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History of an under-ice subsistence fishery for arctic cisco and least cisco in the Colville River, Alaska   /   Moulton, L.L.   Seavey, B.   Pausanna, J.
Arctic, v. 63, no. 4, Dec. 2010, p. 381-390, ill., maps
ASTIS record 72093
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Arctic cisco (Coregonus autumnalis) and least cisco (C. sardinella) are harvested in the Colville River Delta near Nuiqsut, Alaska, after ice forms in the fall. Arctic cisco targeted by the fall fishery derive from spawning stocks in the Mackenzie River of Canada. Young-of-the-year fish are recruited into the Colville region during August or September, aided by westerly coastal currents generated by predominantly easterly winds. In contrast, anadromous least cisco, harvested as the primary by-catch in the fishery, spawn and winter entirely in the Colville delta and lower river. This study reports on fishery monitoring for the 20-year period 1985 - 2004. During this period, effort in the subsistence fishery showed an increasing trend. Arctic cisco, the target species, averaged over 65% of the annual observed catch, and least cisco averaged 22%. From 1985 to 2002, total harvest of arctic cisco for the combined subsistence and commercial fisheries averaged 38 600 fish (15 958 kg) per year, ranging from a low of 5859 fish (2799 kg) in 2001 to 78 254 fish (31 340 kg) in 1993. During the same period, catches of least cisco averaged 18 600 fish (5819 kg), ranging from a low of 6606 fish (2014 kg) in 2001 to 33 410 fish (11 319 kg) in 1985. Arctic cisco (Coregonus autumnalis) and least cisco (C. sardinella) are harvested in the Colville River Delta near Nuiqsut, Alaska, after ice forms in the fall. Arctic cisco targeted by the fall fishery derive from spawning stocks in the Mackenzie River of Canada. Young-of-the-year fish are recruited into the Colville region during August or September, aided by westerly coastal currents generated by predominantly easterly winds. In contrast, anadromous least cisco, harvested as the primary by-catch in the fishery, spawn and winter entirely in the Colville delta and lower river. This study reports on fishery monitoring for the 20-year period 1985 - 2004. During this period, effort in the subsistence fishery showed an increasing trend. Arctic cisco, the target species, averaged over 65% of the annual observed catch, and least cisco averaged 22%. From 1985 to 2002, total harvest of arctic cisco for the combined subsistence and commercial fisheries averaged 38 600 fish (15 958 kg) per year, ranging from a low of 5859 fish (2799 kg) in 2001 to 78 254 fish (31 340 kg) in 1993. During the same period, catches of least cisco averaged 18 600 fish (5819 kg), ranging from a low of 6606 fish (2014 kg) in 2001 to 33 410 fish (11 319 kg) in 1985. The subsistence fishery caught 56% of the total arctic cisco harvest and 42% of the least cisco harvest (in numbers of fish). In the six years for which estimates of both harvest and population level were available, total estimated annual harvest of arctic cisco within the Colville River Delta averaged 8.9% of the available fish, with yearly estimates ranging from 5.4% to 12.9%. For least cisco, the average annual removal rate was 6.8% (range: 2.9% to 13.8%). The subsistence fishery caught 56% of the total arctic cisco harvest and 42% of the least cisco harvest (in numbers of fish). In the six years for which estimates of both harvest and population level were available, total estimated annual harvest of arctic cisco within the Colville River Delta averaged 8.9% of the available fish, with yearly estimates ranging from 5.4% to 12.9%. For least cisco, the average annual removal rate was 6.8% (range: 2.9% to 13.8%).

Le cisco arctique (Coregonus autumnalis) et le cisco sardinelle (C. sardinella) sont pêchés dans le delta de la rivière Colville près de Nuiqsut, en Alaska, après la formation de la glace à l'automne. Les ciscos arctiques qui font l'objet de cette pêche d'automne proviennent de la fraie du fleuve Mackenzie au Canada. Les jeunes poissons de l'année sont recrutés dans la région de Colville en août ou en septembre, et sont aidés par les courants côtiers d'ouest générés par les vents principalement de l'est. Pour leur part, les ciscos sardinelles anadromes, qui sont récoltés en tant que prise fortuite principale de la pêche, fraient et hivernent entièrement dans le détroit Colville et la rivière inférieure. La présente étude fait état d'un projet de surveillance des pêches échelonné sur une période de 20 ans, soit de 1985 à 2004. Au cours de cette période, la pêche de subsistance a affiché une tendance à la hausse. Le cisco arctique, soit l'espèce ciblée, représentait en moyenne plus de 65 % de la prise annuelle observée, tandis que le cisco sardinelle représentait 22 % en moyenne. De 1985 à 2002, la récolte totale de cisco arctique pour l'ensemble de la pêche de subsistance et de la pêche commerciale a atteint, en moyenne, 38 600 poissons (15 958 kg) par année, allant du faible nombre de 5 859 poissons (2 799 kg) en 2001 à 78 254 poissons (31 340 kg) en 1993. Au cours de cette même période, les prises de ciscos sardinelles ont atteint, en moyenne, 18 600 poissons (5 819 kg), allant du faible nombre de 6 606 poissons (2 014 kg) en 2001 à 33 410 poissons (11 319 kg) en 1985. La pêche de subsistance a permis de récolter 56 % de tous les ciscos arctiques capturés et 42 % des ciscos sardinelles (pour ce qui est du nombre de poissons). Dans le cas des six années pour lesquelles il existe des estimations du taux de capture et de population, la capture annuelle totale estimée de ciscos arctiques dans le delta de la rivière Colville a atteint, en moyenne, 8,9 % des poissons disponibles, et les estimations annuelles s'échelonnaient entre 5,4 % à 12,9 %. Dans le cas du cisco sardinelle, le taux moyen annuel de prise s'élevait à 6,8 % (avec une étendue de 2,9 % à 13,8 %).


