stay-at-home brants

Scientists have documented that increasing numbers of black brant are skipping that far southern migration and staying in Alaska instead.

Fewer than 3,000 wintered in Alaska before 1977. In recent years, however, more than 40,000 have remained north, with as many as 50,000 staying there last year, during the most ice-free winter that the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge had seen in more than a decade.

The temperatures now in winter are much warmer, said David Ward, a researcher at U.S. Geological Survey’s Alaska Science Center, who conducted the research along with scientists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“In years past you’d often have ice that would build up in these lagoons, and the eelgrass would be unavailable for the winter period. But now that’s changing.”

Heat Is Online, 30 Oct 2014 – Environmental Health News