Migration: The common migrant ducks include Long-tailed Duck, Northern Pintail, Common Eider, White-winged and Surf scoters. Most of the migration is latitudinal (ie. moving east or west) along the coastal plain.
Breeding/nesting: Common nesters include Long-tailed Duck, Northern Pintail, Greater and Lesser scaup. Most of the nesting occurs in and near tundra ponds and in major river deltas. The relative importance of areas to different species is known.
Moulting: Moulting occurs along the entire coastal plain, but the largest concentrations of moulting ducks occur in the sheltered waters of Workboat Passage. Smaller concentrations are found in Phillips Bay, and between Kay Point and Shingle Point. Moulting is also likely to occur in fresh-water habitats on the coastal plain, although the significance of these areas is unknown.
Very roughly, between 11,000 and 24,000 ducks are thought to nest on the Yukon North Slope.
:Local trends (North Slope specific) are unknown.
In the Yukon, the North Slope is the most common nesting area for nesting Long-tailed Ducks. Here, they are a characteristic tundra species and contribute significantly to the Arctic experience of naturalists and wilderness enthusiasts.
Probably the most significant habitat feature of ducks on the Yukon North Slope is the protected marine environments, particularly in Workboat Passage and Phillips Bay, where concentrations of moulting ducks occur. Breeding, nesting and moulting habitat are well known for most species.
Ducks represent a significant part of the Inuvialuit subsistence harvest. Much of the harvest takes place in the Mackenzie Delta during the spring. From 1988 to 1999 Inuvialuit harvest data was collected through the Inuvialuit Harvest Study. Funding and support for the collection of harvest data is supplied through the IFA and other agencies.
Regulations under Yukon Wildlife Act, NWT Wildlife Act and National Parks Act apply in their respective jurisdictions. Sport hunting of ducks is basically non-existent due to the relative remoteness of the Yukon North Slope. Were there sport hunters, the Migratory Birds Regulations would apply.
|Ivvavik National Park||Exclusive||None Permitted|
|Herschel Island Territorial Park||Exclusive||None Permitted|
|East of the Babbage River||Preferential||With license, bag limits, seasons|
|Adjoining NWT||Exclusive on Inuvialuit lands and preferential on Crown lands||With license, bag limits, seasons|
The stunningly beautiful and highly vocal Long-tailed Ducks and Common Eiders are exclusive to tundra biomes during the summer and are therefore commonly associated with Arctic wilderness. As such they hold special appeal to birders and naturalists.
The biggest threat to ducks on the Yukon North Slope is an oil spill or other marine contamination. Northern harvest currently poses minor risk to ducks although hunters should avoid concentrations of flightless moulting ducks. Industrial development may impact limited breeding areas, although this risk is currently not apparent. The threats associated with climate change are unknown.
There is an ongoing program to record species observed on Herschel Island.
No research is currently planned.
One management deficiency is the imprecise monitoring of specific duck populations. Very little information exists on waterfowl productivity, survivorship, and mortality rates on the Yukon North Slope. Breeding population estimates (proportion breeding) are inaccurate.
The North American Waterfowl Management Plan guides the goals and objectives of waterfowl management.
|Ivvavik National Park||IFA, Migratory Birds Convention, Migratory Birds Regulations||Parks Canada||Migratory Birds Convention
North American Waterfowl Management Plan
Arctic Goose Joint Venture
|Nesting, moulting, migration|
|Hershel Island Territorial Park||Yukon Wildlife Act||YTG|
|East of the Babbage River||National Parks Act||YTG|
|Adjoining NWT||NWT Wildlife Act||GNWT|
A Migratory Bird Protocol which sets out provisions for spring hunting has been agreed upon by Canada and the United States and has been ratified by Canada.
In 2003, the Wildlife Management Advisory Council (North Slope) and the Aklavik Hunters and Trappers Committee undertook a project to record traditional knowledge of certain birds and animals on the Yukon North Slope. The observations, comments and concerns expressed by Aklavik residents as part of this study were as follows:
Common eider (Somateria mollissima)
Long-tailed Duck (Clugula hyemalis)
White-winged and Surf scoter (Melanitta fusca, Melanitta perspicatta)
Community-based information on this species may also be found in the reports of the annual community-based monitoring program conducted in Aklavik and neighbouring communities by the Arctic Borderlands Ecological Knowledge Co-op. http://www.taiga.net/coop/community/index.html
In 2004, the Inuvialuit Cultural Resources Centre prepared a report titled “Tariurmiutuakun qanuq atuutiviksaitlu ilitchuriyaqput ingilraan Inuvialuit qulianginnin = Learning about marine resources and their use through Inuvialuit oral history”. Transcripts from two Inuvialuit oral history collections were reviewed to see what could be learned about marine resources and their use within the southeastern Beaufort Sea. The study area included the coast from the Yukon/United States border in the west to the Franklin Bay area in the east. Information was compiled on beluga and bowhead whales, some coastal birds, fish, polar bears and seals, in an effort to provide a foundation for developing future projects on Inuvialuit knowledge of marine resources. http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/Library/279627.pdf
Eckert, C.D., 2007. Personal communication, Government of Yukon, Department of Environment.
Hawkings, J. 2002. Personal Communication, Canadian Wildlife Service, Whitehorse.
Hines, J., B. Fournier and J. O’Neill. 2004. Spring and fall distribution of waterfowl and other aquatic birds on the mainland of the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, western Canadian Arctic, 1990-98. Canadian Wildlife Service, Technical report series - no.426.
Joint Secretariat, 2003. Inuvialuit Harvest Study, Data and Methods Report 1988 - 1997. Inuvik, NT. http://www.fjmc.ca/publications/IHS.htm
Sinclair P.H., W.A. Nixon, C.D. Eckert and N.L. Hughes (eds). 2003. Birds of the Yukon Territory. UBC Press Vancouver. 596 pp.
Wildlife Management Advisory Council (North Slope) and the Aklavik Hunters and Trappers Committee. 2003. Aklavik Inuvialuit describe the status of certain birds and animals on the Yukon North Slope, March, 2003. Final Report. Wildlife Management Advisory Council (North Slope), Whitehorse, Yukon.
Yukon Bird Club. 2000. Check list of the birds of Herschel Island. http://www.taiga.net/wmac/herschel/herschelbirds.pdf