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      Shorebird subsistence harvest and indigenous knowledge in Alaska: Informing harvest management and engaging users in shorebird conservation

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          Abstract

          Limited data on harvest and population parameters are impediments to assessing shorebird harvest sustainability. Because of sharp declines in shorebird populations, timely conservation efforts require approaches that account for uncertainty in harvest sustainability. We combined harvest assessment and ethnographic research to better understand shorebird conservation concerns related to subsistence harvest in Alaska and to support culturally sensible conservation actions. Our objectives were to (1) estimate the Alaska-wide shorebird subsistence harvest and (2) document shorebird indigenous knowledge on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. Harvest estimates were based on surveys conducted in 1990–2015 (n = 775 community-years). Key respondent interviews conducted in 2017 (n = 72) documented shorebird ethnotaxonomy and ethnography. The Alaska-wide shorebird harvest was 2,783 birds per year, including 1,115 godwits per year—mostly Bar-tailed Godwits (Limosa lapponica baueri), whose population has low harvest potential. The egg harvest was 4,678 eggs per year, mostly small shorebird eggs. We documented 24 Yup’ik shorebird names and 10 main ethnotaxonomic categories. Children learning harvesting skills focused on small birds and adults also occasionally harvested shorebirds, but shorebirds were not primary food or cultural resources. Older generations associated shorebirds with a time when people were closer to nature and their cultural roots. Shorebirds connected people with the environment as well as with Yup’ik traditions and language. Our results can inform improvements to harvest assessment and management, as well as outreach and communication efforts to engage subsistence users in shorebird conservation.

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          Is Open Access

          Rapid population decline in migratory shorebirds relying on Yellow Sea tidal mudflats as stopover sites

          Migratory animals are threatened by human-induced global change. However, little is known about how stopover habitat, essential for refuelling during migration, affects the population dynamics of migratory species. Using 20 years of continent-wide citizen science data, we assess population trends of ten shorebird taxa that refuel on Yellow Sea tidal mudflats, a threatened ecosystem that has shrunk by >65% in recent decades. Seven of the taxa declined at rates of up to 8% per year. Taxa with the greatest reliance on the Yellow Sea as a stopover site showed the greatest declines, whereas those that stop primarily in other regions had slowly declining or stable populations. Decline rate was unaffected by shared evolutionary history among taxa and was not predicted by migration distance, breeding range size, non-breeding location, generation time or body size. These results suggest that changes in stopover habitat can severely limit migratory populations.
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            Simultaneous declines in summer survival of three shorebird species signals a flyway at risk

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              THE EFFECT OF MARKET ECONOMIES ON THE WELL-BEING OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AND ON THEIR USE OF RENEWABLE NATURAL RESOURCES

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                The Condor
                Oxford University Press (OUP)
                0010-5422
                1938-5129
                May 01 2019
                May 01 2019
                May 01 2019
                May 01 2019
                June 25 2019
                : 121
                : 2
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Division of Subsistence, Anchorage, Alaska, USA
                [2 ]U.S. Geological Survey, Alaska Science Center, Anchorage, Alaska, USA
                Article
                10.1093/condor/duz023
                a49fa071-2b3b-41bc-8254-d1c9ea2105aa
                © 2019

                https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/open_access/funder_policies/chorus/standard_publication_model


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