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Increasing Retreat of Summer Ice Causes Major Increase in Guillemot Post-Breeding Movements

Figure 1. Mid-September sea ice cover in the Arctic Ocean north of Cooper Island in 1973 and 2011. Sea ice was approximately 30 miles north of Cooper Island in 1972 and nearly 400 miles north in 2011.

Figure 2. Post-breeding movement (green line) of a Black Guillemot that fledged young on Cooper Island on 4 September 2011. Sea ice shown for 25 September. The guillemot, a male that has bred on Cooper Island for the last decade, flew from the island to the edge of the continental shelf and remained there for a little over a week before heading north to the pack ice, approximately 500 miles north of Cooper Island.

The extreme sea ice retreat caused the bird to make a thousand mile round-trip before moving to a wintering area at the edge of the Bering Sea pack ice.

For more details, read George's post.

Ice Concentration Levels

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