Temporal and dietary reconstruction of past Aleut populations : stable- and radio-isotope evidence revisited   /   Coltrain, J.B.
Arctic, v. 63, no. 4, Dec. 2010, p. 391-398, ill.
ASTIS record 72094
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A recent accelerator radiocarbon study of Eastern Aleutian human remains that Ales Hrdlicka collected in the 1930s contradicts his long-standing assertion that brachycranic Neo-Aleut people, moving west along the island chain at ca. 1000 BP, replaced the dolichocranic Paleo-Aleut population. Radiocarbon dates for Paleo-Aleut individuals ranged from ca. 3400 to 400 cal BP, covering the entire temporal span of the study and indicating that Paleo-Aleuts coexisted in the study area with Neo-Aleuts from ca. AD 1000 until well into the 16th century. Shortly after publication of that study, the curating institution informed the authors that a small number of cataloguing errors with respect to cranial category had come to their attention. Subsequent corrections made to cranial categories have strengthened temporal patterning characteristic of this data set. Mortuary practices and genetic and dietary patterning also distinguish Paleo-Aleut from Neo-Aleut groups. The stable isotope chemistry of their diets indicates that Neo-Aleuts relied on higher-trophic-level marine taxa than Paleo-Aleuts and, within that category of taxa, on more offshore rather than nearshore-feeding pinnipeds.

Une étude récente réalisée au moyen d'un accélérateur pour la datation par le carbone 14 visant des dépouilles mortelles d'Aléoutes de l'Est recueillies par Ales Hrdlicka dans les années 1930 vient contredire son affirmation de longue date selon laquelle le peuple néo-aléoute brachycrâne, se déplaçant vers l'ouest le long de l'arc insulaire vers l'an 1000 BP, a remplacé la population paléo-aléoute dolichocrâne. La datation par le carbone 14 pour les individus paléo-aléoutes variait environ entre 3400 et 400 cal. BP, ce qui recouvrait toute la durée temporelle de l'étude et indiquait que les Paléo-Aléoutes ont coexisté avec les Néo-Aléoutes dans la région visée par l'étude d'environ 1000 AD jusqu'au XVIe siècle avancé. Peu après la publication de cette étude, l'établissement responsable de la conservation a signalé aux auteurs qu'un petit nombre d'erreurs de catalogage avaient été décelées relativement à la catégorie crânienne. Les corrections qui ont été subséquemment apportées aux catégories crâniennes se sont trouvé à renforcer les caractéristiques de typification temporelle de cet ensemble de données. Les pratiques mortuaires de même que les caractéristiques génétiques et alimentaires ont également permis de distinguer les Paléo-Aléoutes des Néo-Aléoutes. La chimie des isotopes stables de leurs alimentations indique que les Néo-Aléoutes dépendaient de taxons marins de niveau trophique plus élevé que les Paléo-Aléoutes et, au sein de cette catégorie de taxon, qu'ils dépendaient davantage de pinnipèdes extracôtiers que côtiers.


"Our Amazing Visitors" : Catherine Cartwright's account of Labrador Inuit in England   /   Stopp, M.   Mitchell, G.
Arctic, v. 63, no. 4, Dec. 2010, p. 399-413, portrait
ASTIS record 72096
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New material about Inuit who visited England in the 18th century was recently discovered in a British archive. Presented here are three letters written in 1773 by Catherine Cartwright, sister of Captain George Cartwright of Labrador fame. The letters describe and discuss the group of five Inuit who came to England with the latter in the autumn of 1772. All of the Inuit party but one died of smallpox at the outset of their return voyage to Labrador early the following summer. A fourth letter, written a year later by an M. Stowe, a family relation, contains information about George Cartwright's return to Labrador with Caubvick, the lone Inuit survivor. These letters contain new information about the Inuit visit that is both firsthand and enriched with personal observation and opinion. As microhistorical data, the letters contribute to broader historical discussions of Inuit-European relations, Inuit society, Inuit agency in the changing economics of the late 18th century, and the perspectives of Europeans and their fascination with indigenous peoples.

De la documentation au sujet d'Inuits qui s'étaient rendus en Angleterre au XVIIIe siècle a fait l'objet d'une récente découverte dans des archives britanniques. Nous présentons ici trois lettres écrites en 1773 par Catherine Cartwright, la soeur du commandant George Cartwright, célèbre au Labrador. Ces lettres portent sur un groupe de cinq Inuits ayant visité l'Angleterre avec Cartwright à l'automne 1772. Tous ces Inuits, sauf un, sont morts de la variole au début de leur voyage de retour au Labrador, vers le commencement de l'été suivant. Une quatrième lettre, rédigée un an plus tard par un dénommé M. Stowe, une relation de famille, renferme des renseignements sur la rentrée de George Cartwright au Labrador avec Caubvick, le seul survivant inuit. Ces lettres contiennent de nouveaux renseignements à propos de la visite inuite, renseignements qui sont de première main et sont enrichis d'observations et d'opinions personnelles. À titre de données micro-historiques, ces lettres contribuent aux discussions historiques de plus grande envergure concernant les relations entre les Inuits et les Européens, et mettent en lumière la société inuite, l'agence inuite au sein de l'économie en pleine évolution de la fin du XVIIIe siècle et les perspectives des Européens à l'égard de leur fascination vis-à-vis des peuples indigènes.


