Alaska Science Center

Population Status and Ecology of North Pacific Shorebirds

Alaska is widely recognized as a global center for breeding shorebirds, as ninety percent of the migratory species in the Western Hemisphere have breeding populations in Alaska. Research conducted under this project provides information needed for management agencies to understand factors involved in population changes of shorebird species.


The Population Dynamics, Ecology, and Habitats of North Pacific Shorebirds project at the Alaska Science Center is conducted by two staff members and includes a variety of research directions and methods that inform our partners. Current research objectives include: (1) continuation of the Pacific Shorebird Migration Project (using satellite transmitters to understand migration and migratory connectivity of Alaska-breeding shorebird species) with emphasis on publication of results and on a new study on wintering Bristle-thighed Curlews in Hawaii and write-up of whimbrel migration data, (2) organization and editing of a major publication called “Trends and traditions: Avifaunal change in western North America”, (3) development of a standardized method for releasing satellite telemetry data to the public, and (4) contributions to a revision of the Alaska Shorebird Conservation Plan.
Title Type
Measurements Used to Determine the Sex of Bristle-thighed Curlews (Numenius tahitiensis)Data
Bristle-Thighed Curlew (Numenius tahitiensis) Mark-Resight Encounter History from the James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge and Surrounding Area, Oahu, Hawaii, 2012-2017Data
Ways to be different: foraging adaptations that facilitate higher intake rates in a northerly-wintering shorebird compared to a low-latitude conspecificPublication
Allometrics of Baltic Tellin (Macoma balthica) bivalves from Cook Inlet, AK, and Baie de Somme, France, 2010-2011Data
Inventory of lowland-breeding birds on the Alaska PeninsulaPublication
Inventory Data of Lowland-Breeding Birds and Associated Vegetation Types on the Alaska Peninsula, 2004-2007Data
Flexible timing of annual movements across consistently used sites by Marbled Godwits breeding in AlaskaPublication
Migratory Timing and Site Use of Marbled Godwits Breeding in Alaska, 2008-2015Data
Satellite Telemetry Data for Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) Captured on the Colville River, Alaska 2010-2011Data
Functional ecology of saltglands in shorebirds: Flexible responses to veriable environmental conditionsPublication
USGS Shorebird Research Web PageProject Website


Ruthrauff, Daniel , 907-786-7162
Tibbitts, Theresa , 907-786-7038

Status: onGoing
Start Year: 2001
End Year:

Project Sites

FWS - Alaska Region

Alaska Peninsula
Cook Inlet
North Slope Borough
Pribilof Islands
Seward Peninsula
Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge

USGS Mission Area and Program
EcosystemsWildlife Program

Major Initiatives
FWS - Science Support Program
USGS - Wetlands and Terrestrial Ecology

Biosphere > Ecological Dynamics
Climate Indicators