... In conclusion, the economic system has created a greater need for conservation than ever existed when immediate ecosystems regulated human populations and human endeavour in the north. Reasons include an expansion of what are considered resources, a shift from renewable (wildlife) to non-renewable (mineral) resources, and an increase in the importance of northern activities which extends well beyond the north. Thus, conservation has required the development of a broader definition which includes a number of strategies [managed-use, protection, preservation, restoration]. The need to broaden this definition, brought on by the economic system, has not been matched by sufficient acceptance of the importance of ecological considerations to land management, philosophically or in practice. Preservation of our northern wilderness heritage, one of the conservation strategies, has especially suffered under the economic proprietorship of the north, despite compelling reasons not to ignore it. Unless public values change, the future of the north will continue to be determined solely by economic opportunism rather than by any plurality of values. Unless we allow ecological realities to dictate once again the extent and amount of human activities in the north, in effect to curb and set strict limits on the economic system, then we will never have more than an ecological appliqué of virtually insignificant long-term consequences. If we squander our northern inheritance, the environment ultimately will impose sentence materially and spiritually, just as certainly as it set limits on human populations of old.
Between spring 1976 and fall 1980 we studied the occurrence, abundance, and habitat use of birds over a 2000 square km segment of the northcentral Alaska Peninsula. During this period observers were present 473 days and obtained records for all seasons. A total of 125 species was recorded; 63% (79 of 125) were water-associated. The breeding avifauna was found to be a mixture of Panboreal (49%), North American (34%), and Aleutican (17%) species. The Aleutican group was dominant in terms of biomass and numbers of individuals during the nonbreeding period. Forty-two species were confirmed breeding in the area and another 19 were suspected of breeding. The majority of birds occurred as migrants; 14 species were considered permanent residents and an additional 20 were winter residents. ... The area is a principal late summer and fall molting and staging area for several species of arctic and subarctic nesting waders and seaducks and emperor geese .... From late September through mid-October the density of water birds over the entire littoral and nearshore area approached 1000 birds square km. This density was exceeded many fold for certain species on particular segments of habitats in the area.
Protein, lipid, carbohydrate, water, ash and caloric energy contents during the open water season of 14 species of macrozooplankton and four epibenthic amphipods common to the inshore waters of southern Baffin Island are compared. . The highest energy content occurred in euphausiids and hyperiid amphipods and the lowest in ctenophores and cnidarians. Lipid appeared to be an important energy reserve in most of the species examined while carbohydrate concentrations were consistently low. In four dominant species (Mertensia ovum, Parathemisto libellula, Sagitta elegans and Thysanoessa inermis) there was evidence of a progressive increase in lipid and caloric energy content during the course of the summer. Similarities and differences in biochemical composition and energy content of zooplankton from the Arctic and other marine areas are briefly discussed.
Fish movements around a 2.8 km solid-fill causeway in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, were examined by tagging anadromous least and arctic cisco (>220 mm) on each side of the causeway in summer and comparing the recapture ratios when the fish were later caught in the Colville Delta commercial fishery 80 km to the west. There was no significant difference in proportions of recaptures among fish (species combined) that did not have to swim around the causeway. Thus available data indicate that the net movements of large least cisco, and probably arctic cisco, were unaffected by this man-made coastal feature.
Discovery of northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus) breeding on Bogoslof Island southeastern Bering Sea
Arctic, v. 34, no. 4, Dec. 1981, p. 318-320, figures
ASTIS record 8711
A small group of northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus) including one male with two females, each with a small pup, and two lone males were discovered on Bogoslof Island, Alaska in the Bering Sea on 20 July 1980. This is the first evidence of breeding on Bogoslof, or on any island in the eastern Bering Sea other than the Pribilof Islands. We suggest that these fur seals require breeding islands adjacent to the continental shelf break where they are supported by the pelagic food web characteristic of the oceanic and outer shelf domains.
