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Reproductive success of arctic-breeding shorebirds in a changing climate


September 2011 - December 2015


Climate change is projected to increase air temperatures and alter hydrologic systems in arctic environments, which will create positive feedbacks on shrub growth and advance the phenology of arthropods, important prey for many arctic-breeding birds. Little is understood about how such climate-induced changes in habitat and prey availability may affect reproductive success of migratory birds during the short arctic breeding season. Worldwide, declines in shorebird populations, including arctic-breeding species, have recently become apparent. Projected changes in climate are expected to benefit arctic-breeding shorebirds in the short-term by increasing reproductive success and survival, primarily through amelioration of harsh weather and prolongation of summer. Over time, however, reductions in the quantity and quality of open tundra habitat and changes in prey availability may adversely affect shorebird reproduction and exacerbate current population declines. We are evaluating the reproductive success of two shorebird species, American (Pluvialis dominica) and Pacific (P. fulva) Golden-Plovers, in relation to vegetation extent, phenology, and arthropod biomass.

Research Products and Activities


  • Overduijn, K. S. 2019. Reproductive success of American and Pacific Golden-Plovers (Pluvialis dominica and P. fulva) in a changing climate. M.S. Thesis, University of Alaska, Fairbanks.


  • Overduijn. K., A. N. Powell and C. Handel. 2012. Brood movement and habitat use by American and Pacific Golden-Plovers. 23 Oct, 15th Annual Alaska Bird Conference, Anchorage, AK.
  • Overduijn, K. S., C. M. Handel, and A. N. Powell. 2013. Brood movement and habitat use by American and Pacific Golden-Plovers. Alaska Chapter of The Wildlife Society Annual Meeting, Fairbanks, AK.
  • Overduijn, K, S., C. M. Handel, and A. N. Powell. 2013. The effects of habitat change on shorebirds in the Arctic. 5th Western Hemisphere Shorebird Conference, Santa Marta, Colombia.
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Current Staff

Federal Staff: 95

Masters Students: 238

Phd Students: 144

Post Docs: 54

University Staff: 239

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 673

Scientific Publications: 1905

Presentations: 4235



  • Abby PowellCo-Principal Investigator
  • Kelly OverduijnStudent

Funding Agencies

  • USFWS Region 7


Cooperative Research Units Program Headquarters Cooperators

  1. U.S. Geological Survey