Status of the common eider breeding in the municipality of Avanersuaq (Thule), north-west Greenland
AbstractLate in the summers of 1997 and 1998 surveys of common eider (Somateria mollissima) colonies were conducted throughout Avanersuaq Municipality in north-west Greenland. Although old information from eider colonies was available, these surveys provided the first almost all colonies in the district, thereby improving the baseline data for assessing future population changes. The surveys were based on nest counts, and all but two colonies in the district were counted, In total, 3800 nest were counted and an educated guess for the total population in Avanersuaq Municipality, including the two inaccessible colonies, would be around 5000 pairs. Average clutch size was 3.74 similar to or higher than in other areas of Greenland and high Artic Canada suggesting favourable conditions for eiders in the survey area. Comparison with older data suggests that the breeding population in Avanersuaq is stable. This observation contrasts with the declines ocserved in other parts of Greenland. Further studies into possible population specific mirigation routs and wintering areas as well as the direct and indirect effects of the intensive winter hunting in south-west Greenland are warranted.
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