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Uploaded on Tuesday 21 Feb 2012
Trends in Arctic murre populations
Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
The two species of murres (known as guillemots in Europe), the thick-billed murre, Uria lomvia, and common murre, Uria aalge, both have circumpolar distributions, breeding in Arctic, sub-Arctic, and temperate seas from California and northern Spain to northern Greenland, high Arctic Canada, Svalbard, and Novaya Zemlya. The thick-billed murre occurs mostly in Arctic waters, while the common murre, although overlapping extensively with the thick-billed murre, is more characteristic of sub-Arctic and temperate waters. They are among the most abundant seabirds in the Northern Hemisphere with both species exceeding 10 million adults. This figure presents changes in murre populations since 1975 by region and ‘decade’ (as defined by regime shifts in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation). Green indicates positive population trends, yellow indicates stable populations, and red indicates negative population trends.