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Eider duck news

Eider duck news: Bio­lo­gists have reve­a­led some inte­res­ting facts about com­mon eider ducks in Spits­ber­gen. They were nega­tively affec­ted by egg and down fea­ther collec­ting until they were pro­tec­ted in 1963. Sin­ce 1973, important bree­ding colo­nies, most­ly on small islands, may not be visi­ted any­mo­re without spe­cial per­mis­si­on, which is only issued to sci­en­tists and occa­sio­nal­ly pro­fes­sio­nal local down collec­tors. Nevertheless, num­bers of bree­ding com­mon eiders at colo­nies in Kongsfjor­den have remai­ned sta­ble, but did not incre­a­se.

Ano­t­her colo­ny in Bellsund shows howe­ver pro­noun­ced growth: this is the colo­ny on the small island Ehol­men, whe­re a local Nor­we­gi­an trap­per has collec­ted down over years. Care­ful collec­ting does not have any nega­ti­ve impact on the bree­ding suc­cess. Pro­tec­tion from pre­d­a­tors such as polar bears and foxes which is pro­vi­ded by the trap­per seems to have a posi­ti­ve impact, making the site attrac­ti­ve for bree­dings ducks. The num­bers of bree­ders have con­se­quent­ly incre­a­sed signi­fi­cant­ly.

Com­mon eider ducks may pos­si­b­ly also bene­fit from a war­ming cli­ma­te, for examp­le from an ear­ly break-up of fjord ice which makes bree­ding colo­nies on islands inac­ces­si­ble for the polar fox, which is gene­ral­ly an important pre­d­a­tor.

Bree­ding com­mon eiders in Advent­da­len near Lon­gye­ar­by­en.

Eider duck news - Breeding common eider ducks

Source: NINA.

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last modification: 2014-07-01 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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