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Protecting Arctic BiodiversityProtecting Arctic Biodiversity
The Arctic region is characterized by some of the largest continuous intact ecosystems on the planet, but is facing increasingly larger threats. Protecting Arctic Biodiversity: Limitations and strengths of environmental agreements allows governing and scientific bodies of MEAs, as well as national decision-makers, to better direct their programmes of work and other activities to address the needs of Arctic biodiversity and the region's local and Indigenous Peoples.
Available online at: http://www.grida.no/publications/arctic-biodiversity
Wolverine population in the Arctic Wolverine population in the Arctic
Wolverines occur in various distinct populations across the circumpolar region, ranging from Fennoscandia and the Russian Federation, Mongolia and China, through to Alaska, Canada, and some of the northernmost states of the USA. Habitat loss and fragmentation, small population size and low genetic diversity, harvesting, illegal poaching, and reductions in wolverines’ prey base all contribute to overall global declines in wolverine populations. Th...
01 Nov 2010 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Towns and industrial activities in the Arctic Towns and industrial activities in the Arctic
The Arctic is home to approximately 4 million people, with the share of indigenous and non-indigenous populations varying widely between the Arctic states. Larger settlements are usually located in resource-strategic positions. Rich deposits of natural resources are spurring industrial activity in the region. The Russian Arctic, for example, holds 1.5 of the country’s population, but accounts for 11% of its gross domestic product and 22% of its e...
13 Oct 2010 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Red king crab native and invasive distribution Red king crab native and invasive distribution
The red king crab is native to the Okhotsk and Japan Seas, the Bering Sea, and the northern Pacific Ocean, where it is an important economic resource. In Alaskan waters, red king crabs have historically been the second most valuable species to fishermen after salmon, although since the 1980s overharvesting has led to the closure of some areas to fishing. The king crab also has an invasive distribution in the Barents Sea. Since its introduction in...
13 Oct 2010 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Compensation for sheep losses in Norway Compensation for sheep losses in Norway
Minimizing conflicts with livestock husbandry is the most important challenge for the conservation of wolverines. In Fennoscandia, few areas exist within the wolverines’ range where there is no conflict potential with sheep and/or domestic reindeer. For example in Norway, the practice is to leave sheep unattended on mountain pastures to graze during summer. Higher stock numbers and the loss of herding and livestock guarding traditions have increa...
01 Nov 2010 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Polar bear sub-populations and pollution Polar bear sub-populations and pollution
There are thought to be between 20,000 and 25,000 bears in the world, which occur in19 relatively discrete sub-populations, some of which are shared between nations. Topping the food chain in the Arctic, the polar bear is exposed to high levels of pollutants that are magnified with each step higher in the food web (a process known as biomagnification). Recent studies have suggested that the immune system may be weaker in polar bears with higher l...
13 Oct 2010 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Marine mammals in the Arctic Marine mammals in the Arctic
Seven species of marine mammals live in the Arctic year-round – the bowhead whale, beluga whale, narwhal, ringed seal, beaded seal, walrus, and polar bear - and many more migrate to the Arctic seasonally. Many marine mammals aggregate in specific areas across the Arctic, for example to feed, or for whelping, pupping or moulting. A common feature of marine mammals in the Arctic is that they are associated with sea ice, although the ecological rela...
13 Oct 2010 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Projected changes in the Arctic climate, 2090 Projected changes in the Arctic climate, 2090
The averages of the scenarios in the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) are presented in this figure, for the year 2090, with the surface temperatures over land, the size of the polar ice cap, and the outer limits of permafrost.
13 Oct 2010 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Seal catches in the Arctic Seal catches in the Arctic
Large-scale commercial harvests are restricted to harp and hooded seals, except for the hooded seal population in the Jan Mayen area of the Greenland Sea. Both species faced intense commercial hunting in the 19th and 20th centuries, first for oil, and later mainly for the highly prized pelts of pups.Seal products nowadays also include a significant aphrodisiac trade (particularly for harp seal sex organs), and seal oil has become a popular health...
13 Oct 2010 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Murre colonies and human activities Murre colonies and human activities
The thick-billed murre and common murre have ranges 1,000,000 km2 and number in the millions or tens of millions of breeding pairs. However global populations are declining, although increases have occurred in some regions. These seabirds, together with other species of alcids, face a number of direct and indirect marine and terrestrial threats, which influence their survival and reproductive success. These include transboundary pollutants, by-ca...
