Yukon College Research Center

Whitehorse, Canada

Yukon College Research Center

Whitehorse, Canada
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Grabowski M.M.,Wildlife Conservation Society | Doyle F.I.,Wildlife Dynamics Consulting | Reid D.G.,Wildlife Conservation Society | Mossop D.,Yukon College Research Center | Talarico D.,Tipping Point Strategies
Polar Biology | Year: 2013

Climate change has altered the timing of many ecological processes, especially in the Arctic. The initiation of nesting is a key signal of phenological changes in Arctic-nesting birds, and is possibly connected to the circumpolar trend of earlier snowmelt. We collected data on lay dates of 7 bird species, representing shorebirds, passerines, a bird of prey, and seabirds, nesting on Herschel Island, Yukon, Canada, in the years 1984-1986 and 2007-2009. Snowmelt was significantly earlier in the 2007-2009 period. Shorebirds and passerines showed trends to earlier lay dates in conjunction with earlier snowmelt; the other species did not. The strength of response in lay date was correlated with the general categories of foods known to be used by study species. However, six species showed a longer time interval between snowmelt and egg-laying in early compared to late springs, suggesting the need for further monitoring of how robust their responses to snowmelt are in the future. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

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