Sea ice and migration of the Dolphin and Union caribou herd in the Canadian Arctic : an uncertain future   /   Poole, K.G.   Gunn, A.   Patterson, B.R.   Dumond, M.
Arctic, v. 63, no. 4, Dec. 2010, p. 414-428, ill., maps
ASTIS record 72100
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Caribou (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus × pearyi) of the Dolphin and Union herd migrate across the sea ice between Victoria Island and the adjacent Canadian Arctic mainland twice each year, southward in fall-early winter and northward in late winter-spring. As a result of warmer temperatures, sea ice between Victoria Island and the mainland now forms 8-10 days later than it did in 1982, raising questions about the impact of delayed ice formation on the ecology of the herd. We examined movements of female Dolphin and Union caribou as they relate to sea-ice crossings using four satellite collar datasets (46 caribou) obtained between 1987 and 2006. Since the late 1980s, Dolphin and Union caribou have been moving by early October to the southern coast of Victoria Island, where they stage until sea-ice formation allows migration across the sea ice to winter range on the mainland. Caribou spending the summer farther north on Victoria Island arrive later at the coast, which shortens their time spent on the staging area. During the study period, the collared caribou began crossings as soon as sea-ice formation allowed. Most caribou departed from just a few areas and tended to use the same departure areas each year. Highest mortality occurred during the fall-early winter ice crossing and in mid to late winter. Our research raises the question of how the Dolphin and Union caribou will persist in supporting harvesting if the crossing becomes riskier for them or if the seasonal migrations between Victoria Island and the mainland are interrupted.

Les caribous (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus × pearyi) du troupeau Dolphin-et-Union migrent en passant sur la glace de mer entre l'île Victoria et la partie continentale adjacente de l'Arctique canadien deux fois par année, se dirigeant vers le sud à l'automne et au début de l'hiver, et vers le nord à la fin de l'hiver et au printemps. En raison des températures plus chaudes, la glace de mer entre l'île Victoria et la partie continentale se forme maintenant de huit à dix jours plus tard qu'en 1982, ce qui a pour effet de soulever des questions sur les incidences de la formation tardive de la glace sur l'écologie du troupeau. Nous avons examiné les mouvements des caribous femelles de Dolphin-et-Union pendant qu'elles traversaient la glace de mer à l'aide de quatre ensembles de données obtenus par colliers-satellites (46 caribous) entre 1987 et 2006. Depuis la fin des années 1980, les caribous de Dolphin-et-Union se déplacent vers le début d'octobre vers la côte sud de l'île Victoria, où ils transitent jusqu'à ce que la formation de la glace permette la migration pour passer l'hiver sur la partie continentale. Les caribous qui passent l'été plus au nord sur l'île Victoria arrivent à la côte plus tard, ce qui a pour effet de raccourcir le temps qu'ils passent en halte migratoire. Au cours de la période visée par l'étude, les caribous dotés d'un collier commençaient à traverser dès que la formation de la glace le permettait. La plupart des caribous partaient de quelques endroits et avaient tendance à partir des mêmes endroits d'une année à l'autre. Le taux de mortalité était le plus élevé pendant les traversées de l'automne et du début de l'hiver, ainsi que vers le milieu et la fin de l'hiver. Notre étude soulève la question à savoir comment les caribous de Dolphin-et-Union vont réussir à soutenir la chasse si les traversées deviennent de plus en plus risquées pour eux ou si les migrations saisonnières entre l'île Victoria et la partie continentale sont interrompues.


Permafrost and peatland evolution in the northern Hudson Bay lowland, Manitoba   /   Dyke, L.D.   Sladen, W.E.
Arctic, v. 63, no. 4, Dec. 2010, p. 429-441, ill., maps
ASTIS record 72109
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The northern Hudson Bay lowland includes the largest area of frozen peat plateau bog in Canada. Polar bear denning habitat, caribou forage, carbon storage, and wetland drainage control provided by peat plateaus will be affected if post-Little Ice Age warming continues. Mapping and thermal modeling of frozen peat plateau stability indicate that permafrost peatlands are stable at a mean annual air temperature as warm as -3.5°C. In the peat plateaus of the northern lowland, permafrost can be absent at the peat plateau margins where peat plateaus border fens or lakes. Here, insulating snow accumulations permit thawed conditions at mean annual air temperatures colder than -3.5°C. Continued warming will result in expansion of thawed zones, subsidence at plateau margins, and even collapse of plateau surfaces, resulting in conversion to fen. This process has already occurred across north-central Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta since the end of the Little Ice Age, and there are signs that it is extending into the northern Hudson Bay lowland. Wave erosion of subsiding plateau borders at lake shorelines is also resulting in loss of peat plateau bog.

