The distribution of larger species of birds breeding on the coasts of Foxe Basin and northern Hudson Bay, Canada
Arctic, v. 39, no. 4, Dec. 1986, p. 285-296, maps
ASTIS record 19633
Aerial surveys of large birds on the coasts of Foxe Basin and northern Hudson Bay were carried out in late June and early July in 1979, 1983 and 1984. Greatest numbers of birds were seen along low-lying coasts backed by wet lowland tundra, particularly where these merged into extensive inter-tidal flats. These areas have emerged from the sea only during the past 2000 years. Even in areas of wet lowland tundra, all species except jaegers appeared to be patchy in their distribution, the patches being unrelated to obvious features of the habitat. We suggest that breeding habitat for many species is not completely occupied, at least in normal breeding seasons. We propose that statutory protection be extended to all or parts of Prince Charles and Air Force islands, which support high numbers of several species and are currently unprotected.
Sixty Late Pleistocene vertebrate fossils have been recovered from an inferred in situ sedimentary section of a placer mine near Jack Wade, east-central Alaska. The fossil assemblage, called the Jack Wade fauna, is composed of the partial remains of 18 animals, of which 11 are Ovis sp. cf. O. dalli Nelson (Dall sheep). 3 Bison priscus (Bojanus) (Steppe Bison), 2 Rangifer tarandus (Linnaeus) (Caribou), 1 Equua (Asinus) lambei Hay (Yukon Wild Ass) and 1 Alces alces (Linnaeus) (Moose). The assemblage is noteworthy in two respects: it is one of few Late Pleistocene in situ assemblages known from Eastern Beringia and it is composed of large ungulates exclusively. Of these, a uniquely large proportion are mountain sheep.
Demography, breeding biology and predation of Willow Ptarmigan at Anderson River delta, Northwest Territories
Arctic, v. 39, no. 4, Dec. 1986, p. 300-303, map
ASTIS record 19652
Observations on the willow ptarmigan (Lagopus lagopus albus) were made during the breeding season from 1958 to 1985 at the Anderson River delta, N.W.T. Numbers of territorial males on a 65 ha study area have fluctuated between 7 and 28 over this time, with numbers peaking in 1961-62, 1969 and 1980. Peaks in ptarmigan numbers appear to be fairly synchronous over a large geographical area. Large flocks of males were observed in some years. In 1978, these males, mainly yearlings, had similar wing lengths to, but weighed slightly more than territorial males. There appeared to be shortage of hens in 1978, possibly caused by differential mortality during the winter. Mean clutch size ranged from 8.7 to 10.4 and mean number of fledged chicks per brood ranged from 6.3 to 6.9. Within North America clutch size of willow ptarmigan does not appear to increase with increasing latitude. As in other localities, raptors and foxes appeared to be the main predators of ptarmigan. More males than females were killed on the breeding area, but this could have been because more males were present.
Basal sediment debris from the Greenland ice sheet was examined with the hope of recovering microfossils that could be used to determine and date changes in ice sheet size through time. Basal debris and debris-laden ice from the lower 18 m of the Camp Century ice core, northwest Greenland, revealed the presence of common freshwater and rare marine diatoms. These diatoms may have lived in the vicinity of the Camp Century site in the Late Neogene prior to development of the Greenland ice sheet. More likely, they lived during a Pleistocene interglacial period, when the volume of ice in the Greenland ice sheet was smaller than it is today and the site was ice free. A warmer and/or longer interglacial period than the present Holocene "interglacial" is suggested to explain the large decrease in ice sheet volume.
The residual snow cover in the Canadian Arctic in July : a means to evaluate the regional maximum snow depth in winter
Arctic, v. 39, no. 4, Dec. 1986, p. 309-315, maps, ill.
ASTIS record 19654
This paper examines the residual snow cover in the Canadian Arctic during the month of July in the period 1948-83 inclusive using air photographs. The study area includes the Ungava Peninsula, part of the District of Keewatin and the Arctic Archipelago, except for the mountainous regions to the west of the Labrador Sea, and Baffin Bay, where numerous snow fields and glaciers are present. In spite of the spatial discontinuity of the air photographs taken during the second half of July, the authors were able to study 555,519 kmē or 46%, of the forementioned territory. Within this territory, 1899 kmē are covered by residual snow during summer, or an average of 3336 mē/kmē. A correlation of r=0.93 was observed between the residual snow cover in the different regions during the second half of July and the maximum snow cover thickness during winter measured by Environment Canada. A model permitting the estimation of the maximum snow cover thickness in regions where meteorological stations do not exist was formulated. The model is applicable at small and medium scales. In addition, the authors propose that the Hudson Strait region is the most susceptible to the formation of glaciers if one hypothesizes that the regions with the thickest residual snow cover are the most susceptible to glaciation.
