Going North for Little Auks: Using the World's Most Numerous Seabird as an Oceanographic Indicator (Audubon Program)


Tuesday, October 21st, 7:00pm
By Laurel McFadden, PWSSC
Meet at the Forest Service conference room upstairs.

The foraging habits of Dovekies (Little Auks) are closely related to the properties of the ocean currents near their colonies that vary with fluctuations in the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO).  In collaboration with Pomona College, the Norwegian Polar Institute, and the Hornsund Polish Research Station, I spent two summers at the Hornsund Fjord dovekie breeding colony on Svalbard (Norway) researching the effects of local adult foraging efforts on inter-annual variations in chick growth rates.  This on-going study demonstrates the use of this high-arctic seabird as indicator species for oceanographic climate change.