Les basses-terres du nord de la baie d'Hudson comprennent la plus grande zone composée de tourbière oligotrophe de plateaux tourbeux du Canada. Advenant que le réchauffement du post-Petit Âge glaciaire se poursuive, l'habitat de tanières de l'ours polaire, les zones de fourrage du caribou, le stockage de carbone et la régulation du drainage des zones humides découlant de la présence de plateaux palsiques en subiront des conséquences. Le mappage et la modélisation thermique de la stabilité du plateau palsique gelé indiquent que les tourbières de pergélisol sont stables lorsque la température moyenne annuelle de l'air est aussi chaude que -3,5 °C. Dans les plateaux palsiques des basses-terres du Nord, le pergélisol peut être absent en marge des plateaux palsiques lorsque les plateaux palsiques bordent des tourbières basses ou des lacs. Ici, les accumulations de neige isolante donnent lieu à des conditions de décongélation moyennant des températures moyennes annuelles de l'air plus froides que -3,5 °C. Le réchauffement continu se traduira par l'agrandissement des zones de décongélation, l'affaissement à la hauteur des marges des plateaux et même l'effondrement des surfaces de plateaux, ce qui transformera ces zones en tourbières basses. Ce processus a déjà commencé à se produire dans le centre-nord du Manitoba, de la Saskatchewan et de l'Alberta depuis la fin du Petit Âge glaciaire, sans compter qu'il y a des signes indiquant que cela s'étend dans le nord des basses-terres de la baie d'Hudson. L'érosion par les vagues des bordures de plateaux subsidantes à la hauteur des littoraux de lacs se traduit également par la perte de tourbières oligotrophes de plateaux tourbeux.


Long-term trends of persistent organochlorine pollutants, occupancy and reproductive success in Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus tundrius) breeding near Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, Canada   /   Franke, A.   Setterington, M.   Court, G.   Birkholz, D.
Arctic, v. 63, no. 4, Dec. 2010, p. 442-450, ill., maps
ASTIS record 72116
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The historical decline of the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) in North America was attributed mainly to reproductive failure associated with persistent organochlorine pollutants, in particular DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane). It is generally assumed that declining trends in pesticide loads will be accompanied by a corresponding increase in reproduction. In this study, we concurrently measured occupancy, reproductive performance, and pesticide loads of breeding-aged adults on territory near Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, from 1982 to 2009. Our findings indicate that reproductive success of peregrine falcons in our study population declined despite concomitant reductions in pesticide loads, and that on average, approximately three fewer territories were occupied annually from 2002 to 2009 than were occupied from 1982 to 1989. In addition, the average number of young to reach banding age annually from 2002 to 2009 was approximately half the number banded annually from 1982 to 1989. These results indicate that in recent years fewer pairs have attempted to breed; in addition, those that did breed successfully raised fewer young to banding age. In general, the pesticides examined in this study cannot mechanistically explain either the reduction in occupancy or the decline in reproductive performance. We suggest that the proximate effects of local weather patterns-ultimately associated, either directly or indirectly, with overall climate change-have the greatest potential to explain the altered demographic features of the Rankin Inlet population.

Le déclin historique du faucon pèlerin (Falco peregrinus) en Amérique du Nord a été principalement attribué à un échec de reproduction surtout attribuable aux polluants organochlorés persistants, en particulier le D.D.T. (dichlorodiphenyltrichloréthane). L'on présume généralement que la tendance à la baisse caractérisant l'utilisation des pesticides sera accompagnée d'une augmentation correspondante de reproduction. Dane le cadre de cette étude, nous avons mesuré, simultanément, l'occupation, le rendement reproducteur et les charges de pesticides des adultes en âge de reproduction sur un territoire situé près de Rankin Inlet, au Nunavut, de 1982 à 2009. Nos constatations indiquent que le succès de reproduction des faucons pèlerins faisant l'objet de la population à l'étude a décliné malgré les réductions concomitantes de charges de pesticides et que, en moyenne, environ trois territoires de moins étaient occupés annuellement de 2002 à 2009 que ce n'était le cas de 1982 à 1989. De plus, le nombre moyen de jeunes qui réussissait à atteindre l'âge du baguage annuellement de 2002 à 2009 était d'environ la moitié du nombre d'oiseaux bagués annuellement de 1982 à 1989. Ces résultats indiquent qu'au cours des dernières années, moins de paires ont tenté de se reproduire. Par ailleurs, parmi les oiseaux qui réussissaient à se reproduire, ils parvenaient à élever un moins grand nombre de jeunes atteignant l'âge du baguage. De manière générale, les pesticides examinés dans le cadre de cette étude ne peuvent pas expliquer, de manière mécaniste, la réduction de l'occupation de même que le déclin du rendement reproducteur. Nous suggérons donc que les effets immédiats de la situation météorologique - liés, au bout du compte, directement ou indirectement, au changement climatique général - présentent la meilleure manière d'expliquer les caractéristiques démographiques altérées de la population de Rankin Inlet.


