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The status of sea ducks in the North Pacific Rim: Toward their conservation and management

Transactions of the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference
By: , and 
Edited by: Richard E. McCabe and Kelly G. Wadsworth

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Abstract

Sea ducks (tribe Mergini after Johnsgard 1960) are the most northerly distributed ducks, and species diversity is greatest in the North Pacific. They exploit a diversity of inshore and offshore marine habitats during the non-breeding season, and their use of habitat during breeding varies from coastal through freshwater wetlands of the tundra and taiga (Figure 1, Appendix 1). Non-breeding cohorts frequent marine habitats most of the year. Sea ducks thus are important indicators of the quality of freshwater and marine ecosystems of northern biomes.

Of the 17 species discussed in this manuscript, at least 3 are reported to be declining (Appendix 2). However, the basis for many of those assessments is equivocal because there has been little effort to monitor populations. The efforts to more precisely assess their status point to catastrophic declines (Kertell 1991, Stehn et a 1993). Conservation problems related to sea ducks have a long history throughout the Holarctic. For example, the Labrador duck (Camptorhynchus labradorius) became extinct in 1875. (Phillips 1925); common eiders (Somateria mollissima) declined seriously throughout the northern hemisphere (Townsend 1914, Phillips 1925, Doughty 1979); harlequin ducks (Histrionicus histrionicus) experienced declines in Iceland and Greenland (Gudmundsson1971, Salomonson 1950), and more recently have been designated endangered in eastern Canada (Committee On the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada 1990). In Russia, all species of eider and harlequin ducks have been closed to sport hunting since 1981, and the Chinese mergansers (Mergus squamatus) presently are extremely rare and fully protected, i.e. category one of the red book (Solomonov 1987).

Additional publication details

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title The status of sea ducks in the North Pacific Rim: Toward their conservation and management
Series title Transactions of the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference
Volume 59
Year Published 1994
Language English
Publisher Wildlife Management Institute
Publisher location Washington, D.C.
Contributing office(s) Alaska Science Center
Description 23 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Conference publication
Larger Work Title Transactions of the fifty-ninth North American wildlife and natural resources conference
First page 27
Last page 49
Conference Title Fifty-ninth North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference
Conference Location Anchorage, AK
Conference Date March 18-23, 1993
Other Geospatial North Pacific