Breeding distribution of the Black Turnstone

The Wilson Bulletin
By:  and 



Eighty-five percent of the world population of Black Turnstones (Arenaria melanocephala) nest on the central Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska, 65% concentrated in a narrow band of salt grass, graminoid, and dwarf shrub meadows within two km of the coast. An estimated 61,000 to 99,000 birds (95% CI), with a point estimate of 80,000 birds, breed on the central delta. About 15,000 others nest elsewhere in Alaska. Abundance varies among habitats and with distance from the coast. On the central delta, highest breeding densities occur in coastal salt grass meadows (1.11 ± 0.16 birds · ha-1) and lowest densities occur on dwarf shrub mat tundra (0.04 ± 0.04 birds · ha-1). Breeding densities in mixed graminoid and dwarf shrub meadows decline significantly with distance from the coast, decreasing abruptly from 0.75 ± 0.11 birds · ha-1 within the first two km to 0.09 ± 0.03 birds · ha-1 farther inland. Although salt grass meadows constitute only 5% of the coastal lowlands, they support 25% of the population.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Breeding distribution of the Black Turnstone
Series title The Wilson Bulletin
Volume 104
Issue 1
Year Published 1992
Language English
Publisher Wilson Ornithological Society
Contributing office(s) Alaska Science Center
Description 14 p.
First page 122
Last page 135