Ptarmigan (Lagopus lagopus) and Rock Ptarmigan (L. muta). For example, they show that ptarmigan are most abundant in western Alaska, next most abundant in northern Alaska and northwest Canada, and least abundant in the Canadian Archipelago. PRISM surveys were less successful in detecting Gyrfalcons, and the Arctic Coastal Plain Survey is largely outside the Gyrfalcon?s breeding range. The Checklist Survey, however, reflects the expansive Gyrfalcon range in Canada. We suggest that collaboration by Gyrfalcon and ptarmigan biologists with the organizers of large scale surveys like the ones we investigated provides an opportunity for obtaining useful information on these species and their environment across large areas.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title Use of large-scale, multi-species surveys to monitor gyrfalcon and ptarmigan populations
Volume 1
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher The Peregrine Fund
Publisher location Boise, Idaho
Contributing office(s) Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center
Description 10 p.
First page 263
Last page 272
Conference Title Gyrfalcons and Ptarmigan in a Changing World
Conference Location Boise, Idaho
Conference Date February 1-3, 2011
Country Canada, United States
Other Geospatial Alaska, Northern Canada
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N