Distribution and community characteristics of staging shorebirds on the northern coast of Alaska   /   Taylor, A.R.   Lanctot, R.B.   Powell, A.N.   Huettmann, F.   Nigro, D.A.   Kendall, S.J.
Arctic, v. 63, no. 4, Dec. 2010, p. 451-467, ill., maps
ASTIS record 72119
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Avian studies conducted in the 1970s on Alaska's Arctic Coastal Plain (ACP) indicated that coastal littoral habitats are important to Arctic-breeding shorebirds for staging prior to fall migration. However, relatively little recent, broad-scale, or quantitative information exists on shorebird use of staging areas in this region. To locate possible shorebird concentration areas in the littoral zone of the ACP, we conducted aerial surveys from the southwest end of Kasegaluk Lagoon on the Chukchi Sea to Demarcation Point on the Beaufort Sea during the summers of 2005-07. These surveys identified persistent within- and between-year concentrations of staging shorebirds at Peard Bay, Point Barrow/Elson Lagoon, Cape Simpson, and Smith Bay to Cape Halkett. Among river deltas in the Beaufort Sea, the Sagavanirktok and Kongakut deltas had large concentrations of staging shorebirds. We also collected data on shorebird community characteristics, staging phenology, and habitat use in 2005 and 2006 by conducting land-based surveys at six camps: Kasegaluk Lagoon, Peard Bay, Point Barrow/Elson Lagoon, Colville Delta, Sagavanirktok Delta, and Okpilak Delta. The shorebird community was more even and diverse (evenness E and Shannon Weiner H') along the Beaufort Sea compared to the Chukchi Sea and in 2005 versus 2006. Staging phenology varied by species and location and differed for several species from that reported in previous studies. Our results suggest the existence of three foraging habitat guilds among the shorebird species observed in this study: gravel beach, mudflat, and salt marsh/pond edge. A comparison to data collected in the mid-1970s suggests that these foraging associations are conserved through time. Results from this research will be useful to land managers for monitoring the effects of changing environmental conditions and human activity on shorebirds and their habitats in Arctic Alaska.

Des études aviaires réalisées dans les années 1970 sur la plaine côtière de l'Arctique en Alaska ont permis de constater que les habitats du littoral côtier revêtent de l'importance pour les oiseaux de rivage nicheurs de l'Arctique en halte migratoire avant la migration d'automne. Cependant, relativement peu d'information récente, à grande échelle ou quantitative existe à propos de l'utilisation que font les oiseaux de rivage des haltes migratoires de cette région. Afin de localiser des zones de concentration possibles d'oiseaux de rivage dans la région littorale de la plaine côtière de l'Arctique, nous avons effectué des levés aériens du sud-ouest de la lagune Kasegaluk dans la mer des Tchouktches jusqu'à Demarcation Point dans la mer de Beaufort au cours des étés allant de 2005 à 2007. Ces levés ont permis de repérer des concentrations durables d'oiseaux de rivage en halte migratoire au cours d'une même année ainsi que d'une année à l'autre à la baie Peard, à pointe Barrow et à la lagune Elson, au cap Simpson de même que de la baie Smith jusqu'au cap Halkett. Parmi les deltas de rivières de la mer de Beaufort, les deltas Sagavanirktok et Kongakut comptaient de fortes concentrations d'oiseaux de rivage en halte migratoire. Nous avons également recueilli des données sur les caractéristiques des populations d'oiseaux de rivage, sur la phénologie des haltes migratoires de même que sur l'utilisation des habitats en 2005 et en 2006 au moyen de levés terrestres effectués à six camps, soit celui de la lagune Kasegaluk, de la baie Peard, de la pointe Barrow et de la lagune Elson, du delta Colville, du delta Sagavanirktok et du delta Okpilak. La population d'oiseaux de rivage était plus homogène et diverse (homogénéité E et Shannon Weiner H') le long de la mer de Beaufort comparativement à la mer des Tchouktches, ainsi qu'en 2005 par rapport à 2006. La phénologie en halte migratoire variait selon les espèces et les emplacements, et différait pour plusieurs espèces de celles signalées dans le cadre d'études ultérieures. Nos résultats laissent croire à l'existence de trois guildes d'habitats de fourrage chez les espèces d'oiseaux de rivage observées dans cette étude : plage de gravier, vasière et marais salant ou bordure d'étang. La comparaison des données recueillies au milieu des années 1970 laisse entendre que ces associations de fourrage se sont conservées au fil du temps. Les résultats découlant de cette recherche seront utiles aux gestionnaires de terres dans le cadre de la surveillance des effets des conditions environnementales changeantes et de l'activité humaine sur les oiseaux de rivage et leurs habitats de l'Arctique alaskien.


Glaucous Gull predation on Dovekies : three new hunting methods   /   Jakubas, D.   Wojczulanis-Jakubas, K.
Arctic, v. 63, no. 4, Dec. 2010, p. 468-470
ASTIS record 72124
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We describe three previously unreported methods that hunting glaucous gulls (Larus hyperboreus) use to capture nesting and fledgling dovekies (Alle alle). During the nesting period, the pale-gray and white gulls camouflaged themselves by perching with head lowered on remnant snow patches in the dovekie colony, trying to ambush flying adults. We observed two other glaucous gull hunting methods on the open fjord water after the dovekie fledglings had left the colony. Gulls approached young dovekies in a fast, low-level glide, presumably to surprise the prey, and attempted to snatch them from the water. Gulls also swam rapidly towards young dovekies, zigzagging among small ice floes, presumably to confuse the birds and catch them before they could dive. The methods described, representing technical foraging innovations, supplement the evidence that gulls are a bird family that displays a diverse foraging innovation repertoire.

Nous décrivons trois méthodes jamais signalées auparavant auxquelles recourent les goélands bourgmestres (Larus hyperboreus) pour capturer les mergules nains (Alle alle) aux stades de la nidification et de l'envol. Pendant la période de nidification, les goélands gris clair et blancs se camouflagent en se rabaissant la tête dans les restes de bancs de neige au sein des colonies de mergules nains afin d'essayer de piéger les adultes capables de voler. Nous avons observé deux autres méthodes de chasse de la part des goélands bourgmestres sur les eaux libres du fjord une fois que les mergules nains prêts à l'envol ont quitté la colonie. Les goélands s'approchaient des jeunes mergules nains en glissant rapidement et à faible altitude, vraisemblablement pour surprendre leurs proies, et essayaient de les arracher de l'eau. Les goélands se mettaient aussi à nager rapidement vers les jeunes mergules nains, en zigzaguant entre les bancs de glace flottante, probablement pour mélanger les oiseaux et pour les attraper avant qu'ils n'aient le temps de plonger. Les méthodes ainsi décrites, qui représentent des innovations techniques de chasse, s'ajoutent aux preuves qui attestent du fait que les goélands constituent une famille d'oiseaux dotée d'un répertoire de chasse innovateur et varié.


