Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
YUKON DELTA: Major Hudsonian Godwit Staging Area Discovered on Yukon Delta NWR
Alaska Region, September 15, 2004
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The Hudsonian Godwit is a large shorebird that breeds at scattered, remote sites across the North American subarctic. Because of its small population and how little is known of its life cycle, the Hudsonian Godwit is a species of high concern in both U.S. and Alaska Shorebird Conservation Plans. That's why biologists were so excited to discover a major staging area for godwits in the middle of the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge this summer. After hearing of a large flock of godwits from researchers at Aropuk Lake, Refuge biologists visited the area and found 3,000-6,000 Hudsonian Godwits staging there between early July and mid-August. Not only is this the largest concentration of this species ever found in Alaska, it is one of the largest known for North America. The upper range of the estimate exceeds the maximum number known to use any of the major fall staging areas in Saskatchewan. In fact, only two staging sites in Hudson Bay are known to have larger concentrations of birds during fall migration. Refuge biologists plan to work with Migratory Bird Management staff and cooperators in South America to determine the breeding range and wintering destination of these birds. For more information contact: Brian J. McCaffery U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge P.O. Box 346 Bethel, AK 99559 Phone: (907) 543-1014

Contact Info: Kristen Gilbert, 907-786-3391, Kristen_Gilbert@fws.gov
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