Key REsearch to date
- First comprehensive study of arctic terns at the northern limit of their range
- First tracking study of Sabine's gulls in North America
- Only current long-term monitoring study of Sabine's gulls
- First ever tracking study of Ross's gulls
- Most comprehensive study of Ross's gull breeding biology to date
- Only current monitoring study of common eiders in the Canadian High Arctic
- Maftei, M., Davis, S.E., Mallory, M. L. Assessing regional populations of ground-nesting seabirds in the Canadian High Arctic. Polar Research In press.
- Mallory, M.L., Boadway, K.S., Davis, S.E., Maftei, M. 2012. Breeding biology of Sabine's gull (Xema sabini) in the Canadian High Arctic. Polar Biology 35:335-344.
- Maftei, M., Davis, S.E., Jones, I.L., Mallory, M.L. 2012. Breeding habitats and new breeding locations for Ross's gull (Rhodostethia rosea) in the Canadian High Arctic. Arctic 65:283-288.
- Maftei, M. 2012. Searching for the Ross's gull in Canada's High Arctic. Birding 44:41-55.
Point Barrow - 71.3 N, 156.8 W
A continent ends, two seas begin
The northernmost extent of the continent, Point Barrow extends from the coastal plain of Alaska's North Slope and divides the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. Inland, the tundra marshes support the highest density of nesting waterfowl and diversity of breeding shorebirds in North America, as well as the calving grounds of several caribou herds, including the Porcupine herd - 170,000 strong. The nearshore marine environment supports some of the greatest concentrations of seabirds anywhere in the world. A critical foraging area and migration corridor for millions of alcids, waterfowl and shorebirds, the waters around Point Barrow come alive each spring and fall as birds stop to refuel or arrive to breed nearby. This area also has a fascinating cultural history, having been occupied by Iñupiat hunters since at least 500 AD. Eve today, many aspects of day-to-day life in Barrow reflect a long history of subsistence hunting.
KEY RESEARCH TO DATE
- Most comprehensive census of migrating Ross's gulls
Seymour island - 76.8 N, 101.3 W
stronghold of an endangered icon
Seymour Island is the largest stable colony of ivory gulls known in Canada. Situated near the southern edge of what is continuous pack ice in most years, this colony contains anywhere from a few dozen to a few hundred pairs of birds in any given year. Ivory gull populations in Canada are thought to have declined by over 80% in the last 25 years, but we still don't quite know why. Recent tracking studies have revealed the movement patterns of individual birds, providing a glimpse into the annual cycle of this species, but we still have much to learn about even the basic breeding biology of this poorly known and Endangered species in Canada.
KEY RESEARCH TO DATE
- Only long-term monitoring study of ivory gulls in North America
- Only tracking study of ivory gulls in North America
At Sea - anywhere, everywhere
The final frontier
Seabird colonies permit access to large numbers of birds over an entire breeding season - and ideal opportunities to conduct focused studies. What most seabirds do in the 9 months of the year they are not breeding however, has remained pretty much a mystery. The only way to truly experience the world of a seabird, and fully understand the habitat they have evolved to live in, is to go to sea. Our group collaborates with a number of partners to take advantage of opportunities to explore the world's oceans and collect data on the distribution and abundance of pelagic birds. From the Arctic to the Antarctic, we use ships of opportunity to conduct surveys, access remote seabird colonies, and learn more about what seabirds do during the nine months a year they spend away from their breeding sites.
KEY RESEARCH TO DATE
- At-sea surveys in the Russian Far East (Chukotka and Kamchatka)
- At-sea surveys in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean
- At-sea surveys for Environment Canada in the Arctic and Atlantic
- Wong, S. N. P., C. Gjerdrum, K. H.Morgan, and M. L. Mallory. 2014. Hotspots in cold seas: The composition, distribution, and abundance of marine birds in the North American Arctic. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 119:1691–1705.
- Maftei, M., Russ, R. 2014. A mass post-breeding movement of crested auklets (Aethia cristatella) in the Chukchi Sea. Marine Ornithology 42:31-33.
- Maftei, M. 2013. First record of Franklin's gull (Larus leucophaeus) from Antarctica. Marine Ornithology 41:149-150.