Status of Pacific Black Brant B ran ta bern icla nigrican s on Wrangel Island, Russian Federation

David Ward, Dirk Derksen, Sergei Kharitonov, Mikhail Stishov, Vasily Baranyuk
Abundance, distribution, and habitat selection o f breeding and moulting Pacific Black Brant were studied on Wrangel Island in 1989-91. Two nests and <10 family flocks o f Brant were found during ground searches in previously known nesting areas. The breeding population has declined from 1000-2000 pairs to probably <100 pairs. An estimated 4200 ± 50 (Cl) moulting Brant were counted during the first aerial and photographic survey o f the island in 1990. This population includes moult migrants
more » ... m Alaska and mainland Russia. Most (67%) o f the moulting flocks were concentrated in freshwater lakes and usually within 2 km o f the coast. Lakes with low relief shorelines and adjacent preferred grasses were important habitats used by moulting birds. Breeding and moulting populations o f Wrangel Island Brant are dependent on Izem bek Lagoon, Alaska, in autumn and disperse over the rest o f eastern Pacific Fly way in winter and spring.