Resource use of arctic peregrine falcons along the Colville River, Alaska

Principal Investigators: David E. Andersen and Patricia L. Kennedy (Oregon State University).

Post-doctoral Research Fellow: Jason Bruggeman.

The Colville River Special Area (CRSA) was designated in 1977 to protect nesting and foraging habitat of the then-endangered arctic peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus tundrius). The CRSA is approximately 2.44 million acres, and provides nesting habitat for approximately one-fourth of Alaska’s arctic peregrine falcon population. To afford additional protections to the arctic peregrine falcon, the Record of Decision (ROD) from the 2004 Integrated Activity Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (IAP/EIS) for the Northwest planning unit of the NPR-A and the final ROD for the Northeast planning unit required a management plan for the arctic peregrine falcon in the CRSA to be developed and put into effect prior to any lease sales. The Colville River Special Area Management Plan (CRSAMP) was completed in July 2008 (Bureau of Land Management 2008 Colville River Special Area Management Plan) and specifically addresses the need for additional measures to protect arctic peregrine falcon nesting habitat and the need for research to determine the characteristics of peregrine falcon nesting habitat in the CRSA.

One objective of the CRSAMP was to: Improve knowledge about the ecology, life history, and behavior of arctic peregrine falcons to help decision makers and managers make informed decisions on proposals that could have an impact on falcons. To address that information need, we propose to (1) summarize and evaluate existing CRSA peregrine nesting data to assess nesting habitat use and related productivity, and (2) implement additional data collection efforts focused on assessing nesting area occupancy related to habitat and other factors associated with productivity.