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

Alabama Project

Population viability and reclassification criteria of the listed population of Steller’s Eider in Alaska.

August 2013 - August 2016


Participating Agencies

  • USFWS R7 Endangered Species, Fairbanks Office

The Alaska-breeding population of Steller’s eider (Polysticta stelleri) was classified as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act (Act) in 1997 based upon a substantial decrease in the species’ nesting range in Alaska. The reduction in the number of Steller’s eiders nesting in Alaska increased the vulnerability of the population (Federal Register 1997). Following listing, a recovery plan was developed (USFWS 2002) that specifies population criteria for reclassification from Threatened to Endangered and Threatened to delisted. For delisting to occur, subpopulations with <1% chance of extinction within 100 years must exist on both the Arctic Coastal Plain (ACP), and in western (YKD) Alaska. The Alabama Unit will be using recently collected data to estimate extinction probabilities and determine the likelihood of misclassifying the population status based on recent surveys.