The comparative digestibilities of plants and their rates of digestion in vitro were assessed by fermentation with ruminal fluids obtained from barren-ground caribou (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus) shot on their winter range in the southern Northwest Territories. There was a near-linear increase in the in vitro, dry-matter disappearance (IVDMD) with fermentation time (30-120 h) for all eight lichen species that we tested. In contrast, IVDMD was essentially maximal after 60 h fermentation for 10 of 11 non-lichen species. The green leaves of Carex rostrata and Equisetum variegatum were the only species with IVDMDs higher than 50% after a 60-63 h fermentation period. The two species of mosses and a liverwort were poorly digested (15-27%). The addition of 63 mg of urea to each tube markedly increased the digestibilities of both species of lichens tested, and that of Vaccinium vitis-idaea, but it lowered the IVDMD of Salix and Betula stems and the green and cured parts of Carex rostrata. The IVDMDs of four lichen species collected on the Canadian Arctic Islands were higher than those of eight terricolous species obtained from the mainland winter range of R. t. groenlandicus.
Many earth flows occurred during the summer of 1979 in the hilly terrain near Umiat, Alaska, particularly along Henry Creek. Most were shallow, involving only the tundra mat and no more than 1.5 m of the underlying mud. The summer of 1979 was the warmest and wettest for the period of record at Umiat, and precipitation was characterized by brief but intense localized rainstorms. Failure probably was triggered by the heavy rains and facilitated by an absorbent tundra mat over a clayey substrate, and perhaps in some cases by a thicker than normal active layer. Flows of this kind have occurred repeatedly in the Uniat area, most likely during summers in which climatic conditions were similar to those of 1979.
Upper Pleistocene stratigraphy, paleoecology, and archaeology of the northern Yukon interior, eastern Beringia. I. Bonnet Plume Basin
Arctic, v. 34, no. 4, Dec. 1981, p. 329-365, figures, tables
ASTIS record 8714
New stratigraphic and chronometric data show that Bonnet Plume Basin, in northeastern Yukon Territory, was glaciated in late Wisconsinan time rather than during an earlier advance of Laurentide ice. This conclusion has important ramifications not only for the interpretation of all-time glacial limits farther north along the Richardson Mountains but also for non-glaciated basins in the Porcupine drainage to the northwest. The late Wisconsinan glacial episode in Bonnet Plume Basin is here named the Hungry Creek advance after the principal Quaternary section in the basin. Sediments beneath the till at Hungry Creek have produced well-produced pollen, plant macrofossils, insects, and a few vertebrate remains. The plant and invertebrate fossils provide a detailed, if temporally restricted, record of a portion of the mid-Wisconsinan interstadial, while the vertebrate fossils include the oldest Yukon specimen of the Yukon wild ass. Some of the mid-Wisconsinan sediments have also yielded distinctive chert flakes that represent either a previously unreported product of natural fracturing or a by-product of stone tool manufacture by human residents of Bonnet Plume Basin. In addition to presenting new data on these diverse but interrelated topics, this paper serves as an introduction to a series of reports that will treat in turn the Upper Pleistocene record of Bluefish, Old Crow, and Bell basins, respectively.
Response of nesting Lapland longspurs (Calcarius lapponicus) to burned tundra on the Seward Peninsula
Arctic, v. 34, no. 4, Dec. 1981, p. 366-369, ill., figures, tables
ASTIS record 8715
The response of breeding Lapland longspurs to burned sedge tussock-shrub tundra was studied in 1978 on the Seward Peninsula in an area burned by lightning-ignited fires during 1977. In late May and mid-June 1978, plant standing crop in burned tundra was <5% of standing crop in unburned tundra. Lapland longspurs were less abundant in burned than unburned tundra. An average of 1.4 longspurs/h were recorded in burned tundra, whereas 4.6 longspurs/h were seen in unburned tundra. One longspur nest was found in 5 ha of burned tundra; three were found in 5 ha of unburned tundra. Nest locations in burned and unburned tundra were similar though nests in burned tundra generally had less protective cover. Several factors may be involved in the reduced abundance of Lapland longspurs in burned tundra.