The GRAND Canal scheme, which by the construction of a dike across James Bay would divert 61% of Hudson Bay's freshwater budget south, has ecological implications for the North. The formation of ice in Hudson Bay could increase as its pycnocline develops earlier in the spring and deepens in the summer and ice breakup is delayed because of the removal of the warm James Bay outflow in the spring. A reduction in primary productivity could result because of changes in the pycnocline's development, the removal of nutrients normally associated with spring's melting ice and a decrease in stable stratification periods as the dike removes the dampening action of James Bay on tidal and wind-generated disturbances. Changes in nutrient content and freshwater circulation out of Hudson Bay could potentially affect productivity downstream on the Labrador Shelf, and changes in productivity and ice pack within Hudson Bay would detrimentally affect fishes and marine mammals. Changes to coastal staging areas in both bays would most likely destroy a major portion of the North American migratory bird population. A resurgence of interest in the GRAND Canal scheme necessitates further research to provide data for the many unanswered questions concerning the potential ecological impacts of the diversion.
The need for Canadian-American cooperative ocean management in the Arctic stems from four factors. Transboundary ocean currents have the potential to carry marine pollutants from one country to the other. Many living resources, such as bowhead and beluga whales, do not recognize political boundaries. Native communities depend culturally and economically on coastal resources. Technological collaboration in such areas as satellite communications and navigational aids is necessary to avoid costly duplications. Three documents - the World Conservation Strategy, the Report of the U.N. Conference on the Human Environment, and the Law of the Sea Convention - bid the United States and Canada to join hands in managing resources in a more systematic manner. At least four jurisdictional issues concerning arctic waters are capable of rocking future U.S.-Canadian relations: the Alaska/Yukon offshore boundary, the legal status of the waters of the Canadian arctic archipelago and the Northwest Passage, the legal principles governing the exclusive economic zones in the Beaufort, Chukchi, and Bering seas, and the legal regime applicable to arctic waters and the seabed beyond 200 nautical miles. Although cooperative ocean management may be hindered by national complexities, such as lack of clear arctic policies, fragmented decision-making processes, and tensions between government managers and local communities, the two countries should address eight threshold questions concerning future institutional linkages: Are present formal and informal arrangements adequate for arctic ocean management? What type or types of agreement - demonstrative, administrative, distributive or resolutive - should be used to formalize cooperation? What level of cooperation - bilateral, trilateral, arctic-wide or global - is required and politically feasible? Should the two countries create new management institutions or should they harmonize existing legislation and administration? Should one "super commission" be created with a say over all arctic marine issues or should a number of commissions be created for coordinating individual ocean uses? Should joint institutions have advisory or actual decision-making powers? What role should native groups play in regionalized arctic marine management? What type of dispute-settlement mechanism(s) should be established?
Although the United States and Canada have different views regarding jurisdiction over the waters surrounding arctic islands, both countries nevertheless share many concerns about marine transportation in high latitudes. Among these concerns are environmental protection, safety, impacts of development on northern peoples and third party transit of arctic waters. These common concerns suggest that there is much potential for cooperative activity and problem solving in the Arctic. Specific suggestions are made regarding possibilities for coordination of transit management activities. A range of options is presented for both the jurisdiction and management elements of a transit regime for the Arctic. It is the thesis of this article that, despite jurisdictional disagreements, the U.S. and Canada can develop a transit regime that satisfies the interests and concerns of both.
Canada's interest in the management of the waters of the arctic archipelago has generally been expressed in terms of sovereignty. This term covers a range of interests including security, environmental protection and the protection of the way of life of northern communities, and resource exploitation. Three types of regimes can be proposed for the management of arctic marine transportation - a regime of free and open use with control over shipping remaining with the flag state of each vessel; a regime of shared jurisdiction under which arctic coastal states would jointly manage transportation throughout arctic waters, including the Northwest Passage; and a regime of coastal state jurisdiction, under which each coastal state would be responsible for all transportation in its adjacent waters. Under this last regime Canada would assume control over all marine transportation in the Northwest Passage. While a free and open use regime would favour transit interests, it would not deal adequately with environmental protection, the protection of northern communities or resource exploitation interests. In these latter matters there is an imbalance between the interests of Canada and the interests of other states concerned predominantly with transit. Canada has therefore laid the basis for complete coastal state control over the waters of the arctic archipelago with the drawing of straight baselines around these waters. This does not exclude a cooperative management regime; rather, it establishes a particular basis on which such a regime would operate. Thus, an effective management regime for marine transportation in the waters of the Canadian arctic archipelago will only be worked out once the question of jurisdiction over those waters is finally resolved.
