Distribution and numbers of breeding ivory gulls Pagophila eburnea in Severnaja Zemlja, Russian Arctic

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Volkov, Andrej E. ; De Korte, Jacobus (1996)

The ivory gull Pagophila eburnea has a semi-circumpolar distribution with breeding sites in the High Arctic. Data about ivory gulls in the Severnaja Zemlja Archipelago (Siberia) were collected from 1991 to 1995. The numbers of breeding ivory gulls and their egg-laying period are correlated with the sea ice situation and weather during the first part of the summer. We estimate that the total potential breeding population of Severnaja Zemlja is about 2000 pairs. which makes up approximately 20% of the Russian and 14% of the world ivory gull breeding population. The percentage of the total breeding population which actually breeds varies annually. The most important breeding area of the ivory gull in Severnaja Zemlja is the Sedov Archipelago (A. Sedova) where a large colony (from 410 to about 1100 pairs in different years) was found on flat ground on Domasnij Island. Colonies from 10 to 100 breeding pairs. mostly on steep cliff faces, occur on O. Oktjabr'skoj Revoljucii and O. Bol'Sevik. The ivory gull is included in the Red Data Book of Russia. Parts of Severnaja Zemlja, with important breeding sites, have become a nature reserve.
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