Alaska Science Center
Seabirds in Alaska
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Full Publication: http://biology.usgs.gov/s+t/noframe/b023.htm
Product Type: Government Publication
Authors: Hatch, S. A. and J. F. Piatt
About 100 million seabirds reside in marine waters of Alaska during some part of the year. Perhaps half this population is composed of 50 species of nonbreeding residents, visitors, and breeding species that use marine habitats only seasonally. Another 30 species include 40-60 million individuals that breed in Alaska and spend most of their lives in U.S. territorial waters. Alaskan populations account for more than 95% of the breeding seabirds in the continental United States, and eight species nest nowhere else in North America. This report reviews the status and trends of seabirds in Alaska with special reference to intensively monitored species of kittiwakes (Rissa spp.) and murres (Uria spp.). More qualitative information is presented for other species, including some considered for designation as threatened or endangered. Introduced predators, commercial fishing, and natural environmental variation are discussed as possible factors affecting seabird populations in Alaska.