A U.S.-Canada Arctic Policy Forum, funded by the William H. Donner Foundation, Inc., New York, met to consider the need for U.S.-Canadian cooperation in the Arctic and some of the barriers thereto. The U.S. co-chair assessed the causes of conflict between the two countries, the need for cooperation and some of the sources of each side's conduct and indicated how the delegates - speaking in their capacities as private citizens - worked their way through the issues to the forum's conclusion. Sovereignty questions dominated the conflict issues. But each side had four types of similar internal problems in making arctic policy (1) native vs. nonnative interests (2) regional vs. central interests (3) public vs. private interests; and (4) oil development vs. subsistence and commercial fishing and hunting interests. The forum concluded with suggestions that future meetings use the Canadian Federal Assessment Panel's (or Tener) report as a source of examining possible U.S.-Canadian cooperative measures in the Beaufort Sea region and the Canada-Denmark Agreement as a possible "model" for U.S.-Canadian environmental cooperation in the Arctic.
The note shows that individual Canadians have been involved in every phase of Antarctic exploration and research from 1898 to the present time.
Of the fifteen hired men on John Franklin's first land expedition, Pierre St. Germain has been the most underrated. Although a rogue, a rebel, and a troublemaker, he was the strongest, most resourceful, and most versatile man on the expedition. ... St. Germain, part French and part Indian, served in the Athabasca district for the North West Company from 1812 to 1818. In 1819 he joined the Hudson's Bay Company at a wage of 2,000 Montreal livres (100 Pounds Sterling) per annum and served as an interpreter at Fort Resolution, Great Slave Lake. ... On 5 June 1820, Colin Robertson wrote McVicar, giving permission for St. Germain to join the arctic land expedition under the command of Lt. John Franklin. On 25 July 1820, St. Germain entered into an agreement with Franklin for wages of "3000 Livres per annum until his return to Ft. Wedderburn." This 150 Pounds Sterling was two-and-a-half times the amount Franklin offered a French Canadian voyageur. St. Germain's employers recognized his ability but also his independent ways. Robertson described St. Germain as "an intelligent young man" and 5 June 1820 wrote "I have given up an excellent Chippeyan interpreter, St. Germain." McVicar considered him indispensable, mentioning how he could travel without either a blanket or provisions, but also noting his liking for alcohol. ... Richardson considered St. Germain to be one of the most reliable men on the expedition and the one with the most influence on the accompanying Copper Indians. St. Germain was intelligent, determined, and when reasonably fed, indefatigable. He made the preliminary trip to Point Lake with Back and Hood, 29 August-10 September 1820. During the winter of 1820-21, he snowshoed 440 km from Fort Enterprise to Fort Resolution, bringing back the two Eskimos, Augustus and Junius. Strong, resourceful, practical, a man of great stamina, St. Germain was also exceedingly dexterous, evidenced by his use of a made-down canoe to cross the Burnside River on 9 September and, five days later, to ferry Franklin across Belanger Rapids. St. Germain alone had the ability to improvise that allowed him single-handedly to convert the fragments of "painted canvas" or "oil-cloth" into a cockleshell that would finally transport everyone across Obstruction Rapids on 4 October, after nine days of crucial delay. ... As a troublemaker, St. Germain gained the enmity of both Franklin and Back. As early as 23 March 1821, St. Germain expressed his concern about the dangers involved in the proposed arctic explorations and shared his views with Akaitcho's Copper Indians. Because of this indiscretion, Franklin that day described him as "an artful man" and said he was "perfectly satisfied of his baseness." ... By September 1822-The Franklin expedition over-HBC Chief Trader Alexander Roderick McLeod engaged St. Germain at Lake Athabasca to serve in the capacity of interpreter. ... He continued to serve the Company as interpreter in the Mackenzie River District until 12 September 1834. St. Germain then retired to the Red River Settlement, where he purchased 50 acres of land on 13 April 1835. ... Although too independent to fit easily into naval discipline, Pierre St. Germain was an indispensable man. Without his hunting and craft skills, Franklin, Richardson, Back, and Hepburn would have perished. Without him, Franklin's first arctic land expedition, like the 1845 disaster, would have had no surviving officers and no published accounts. It was a close call indeed.