Points of concern in Sea Duck conservation


1. Of the 17 species of sea ducks in the North Pacific Rim, at least 13 are reported to be declining.

2. The conservation of these species must supersede the supply and demand impasse of sea duck management.

3. Three out of the four migratory birds on the endangered species listing are seaducks. Their life stage history is not cooperating with the 20th century.

4. Most species are considered to be a Species of Conservation Concern (SCC) or globally threatened (GT) in the ICUN Red list of threatened animals with an increased concern for status of sea ducks in Pacific flyway.

5. Conservation problems have a long history throughout the holarctic. All species of Eider and harlequin ducks have been closed to sport hunting in Russia since 1981.

6. Spectacled Eider - declined 94% threatened listing, Stellers Eider -threatened listing, (SCC) (GT) Common Eider declining seriously throughout the Northern Hemisphere. (SCC) King Eider known or suspect to be declining. (SCC)

7. Harlequin endangered in Eastern Canada under listing review in U.S.A (SCC) Oldsquaw declining up to 75% (SCC) Scoters, surf, whitewing & black 40% declining throughout Pacific Flyway. (SCC) Barrows Goldeneye declining (SCC) Chinese mergansers are extremely rare and fully protected. (SCC) (GT)

8. A circumpolar Eider conservation Strategy and action Plan was approved in May 1997 by seven circumpolar countries under the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) initiative.

9. Inexplicable mortality of scoters summering in the Gulf of Alaska. High Cadmium levels. Failures at the breeding grounds have been documented preliminarily for scoters.

10. Politics must not outweigh biological influences and trends. The sociopolitical considerations will not sustain declining sea duck populations.

11. Relatively small increments in overall mortality, due to additive effects like hunting, may not be sustainable by some species.

12. A dramatic shift in harvest from dabbling ducks to sea ducks has occurred on the Atlantic Coast due to dabbler harvest restrictions. The sea duck component of the sport harvest has reached 80% in some recent years.

13. Management is obsolete.

Alaska Wild Animal Recovery Effort
Box 170, Homer, AK 99603
907-235-3877 (FAX) 907-235-5330
E-mail: bear@alaska.net