Eider Spring Migration Surveys Southwest Alaska
The majority of the
world's population of Steller's eiders ( Polysticta stelleri) migrates
along the Bristol Bay coast of the Alaska Peninsula in the spring, crosses Bristol
Bay toward Cape Peirce, then continues northward along the Bering Sea coast. Annual
spring aerial surveys to monitor the population of Stellers's eiders migrating
northward in southwestern Alaska have been conducted in 1992, 1993, 1994, 1997,
1998, 2000, 2001 and 2002. The survey area included sea duck habitats along the
coast of southwestern Alaska from Cape Romanzof on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta to
Chignik Bay on the south side of the Alaska Peninsula.
Since the timing
of migration varies, two to three replicate shoreline surveys were conducted each
spring through 1997, to increase the probability of encountering the entire population.
Fiscal constraints or weather allowed only one survey each in 1998, 2000, 2001
and 2002. Numbers of Steller's eiders, other identifiable water birds, and marine
mammals were recorded during the surveys. The highest Steller's eider count for
each year was used as that year's estimate of the prebreeding population.
The survey is documented in the following report:
Steller's Eider Spring Migration Surveys Southwest
Alaska 2012 ( pdf)
Last Updated: November 30, 2012