Each year shorebirds from North and South America migrate thousands of miles to spend the summer in the Arctic. There they feed in shoreline marshes and estuaries along some of the most productive and pristine coasts anywhere. With so much available food they are able to reproduce almost explosively; and as winter approaches, they retreat south along with their offspring, to return to the Arctic the following spring. This remarkable pattern of movement and activity has been the object of intensive study by an international team of ornithologists who have spent a decade counting, surveying, and observing these shorebirds.
In this important synthetic work, they address multiple questions about these migratory bird populations. How many birds occupy Arctic ecosystems each summer? How long do visiting shorebirds linger before heading south? How fecund are these birds? Where exactly do they migrate and where exactly do they return? Are their populations growing or shrinking? The results of this study are crucial for better understanding how environmental policies will influence Arctic habitats as well as the far-ranging winter habitats used by migratory shorebirds.
"Arctic Shorebirds in North America represents a study that is one of the remarkable achievements of wildlife fieldcraft, like those done by Aldo Leopold in the 1930s and by the Craighead Brothers in the 1960s. To conduct a study of this scientific caliber in the great expanse and harsh climate of the Arctic makes it one of the great wildlife investigations whose value will only grow with time."
- Larry Niles, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey
"It is most timely that Jonathan Bart and Victoria Johnston have gathered information on shorebirds that breed in the Arctic regions of North America. Data on these birds is generated at a wide range of locations by many different individuals and teams, and this book puts it into perspective. It is particularly valuable to have this treatise when so many shorebird species worldwide are in marked decline."
- Clive Minton, Australasian Wader Studies Group
"When the PRISM program for pan-Arctic shorebird monitoring was introduced, everyone agreed with its laudable aims, but it seemed impractical. How could shorebird biologists with limited time and resources acquire robust data on the size and trend of shorebird populations across the American Arctic? Now, the credibility gap has been bridged. Arctic Shorebirds in North America presents the rigorous, practical methods that will be the foundation of Arctic shorebird monitoring for years to come. I look forward to Arctic PRISM becoming the keystone of shorebird conservation in the Western Hemisphere."
- Humphrey Sitters, editor of Wader Study Group Bulletin
Susan K. Skagen, Paul A. Smith, Brad Andres, Garry Donaldson and Stephen Brown
Part 1: Introduction
1. GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
Victoria Johnston and Jonathan Bart
Jonathan Bart, Victoria Johnston, Paul A. Smith, Ann Manning, Jennie Rausch and Stephen Brown
Part 2: Regional Reports
3. SHOREBIRD SURVEYS IN WESTERN ALASKA
Brian J. McCaffery, Jonathan Bart, Catherine Wightman and David Krueper
4. NORTH SLOPE OF ALASKA
Jonathan Bart, Stephen Brown, Brad Andres, Robert Platte and Ann Manning
5. YUKON NORTH SLOPE AND MACKENZIE DELTA
Jennie Rausch and Victoria Johnston
6. SOUTHAMPTON AND COATS ISLANDS
Paul A. Smith, Victoria Johnston and Jennie Rausch
7. PRINCE CHARLES, AIR FORCE, AND BAFFIN ISLANDS
Victoria Johnston and Paul A. Smith
8. SMALL-SCALE AND RECONNAISSANCE SURVEYS
Jonathan Bart, Brad A. Andres, Kyle Elliott, Charles M. Francis, Victoria Johnston, R.I.G. Morrison, Elin P. Pierce and Jennie Rausch
Part 3: Methodology
9. AERIAL SURVEYS: A WORTHWHILE ADD-ON TO PRISM SURVEYS, ESPECIALLY IN THE INTERIOR?
Kyle H. Elliott and Paul A. Smith
10. SURVEY METHODS FOR WHIMBREL
Lisa Pirie and Victoria Johnston
11. TIER 2 SURVEYS
Lisa Pirie, Victoria Johnston and Paul A. Smith
12. ARCTIC PRISM TIER 3 - PROGRESS NOTES FROM THE NORTHWEST TERRITORIES-NUNAVUT BIRD CHECKLIST SURVEY
Lindsay A. Armer, Craig S. Machtans and Brian T. Collins
13. DESIGN OF FUTURE SURVEYS
Jonathan Bart and Paul A. Smith
Part 4: Synthesis
Jonathan Bart and Paul A. Smith
15. PRIORITIES FOR FUTURE PRISM SURVEYS
Jonathan Bart, Victoria Johnston, Jennie Rausch, Paul A. Smith and Brian McCaffery
16. LITERATURE CITED
A. OTHER METHODS FOR ESTIMATING TRENDS OF ARCTIC BIRDS
Jonathan Bart, Stephen Brown, R. I. Guy Morrison and Paul A. Smith
B. REGIONAL DENSITY ESTIMATES
C. COMMON, SCIENTIFIC AND ABBREVIATED NAMES FOR SPECIES INCLUDED IN THE VOLUME
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Jonathan R. Bart is a Research Wildlife Biologist with the Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center of the USGS in Boise, ID. Victoria Johnston is a researcher for Environment Canada and is based in Yellowknife, Northern Territories.