First confirmed record of grey seals in Greenland   /   Rosing-Asvid, A.   Teilmann, J.   Dietz, R.   Olsen, M.T.
Arctic, v. 63, no. 4, Dec. 2010, p. 471-473, ill., map
ASTIS record 72127
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The presence of grey seals has never before been confirmed in Greenland, but on 30 August 2009 a grey seal was photographed near shore in Southeast Greenland (59°53' N, 43°28' W). The seal was observed within a small group of islands that hosts a harbour seal colony. The following day, a seal that might be a young grey seal was photographed at the same location. Information from Inuit hunters suggests that grey seals periodically visit Greenland, but the pictures taken in summer 2009 are the first solid proof of this seal species in Greenland.

La présence de phoques gris n'avait jamais été confirmée au Groenland, mais le 30 août 2009, un phoque gris a été photographié près de la côte sud-est du Groenland (59°53' N, 43°28' O). Le phoque a été observé au sein d'un petit groupement d'îles où se tient une colonie de phoques communs. Le lendemain, un phoque qui était peut-être un jeune phoque gris a été photographié au même endroit. D'après les chasseurs inuits, les phoques gris se rendraient périodiquement au Groenland, mais les photographies prises à l'été 2009 constituent les premières preuves tangibles de la présence de cette espèce de phoque au Groenland.


Colin Bruce Bradley Bull (1928-2010)   /   Holdsworth, G.
Arctic, v. 63, no. 4, Dec. 2010, p. 483-484, portrait
ASTIS record 72131
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Colin Bruce Bradley Bull was born on 13 June 1928 in Birmingham, United Kingdom. The family moved to Herefordshire, where Colin completed his early schooling. In 1945, he enrolled at the University of Birmingham and earned a Bachelor of Science in physics with first-class honours. A following master's degree quickly led to a doctorate in solid-state physics in 1952. While writing his thesis, which related to the properties of fluorescent coatings on radar screens, Bull was introduced to rock climbing in Great Britain. And in the summer of 1951, as if to apply what he had learned, he traveled with a group of hardy, geologically minded graduate student friends to Spitsbergen, where they figured out the geological structure and history of a selected area of the island. He wrote a highly readable book about this venture called Innocents in the Arctic (Bull, 2005). The experience must have made a lasting impression upon him because after only a short time in the Physics Department of Cambridge University, he joined the British North Greenland Expedition (1952-54) as a geophysicist-glaciologist and meteorologist. He used a Worden gravity meter to determine the thickness of the Greenland ice cap and also did gravity traverses over proglacial lake ice to determine lake depth. The Greenland expedition marked his departure from experimental physics into a life of exploration and glaciology, with a gravity meter as his "stock research instrument." In 1955, he joined the Cambridge (UK) expedition to the Norwegian glacier Austerdalsbrae, where again he employed a gravity meter to determine glacier thicknesses. This was the first time that the method had been applied to a valley glacier (Bull and Hardy, 1956). In 1956, he married Diana Gillian Garrett. Soon after, they emigrated to New Zealand, where Colin accepted a senior lectureship in the Department of Physics at Victoria University of Wellington (VUW). His polar experience was immediately put to use when he assumed the leadership of the 1958-59 VUW Antarctic Expedition to the Dry Valleys region. He returned to Antarctica as a member of the 1960-61 VUW Antarctic Expedition party. On both expeditions, he used a gravity meter in the Wright Valley and the Koettlitz Glacier region both to delineate geological structure (a rock fault) and to determine glacier thicknesses. At a 40th anniversary celebration, Colin was commissioned to write a book about the 1958-59 VUW Antarctic Expedition, which was published in 2009 as Innocents in the Dry Valleys, using the now familiar Twainian title twist. In 1961, Colin accepted an invitation by Richard P. Goldthwait, Professor of Geology at the Ohio State University (OSU), to relocate to Columbus, Ohio. There he taught geophysics (specializing in glaciology) and helped to establish the Institute of Polar Studies, later called the Byrd Polar Research Center (BPRC). The next summer he and four others journeyed to Southwest Greenland to begin a reconnaissance of the Sukkertoppen ice cap. On the expedition was Fritz Löwe, the legendary German meteorologist who was a member of the 1930-31 Alfred Wegener expedition to the Greenland ice cap. Together with Henry Brecher, now a BPRC icon, Colin and Löwe established a line across the ice cap, along which gravity measurements were made to determine ice thicknesses. By now, Colin was known for his expedition cooking. In February 1964, I attended Ohio State University to study glaciology under Professor Bull and glacial geology under Professor Goldthwait. That summer, after spring course work, Colin persuaded me to join him and two of his other grad students and Henry (from the Geodetic Sciences Department, OSU) at the Arctic Institute of North America's research station at Kluane Lake, Yukon. We were all flown up to "Divide Camp" on the Kaskawulsh Glacier. Henry and I opted to do our master's theses on the north arm of the glacier, I measuring crevasse geometries and dynamics and Henry measuring short-term vari a tions in ice flow rate. Without my being aware of any "arrangement," Colin turned up one day with the OSU Worden gravity meter! He did the gravity measurements I needed along one of our surveyed lines, as well as the reduction of the data. In spring 1965, we received the first of three annual grants from the National Science Foundation for studying processes within a glacier that was frozen to its bed Colin had determined, on the basis of observations he made during the VUW Antarctic Expeditions, that one of the Wright Valley (Antarctica) glaciers would be suitable. By late November 1965, I was starting my PhD fieldwork on the Meserve Glacier, which I had selected. He had judged that with my engineering and mountaineering background, I could figure things out. ... I was about third in his succession of 14 graduate students from six countries in the 1960s and 1970s. Two of his distinguished glaciology students remained at OSU: the late Professor Ian Whillans and Professor Lonnie (‘Iceman’) Thompson. Thompson and his wife, Professor Ellen Mosely-Thompson, expertly maintain a busy ice-core processing laboratory and teach courses in glaciology/climatology. The contributions of Colin's students are just one of his many legacies. Colin was a member of the Board of Governors of the Arctic Institute of North America (1967-72), director of the Institute of Polar Studies (1965-69), Chairman of the Department of Geology (1969-72), and Dean of the College of Mathematical and Physical Sciences (1972-86). In that capacity, he strived to keep the growing Byrd Polar Research Center well supported. In 1986, he and Gillian moved to Bainbridge Island near Seattle. Colin maintained a large polar library and later began writing his own expedition books. He still found time to provide his glaciological expertise to a Chilean mining company. Here is a man who was specially built for polar exploration, who received the Polar Medal from Queen Elizabeth II and the Antarctica Service Med al from the U.S. government for participating in more than 25 action-packed polar expeditions during his distinguished career. He was largely self-trained in "on the job" expeditionary matters, and, as typical of the adventurous British, he was a skillful improviser. His death came unexpectedly while he and Gillian were cruising the Alaska Marine Highway. For me this is not an obituary, but a tribute: his image and memory live on. ...