During 1882-83 eleven countries cooperated in a project to study the geophysics and geodesy of the polar regions by establishing 14 research stations. Three of these were located in Canada's Arctic: one each by the United States, Germany and Britain. They accumulated data on terrestial magnetism and boreal phenomena and brought back valuable information on arctic living.
The USCGC POLAR SEA ... departed her home port of Seattle, Washington on 20 January 1981 to conduct Arctic West Winter 1981 operations. The purpose of the deployment was to determine whether it was possible to transit to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, during the winter and also to conduct ice studies to determine the type of ice conditions that could normally be expected during such a transit. On 11 February 1981, the POLAR SEA made history when she became the first ship ever to reach Point Barrow, Alaska in the middle of winter. On 13 March 1981, after several mechanical casualties, the POLAR SEA was beset in ice. It was decided to use this unique opportunity to study the arctic environment. ... During the POLAR SEA's journey her drift was monitored by satellite-tracked radio transmitters .... The POLAR SEA's positions were then determined using the ARGOS Data Collection System ... aboard the TIROS-N series of polar orbiting U.S. meteorological satellites. ... Three TIROS Arctic Drifters ... were deployed on the ice in the vicinity of the POLAR SEA to study the dynamics of the Arctic gyre in the southern Beaufort Sea. These transmitters indicated a drift rate for the ice pack of about 6 cm/sec to the northwest. ... A study was conducted of the micromorphology and structure of the upper surface layer of the sea ice. ... Some snow depth measurements were made and snow samples were melted and their salinity determined. ... ice cores [were collected] for ice algae density studies and water samples for nutrients, salinity and pH measurements. Ten ice cores from four different locations were obtained as well as a number of frozen and preserved water samples for later analysis. ... An extensive marine mammal survey was also conducted. ... Prior to the besetment, ARCTEC, Inc. personnel profiled eleven pressure ridges in the vicinity of Point Barrow, ten of which were multi-year ridges. ... One first-year pressure ridge was profiled at Nome. During the drift phase of the project, two multi-year ridges were profiled (sail, sonar, and physical drilling), and two multi-year ridges partially profiled. ... During the Drift Project sea ice analysis and forecasts along with weather forecasting were provided by NAVPOLAROCEANCEN. ... On 13 May 1981 two months after being beset, the USCGC POLAR SEA reached the edge of the ice pack and steamed into open water. These two months provided scientists with an opportunity to make observations that will greatly add to our understanding of this remote and hostile environment. ...
In connection with extensive seal surveys in the central High Arctic in 1980 and 1981, a computer file of depths was built .... Limits of the area covered are: southerly, 71°N in Amundsen Gulf. 73°30'N in M'Clintock Channel, and 73°40'N in Peel Sound; northerly generally 78°10'N; westerly, 120°40'W in Amundsen Gulf, 117°20'W in M'Clure Strait, and 110°W in Hazen Strait; and easterly, 90°40'W in Lancaster Sound, 86°W in Jones Sound, and 88°W in Norwegian Bay .... The file consists of the coordinates of the boundaries between the depth classes of Table 1. Coordinates were taken along each of a set of transects lying on even degrees of longitude, even degrees + 40', and odd degrees + 20'. The file has 2343 lines; each contains: transect number; longitude (degrees and minutes); latitude (degrees, minutes, and tenths of minutes); depth class to the south; depth class to the north. ... Each line in the file is therefore a point on a depth contour between adjacent classes; where the sea-bed is steeply sloping, the two depth classes on a line may not be adjacent, and such a line represents a point on several coincident contours. Depths were taken off standard hydrographic charts, and a good deal of interpretation, interpolation, resolution of inconsistencies, and plain guessing went into placing the coordinates. However, the file is useable for many purposes requiring approximate values for depth. ...