Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Alaska
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Alaska Project

Development of an Alaska based research framework for migratory waterfowl

July 2015 - June 2018


Participating Agencies

  • USGS Alaska Science Center

Migratory waterfowl that breed in Alaska routinely travel thousands of miles in their annual migrations among breeding, stopover and wintering ranges. The effects of climate and land use on their survival and productivity varies along the migratory routes and population trends result from the cumulative effects of habitat quality and climate throughout their annual range. It is unlikely that the direction or strength of climate and habitat change are consistent among ranges and, as a result, it is extremely difficult to unravel the most important effects on population size when potentially contrasting positive and negative influences of climate and habitat occur within a year at widely separated locations. A very large scale research framework or strategy is needed to deal with the complexity of this problem and increase the relevance, efficiency and effectiveness of research studies and resulting management. Using an intensive review of the scientific literature to identify knowledge gaps and a survey of expert opinions of researchers and managers this project will identify what types of information are most critical for the development of a focused and integrated multi-regional research program and the best ways for researchers and managers from seasonal ranges to communicate in common terms.