Erich H. Follmann (1943-2010)   /   Benson, C.S.
Arctic, v. 63, no. 4, Dec. 2010, p. 485-486, portrait
ASTIS record 72235
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Erich H. Follmann passed away on 26 July 2010 in Anchorage, Alaska. ... He received his BA in biology from Loyola University, Chicago, in 1965, and his MS (1968) and PhD (1973) in zoology at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. ... From 1972 to 1976, Erich was a senior biologist with Woodward-Clyde Consultants, conducting environmental assessments on proposed pipelines in Texas, on the East Coast, and in Alaska, where he was a scientific adviser regarding the environmental and biological impact of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline. ... In 1976, he became a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) Institute of Arctic Biology (IAB). During 1976-79, most of his time was spent at the Naval Arctic Research Laboratory (NARL) in Barrow, where he conducted research on cold adaptation in arctic foxes, wolves, wolverines, and grizzly bears, using radio telemetry. He devised a unique application of modern technology to traditional practices by inserting a transmitter in whale harpoons to allow tracking of animals struck by Inupiaq hunters, thus reducing wounding loss. He was also the first to develop adaptations of telemetry that used subcutaneous transmitters to record the temperature and heart rate of free-ranging grizzly bears. Erich joined the UAF Department of Biology, Fisheries and Wildlife in 1985 and became a tenured faculty member in 1989, with a quarter-time appointment in IAB. He especially enjoyed teaching and advising undergraduates at UAF. ... Erich's personal research focused on northern wildlife of particular interest to Alaska Natives, especially the arctic fox and polar bears. He was concerned with the denning habits of grizzly and polar bears and the subsistence use of whales. Because of the practical nature of his work, Erich was an important ambassador for UAF among the people of northern Alaska. He was honored to work with the subsistence hunters in Barrow and Kaktovik and appreciated the knowledge of the Arctic they shared with him. Erich was revered by his many students for his warmth, humor, and dedication to their success, which extended to his support staff as well. ... He was a member of the Arctic Institute of North America Board of Governors from 1994 to 2010; during this time, he was chairman of the AINA bi-national Grant-in-Aid Program. In 2010 the program funded 18 out of 39 proposals; the total amount distributed in grants of $1000 during Erich's chairmanship exceeded $120 000. ... In addition to all of his research, mentoring, and administrative activities, he taught three courses every year. The Erich Follmann Memorial Scholarship has been established at the University of Alaska Foundation to assist students who pursue careers in Arctic biology.


