State of the Arctic Marine Biodiversity Report: chapter 3.5: Seabirds

State of the Arctic Marine Biodiversity Report: chapter 3.5: Seabirds

Seabirds chapter of the State of the Arctic Marine Biodiversity Report covering eight Focal Ecosystem Components: glaucous gull, ivory gull, least auklet, little auk, common murre, thick-billed murre, black-legged kittiwake, common eider.

Seabirds link marine and terrestrial ecosystems because they nest on land but forage at sea, and, thus, they are important components of Arctic ecosystems and are part of the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP). Seabirds provide ecosystem services, notably as human food in many Arctic regions, major tourist attractions, as well as being an important link to the Arctic food web and returning nutrients from the oceans to coastal areas (^ekerciolu et al. 2004, ^ekerciolu 2006, Merkel and Barry 2008, CAFF 2010, Ganter and Gaston 2013, Green and Elmberg 2014). Changes in seabird populations and diversity will affect regional sustainability for Arctic communities and ecosystems. Seabirds are also widely distributed and easier to observe than other marine taxa, making them useful study subjects. Seabirds function as indicators of the condition of their marine habitats, because they integrate the effects of abiotic stressors acting on lower trophic levels (Piatt et al. 2007, Sydeman et al. 2012, Green and Elmberg 2014). The CAFF Arctic Biodiversity Assessment (Ganter and Gaston 2013) also recognizes that the migratory behavior of most seabird species requires international cooperation throughout the circumpolar regions to address conservation needs. 

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