|2003-2004 Eider Journey
Come join us on Eider Journey!
Eider Journey is your chance to learn more about the threatened species, Steller's Eiders, and the northern communities that they journey through. Follow the eiders along their migration and witness researchers and communities working together towards their preservation.
To learn more about this project, just download any of the listed files
More About the Project
The Eider Journey project builds upon a partnership between U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Northern Alaska Ecological Services, North Slope Borough Department of Wildlife Management, North Slope Borough School District, National Science Foundation (Polar Programs), and the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS). Eider Journey is a comprehensive education and stewardship program that addresses issues of conservation and management of wildlife populations, in particular the threatened North American breeding population of Steller's eiders (Polysticta stelleri).
A male Steller's eider in breeding plumage. (Courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Ecological Services)
A female Steller's eider. (Courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Ecological Services)
The North American population of Steller's eiders nests from Barrow to inland on the Colville River, with the Barrow area still being the center of abundance and primary nesting location in northern Alaska. In addition, very small numbers of Steller's eiders still breed, at least occasionally, on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. This breeding population has been listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. Each fall, the Steller's eiders migrate from Barrow southwest to Izembek Lagoon, located in the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, and surrounding areas to molt and over winter. Izembek Lagoon is one of the largest eelgrass beds in the world which provides habitat for the small invertebrates eaten by the eiders.
It is becoming increasingly important for local communities to become aware of the species' status, and develop a protective attitude toward the local eider population. The most effective means for promoting the importance of the species is through local partnerships and by developing an education program that reflects local needs and community issues.
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