Arctic Biodiversity Trends 2010


Arctic Biodiversity Trends 2010

Indicator #04 PAGE 35

Seabirds – murres (guillemots)

Murres are among the most abundant seabirds in the Northern Hemisphere with a population in excess of ten million adults. No obvious global trend has been identified but themajority of regional populations have shown declines over the past three decades. While they are currently abundant, climate change is projected to pose problems to murres in the future, especially for the more northern species, the thick-billed murre, which is strongly associated with sea ice. Other threats include fisheries interactions, over-exploitation, contaminants, and oil spills, the latter becoming more important if climate change expands shipping and hydrocarbon development in the Arctic.

Indicator #05 PAGE 38

Seabirds – common eiders

Common eiders are important for traditional food and lifestyles, as well as being the basis of a commercial industry. The world population ranges between 1.5 and 3.0million breeding pairs. Along with other eider species, common eiders have experienced substantial declines over several decades. Current trends vary but some populations in Alaska, Canada, and Greenland are recovering with improved harvest management. Disease outbreaks such as avian cholera can dramatically affect common eiders, while fishing by-catch in gillnets is a significant problem in some areas. Increasing oil and gas activities may put eider ducks at further risk in the future.

Arctic char Indicator #06 PAGE 41

Arctic char are widely distributed throughout the circumpolar north and are an important species culturally, socioeconomically, and scientifically. Populations of char in the Arctic are generally healthy in comparison to more southern populations. There are, however, many examples of stressed populations, especially near communities where over-fishing, sometimes combined with habitat change, has led to population collapses. The effects of climate change on Arctic char may be both positive and negative within different populations, and may impact the fish directly or indirectly through habitat and ecosystem changes.

Made with FlippingBook - professional solution for displaying marketing and sales documents online