Bertha Allen (1934-2010)   /   Kurszewski, D.M.
Arctic, v. 63, no. 4, Dec. 2010, p. 487, portrait
ASTIS record 72242
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People of the North mourn the loss of Bertha Allen (née Moses) who passed away on 7 May 2010 in Inuvik, Northwest Territories. Born in 1934, Bertha was a member of the Vuntut Gwich'in Nation of Old Crow, Yukon. She spent much of her childhood on the land, learning the traditions of her people. The Mackenzie Delta was her home for most of her life. There she married her Inuvialuit husband, Victor Allen, and together they proudly raised their family immersed in both cultures. She always returned to her beloved Yukon homeland to connect with the land and the people. She leaves a large family of 6 children, 21 grandchildren, and 9 great-grandchildren, along with numerous relatives and friends. Bertha was an advocate for social change, committed to the advancement of northern and aboriginal women. Her many career achievements included leadership roles with organizations in the North and beyond. She was a former president of the Advisory Council on the Status of Women in the Northwest Territories and founding President of the Native Women's Association of the Northwest Territories. Later she became President of the Native Women's Association of Canada. Bertha was instrumental in improving health and social services in the North through her participation in the Territorial Hospital Insurance Services Board and the Inuvik Medical Transient Centre and through her 2001 appointment to the Council of Grandmothers. She also served the Northwest Territories as the lone female member of the Commission for Constitutional Development, the Northwest Territories Judicial Appointments Committee, and the Northwest Territories Constitutional Committee. In the national sphere, she served on the National Aboriginal Advisory Committee to the RCMP Commissioner and on the Multicultural Advisory Committee to the RCMP. Spending her last years at home in Inuvik, Bertha enjoyed sewing beautiful beaded moccasins, parkas, and northern clothing. She loved spending time on the land picking berries, walking, and cooking her favorite traditional foods. She always took the time to encourage and support younger women in their pursuit of academic education and traditional skills. Her tireless work on behalf of Northerners was recognized by the deep respect for her among people across Canada and by the many awards and achievements she received. These included the Governor General's Award for Commemoration of the Persons Case, the Northwest Territories Commissioner's Volunteer Award, and the National Health and Welfare Canadian Volunteer Award. In 2005, the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation recognized her with a Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2007 she was named to the Order of Canada, and in 2009, Governor General Michaëlle Jean awarded her the Northern Medal for her leadership on issues affecting aboriginal and northern women. Bertha was known for her common-sense approach and passion for northern women and families. She will be dearly missed by her family, friends, and all who knew her.


Tree-line dynamics : adding fire to climate change prediction   /   Brown, C.D.
Arctic, v. 63, no. 4, Dec. 2010, p. 488-492, ill.
ASTIS record 72243
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... My first objective is to identify how fire stimulates tree recruitment in the latitudinal tree line. For the northern boreal forest to maintain its current structure, or for the forest to expand into the tundra, there must be a source of viable seed. While at the patch scale individual trees may spread through clonal growth, reproduction via seed is necessary for landscape-scale advance of the tree line (Holtmeier and Broll, 2007). Adverse environmental conditions at the northern margin of the boreal forest may limit its expansion into tundra through one or more of the following filters: (a) the availability and dispersal of viable seed, (b) the germination and establishment of seedlings, or recruitment, and (c) their growth and survival .... My second objective is to investigate the response of tree-line forest to a change in fire return interval. Post-fire species composition depends on 1) the availability of seed or a means of vegetative reproduction and 2) the quality of the seedbed (or forest floor). The majority of black spruce in our northern Yukon study region are killed during a fire and cannot reproduce asexually. Post-fire seed availability is dependent on the reproductive maturity of the individual black spruce before the fire. Seedbed quality is affected by fire-induced changes to the structure, composition, and physical environment of the forest floor. Typically, the forest floor is partially consumed during a fire. This can alter the seedbed's physical structure (e.g., the bulk density of the soil organic horizons) and influence soil moisture and temperature, as the charred surface of the seedbed can absorb more solar energy than the pre-fire moss cover. Fire can also alter the composition and interactions of the understory plant community. Some individuals may be killed in the fire, while others survive via underground stems, changing the competitive interactions of the forest floor. These factors related to seed availability and seedbed quality contribute to the success of black spruce post-fire self replacement. I hypothesized that burned areas with a short interval between fires would have more dramatic changes to seedbed condition than those with a long interval because of the increased consumption of organic matter. In short interval burned areas, the shorter time between fires meant that stands would not have recovered to unburned condition prior to the most recent fire. Therefore, soil organic horizon biomass that was not consumed during the initial fire was partially or completely consumed during the second. I also hypothesized that natural recruitment of black spruce would be absent or severely reduced in short-interval burned areas, as the aerial seed bank would have been consumed in the most recent fire. I aim to identify links between fire history, seedbed condition, and the germination, survivorship, and growth of potential colonizing tree species. ...


Investigating the effects of environmental change on arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) growth using scientific and Inuit traditional knowledge   /   Knopp, J.A.
Arctic, v. 63, no. 4, Dec. 2010, p. 493-497, ill., maps
ASTIS record 72244
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... The purpose of my PhD research is to anticipate and demonstrate the secondary effects of climate variability on Arctic char and provide understanding of these effects to the local resource users, allowing them to make informed choices about adapting to upcoming changes. I am examining key environmental and biological indicators of climate change effects on the growth of Arctic char in Sachs Harbour (Ikaahuk) and Ulukhaktok, two ISR communities in the Northwest Territories, and using them to forecast upcoming changes. These forecasts can then be used in community-based monitoring and fishing plans. My research provides the opportunity to exchange information and concepts of Western science and Inuit traditional knowledge and to assist directly with the monitoring and management of local fish resources (Berkes et al., 2007). ... The preliminary results demonstrate that the Arctic char in the lakes in the Sachs Harbour area: a) fit expected patterns of fish growth; b) have different maximum sizes; and c) reach their maximum size at different ages in different lakes. In one study lake on Banks Island, fish across a variety of age classes experienced a growth spurt around 1999. The preliminary results from my research show concordance with the local traditional knowledge and recent community observations. The dissemination of this research enhances local capacity, incorporates local input into the research and provides northern residents with important information for local fish management and monitoring. This project should provide the people of Sachs Harbour, Ulukhaktok, and other communities in the ISR with the knowledge and capabilities they need to monitor and manage their resources for generations to come.


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