Migratory Bird Management
Alaska Region



Arctic Coastal Plain Aerial Breeding Waterfowl Survey

An aerial breeding waterfowl survey has been conducted each spring on the Arctic coastal plain of Alaska since 1986. Survey transects were 400 meter wide strips, oriented east-west, and systematically placed every 19 kilometers over the wetland habitat. The survey procedures are similar to the North American Waterfowl Breeding Population Survey. All waterbirds observed within 200 meters of each side of the aircraft were recorded by the pilot/observer on the left side and the observer on the right side. Different sets of transects were flown in different years to collect waterfowl locations over a larger portion of the survey area. Population estimates were made by expanding the density of each species observed in the sampled area by the total survey area. Annual population estimates allowed us to calculate trends for each species. Maps of the relative density for most species have been created. In 2007, we combined the arctic coastal plain survey and the north slope eider survey into 1 new redesigned survey that will be conducted annually instead of the 2 separate surveys.

Click on the link below to view the project report.

Aerial Breeding Pair Surveys of the Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska - 2012 (pdf)

Last Updated: March 26, 2013