Number of nesting ivory gulls and area of the nearby polynya they are assumed to feed in during pre-breeding season, Severnaya Zemlya, Kara Sea, Russia, 1993 to 1996 and 2006 to 2011

LifeLinkedtoIce Nesting ivory gulls

The bars show survey results at the world’s largest ivory gull nesting colony on Domashny Island. Numbers of nesting ivory gulls fluctuate from year to year depending on environmental conditions in the pre-breeding season (mid-May). In the northeastern Kara Sea, where wildlife is limited by the harsh ice conditions, polynyas are important for foraging [255]. More gulls are able to build up enough fat resources for egg-laying when there is more open water in a large nearby polynya prior to nesting. If the area of the polynya remains below a threshold of about 10,000 square kilometers (dashed line) by mid-May, dramatically fewer gulls nest at the colony, as occurred in 1996, 2009 and 2011. 

From Gavrilo 2011 [222] 


Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) 

The data can be downloaded freely. Users are requested to reference the source.

Eamer, J., Donaldson, G.M., Gaston, A.J., Kosobokova, K.N., Lárusson, K.F., Melnikov, I.A., Reist, J.D., Richardson, E., Staples, L., von Quillfeldt, C.H. 2013. Life Linked to Ice: A guide to sea-ice-associated biodiversity in this time of rapid change. CAFF Assessment Series No. 10. Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna, Iceland. ISBN: 978-9935-431-25-7.


222. Gavrilo, M.V. 2011. Ivory gull Pagophila eburnea (Phipps, 1774) in the Russian Arctic: Breeding patterns of species within the current species range optimum. Thesis abstract. PhD thesis, Saint Petersburg, Russia. [in Russian]. 

255. Gavrilo, M.V., and Popov, A. 2011. Ice habitats and biodiversity of the north-eastern Barents Sea and Kara Sea. In Atlas of marine and coastal biological diversities of the Russian Arctic. Edited by Spiridonov, V.A., Gavrilo, M.V., Drasnova, E.D., and Nikolaeva, N.G. WWF. pp. 34-35.

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