13 Oct 2010 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Wild caribou (rangifer) herds and areas of reindeer husbandry Wild caribou (rangifer) herds and areas of reindeer husbandry
Distribution and observed trends of wild Rangifer populations throughout the circumpolar Arctic (from The Circum Arctic Rangifer Monitoring and Assessment Network, CARMA). Currently wild reindeer and caribou have declined by about 33% since populations (herds) peaked in the 1990s and early 2000s (3.8 million compared to 5.6 million) which followed almost universal increases in the 1970s and 1980s. In Arctic Eurasia reindeer herding represents a l...
01 Oct 2010 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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The Arctic and the World - migration paths The Arctic and the World - migration paths
The Arctic plays host to a vast array of biodiversity, including many globally significant populations. Included among these are more than half of the world´s shorebird species, 80% of the global goose populations, several million reindeer and caribou, and many unique mammals, such as the polar bear. During the short summer breeding season, 279 species of birds arrive from as far away as South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and South America to ...
01 May 2010 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Demography of indigenous peoples of the Arctic based on linguistic groups Demography of indigenous peoples of the Arctic based on linguistic groups
Language not only communicates, it defines culture, nature, history, humanity, and ancestry. The indigenous languages of the Arctic have been formed and shaped in close contact with their environment. They are a valuable source of information and a wealth of knowledge on human interactions with nature is encoded in these languages. If a language is lost, a world is lost. This deep knowledge and interconnectedness is expressed in Arctic song, subs...
01 Oct 2010 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Vegetation and land cover in the Arctic Vegetation and land cover in the Arctic
The land mass in the Arctic - Greenland and parts of Canada, Alaska, Russia and the Nordic countries - surrounds the Arctic Ocean. In the low Arctic, down to the temperate regions, the taiga coniferous forests represents a vast band of deep forests. North of the taiga, the tundra of the Arctic - with low vegetation, shrubs and various degrees of permafrosts spreads out. Beyond the tundra, there might be barren regions with only rock and few plant...
13 Oct 2010 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Protected areas and World Heritage sites in the Arctic (CAFF area) Protected areas and World Heritage sites in the Arctic (CAFF area)
Protected areas have long been viewed as a key element for maintaining and conserving Arctic biodiversity and the functioning landscapes upon which species depend. Arctic protected areas have been established in strategically important and representative areas, helping to maintain crucial ecological features, e.g., caribou migration and calving areas, shorebird and waterfowl staging and nesting sites, seabird colonies, and critical components of ...
01 Oct 2010 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Arctic, topography and bathymetry (topographic map) Arctic, topography and bathymetry (topographic map)
The Arctic represents the northermost area of the World, the Arctic Ocean and the land areas that surrounds it. The region is characterized but cold temperatures, and ice and snow. The summers are short, but with long periods of daylight (midnight sun). The winters are long and cold and with periods with no sun (polar night). The Arctic Ocean is one basin that is mostly covered by sea ice, and is connected to the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. The ...
01 Oct 2010 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Ratification of multilateral environmental agreements Ratification of multilateral environmental agreements
Multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) are a main component of international environmental governance. The number of MEAs created in response to global environmental challenges has risen steadily since the UN Conference on the Human Environment (UNCED) in 1972.
13 Oct 2010 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Arctic biodiversity - pressures and impacts Arctic biodiversity - pressures and impacts
The Arctic plays host to a vast array of biodiversity, including many globally significant populations. Included among these are more than half of the world´s shorebird species, 80% of the global goose populations, several million reindeer and caribou, and many unique mammals, such as the polar bear. During the short summer breeding season, 279 species of birds arrive from as far away as South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and South America to ...
01 May 2010 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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The Arctic, as defined by summer temperature The Arctic, as defined by summer temperature
The Arctic is a region not easily delineated by one boundary or definition - it includes the Arctic Ocean and the land areas around it, including Greenland, Eurasia and North America. A climate definition of the Arctic is the 10 centigrade July isotherm. This limit roughly coincides with the treeline and represents a change in growing conditions for plants. As visible in the map, this also includes mountainous and alpine areas. The map also prese...
01 Nov 2010 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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