Red Knots on Wrangel Island: results of observations and catching in summer 2007


102 – 109

1 August 08

Pavel S. Tomkovich, Alexei G. Dondua

Pavel S. Tomkovich
Zoological Museum, Moscow M.V. Lomonosov State University, Bol. Nikitskaya Street 6, Moscow, 125009, Russia.


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We report results of the first ever expedition to study breeding waders, particularly Red Knots, on Wrangel Island which lies in the Arctic Ocean, 150 km to the north of the coast of the Russian Far East. Throughout the summer, conditions were fairly good for breeding waders. The weather was warm and dry and was therefore conducive to early breeding, and lemmings were almost in the “moderately abundant” category so depredation of wader eggs was relatively light. Only two Red Knot nests were found and the density of broods was much lower than those indicated by previous surveys over the last 30 years indicating a strong decline in the size of the population. Forty-five Red Knots were ringed and colour-flagged, including 31 unfledged chicks. Subsequently one adult was recorded in Baja California, Mexico, in October 2007 and an adult was also seen during northward migration on the coast of Washington, USA, in May 2008. These observations provide the first hard evidence of a connectivity that has long been suspected that Wrangel knots of the subspecies roselaari migrate along the American Pacific coast.