Advertisement

Polar Biology

, Volume 37, Issue 11, pp 1705–1710 | Cite as

Quantifying fall migration of Ross’s gulls (Rhodostethia rosea) past Point Barrow, Alaska

  • Mark Maftei
  • Shanti E. Davis
  • Brian D. Uher-Koch
  • Callie Gesmundo
  • Robert Suydam
  • Mark L. Mallory
Short Note

Abstract

The Ross’s gull (Rhodostethia rosea) is a poorly known seabird of the circumpolar Arctic. The only place in the world where Ross’s gulls are known to congregate is in the near-shore waters around Point Barrow, Alaska, where they undertake an annual passage in late fall. Ross’s gulls seen at Point Barrow are presumed to originate from nesting colonies in Siberia, but neither their origin nor their destination has been confirmed. Current estimates of the global population of Ross’s gulls are based largely on expert opinion, and the only reliable population estimate is derived from extrapolations from previous counts conducted at Point Barrow, but these data are now over 25 years old. In order to update and clarify the status of this species in Alaska, our study quantified the timing, number, and flight direction of Ross’s gulls passing Point Barrow in 2011. We recorded up to two-thirds of the estimated global population of Ross’s gulls (≥27,000 individuals) over 39 days with numbers peaking on 16 October when we observed over 7,000 birds during a 3-h period.

Keywords

Ross’s gull Rhodostethia rosea Migration Survey Point Barrow Alaska Trans-Beringian 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors wish to thank George Divoky for his invaluable insight into the design of this study. We are also grateful for the very generous logistical support provided by the North Slope Borough Department of Wildlife Management, and we specifically wish to thank Taqulik Hepa and Craig George for their assistance. This study was made possible by a grant from the Canadian Wildlife Federation Endangered Species Program. We also thank Canada Goose Inc. for providing field supplies. Finally, we wish to thank Paul Flint and George Divoky for their thoughtful comments and suggestions in reviewing this manuscript.

References

  1. Blomqvist S, Elander M (1981) Sabine’s gull (Xema sabini), Ross’s gull (Rhodostethia rosea) and ivory gull (Pagophila eburnea) gulls in the Arctic: a review. Arctic 34:122–132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Buturlin SA (1906) The breeding-grounds of the Rosy Gull. Ibis (Lond 1859) 48:131–139; 333–337; 661–666Google Scholar
  3. COSEWIC (2007) Recovery strategy for the Ross’s gull (Rhodostethia rosea) in Canada. Species Risk Act Recover Strateg, Can Wildl Ser 26 ppGoogle Scholar
  4. Degtyarev AG (1991) A method of airborne census of Ross’s gull, (Rhodostethia rosea), in Yakut tundras USSR (in Russian). Zool žurnal 70:81–85Google Scholar
  5. Dementiev GP, Gladkov N. (1969) Birds of the Soviet Union. Vol. 3. (in Russian). Sovetskaya Nauka, MoscowGoogle Scholar
  6. Densley M (1999) In Search of Ross’s Gull. Peregrine Books, PrescottGoogle Scholar
  7. Divoky GJ, Hatch SA, Sanger GA (1988) Fall migration of Ross’ gull (Rhodostethia rosea) in Alaskan Chukchi and Beaufort seas. USFW OCS study MMS 88-0023Google Scholar
  8. Egevang C, Boertmann D (2008) Ross’s gulls (Rhodostethia rosea) breeding in Greenland: a review, with special emphasis on records from 1979 to 2007. Arctic 61:322–328Google Scholar
  9. Ilyichev VD, Zubakin VA (1988) Birds of the U.S.S.R (Gulls). Nauka, MoscowGoogle Scholar
  10. Kondratyev AY, Litvinenko NM, Kaiser GW (2000) Seabirds of the Russian far east. Can Wildl Serv Spec Publ 141 ppGoogle Scholar
  11. Maftei M (2013) The Ross’s gull (Rhodostethia rosea) in North America. MSc Thesis, Meml Univ Newfoundland, St John’s 84 ppGoogle Scholar
  12. Maftei M, Davis SE, Jones IL, Mallory ML (2012) Breeding habitats and new breeding locations for Ross’s gull (Rhodostethia rosea) in the Canadian high Arctic. Arctic 65:283–288CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Meltofte HC, Edelstam C, Granstrom G et al (1981) Ross’s gulls in the Arctic pack-ice. Br Birds 74:316–320Google Scholar
  14. Murdoch J (1899) A historical notice of Ross’s rosy gull (Rhodostethia rosea). Auk 16:146–155CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Soft Stat (2013) STATISTICA 12. Stat Soft Incorporated, Tulsa OKGoogle Scholar
  16. Stishov MS, Pridatko VI, Baranyuk VV (1991) Birds of Wrangel Island. Nauka, Siberian Division, NovosibirskGoogle Scholar
  17. Weather Underground Inc. (2012) Barrow, PABR weather station. http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/PABR/2012/05/04/DailyHistory.html Accessed on 4 May 2012

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Maftei
    • 1
  • Shanti E. Davis
    • 1
  • Brian D. Uher-Koch
    • 2
  • Callie Gesmundo
    • 3
  • Robert Suydam
    • 4
  • Mark L. Mallory
    • 5
  1. 1.High Arctic Gull Research GroupBamfieldCanada
  2. 2.U.S. Geological Survey Alaska Science CenterAnchorageUSA
  3. 3.High Arctic Gull Research GroupKalamazooUSA
  4. 4.North Slope Borough Department of Wildlife ManagementBarrowUSA
  5. 5.High Arctic Gull Research Group, Department of BiologyAcadia UniversityWolfvilleCanada

Personalised recommendations