By Jonathan Robert Bart, Victoria Helen Johnston
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Additional info for Arctic Shorebirds in North America : a Decade of Monitoring
J. Bart, C. Wightman, and D. J. Krueper. 2012. Shorebird surveys in western Alaska. Pp. 19–36 in J. Bart and V. Johnston (editors). Arctic shorebirds in North America: a decade of monitoring. Studies in Avian Biology (no. 44), University of California Press, Berkeley, CA. 19 W estern Alaska supports one of the richest tundra shorebird faunas in the world. In western North America, shorebird species richness peaks in Alaska between 60° and 65° north latitude, roughly the zone from the mouth of the Kuskokwim River north to the Seward Peninsula (Pitelka 1979).
Our goals were to (1) derive statistically defensible regional density and population estimates for shorebirds in the areas we surveyed, (2) obtain new information about the distribution and habitat associations of shorebirds, and (3) develop methods that could be used to conduct more comprehensive shorebird surveys in western Alaska. In the text below, we refer to the study areas as the Alaska Maritime study area (AMSA), the Alaska Peninsula study area (APSA), the Yukon Delta study area (YDSA), and the Selawik study area (SSA).
2. Sites in the Alaska Peninsula study area. The AMSA encompassed 13,696 km2 but we estimated that one-third of this area was unsuitable for shorebirds because it was covered by snow, ice, or water or because the slopes were too steep to be used for nesting. We used the remaining area, 9,243 km2, in estimating population sizes throughout the AMSA. We acknowledge that selection bias of unknown magnitude may have affected our estimates of density and that the actual amount of area suitable for shorebirds may be quite different from the value we used.