I thought it would be relevant to spotlight a cool data set and reference tool that I learned about today through a presentation at AMSS. It’s called the Ecological Atlas of the Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. This is a peer reviewed, publically available, map-oriented dataset that details observations on the presence of a variety of wildlife species (including fish, birds and mammals) inhabiting the coast of Alaska.
In true atlas style, each species has its own page which not only tells you the range (in all seasons), but also has information on natural history and other fun facts. You can view an example page of the Ecological Atlas of the Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort Seas below.
In addition to information on wildlife species, you can find maps detailing oil drilling, shipping vessel routes and other interesting anthropogenic, or human related, data. This is a tool that has many applications for the work we do at the Alaska SeaLife Center, whether it be determining the best place to release a pigeon gillemot in October, writing a lesson for Ocean Science club on the migration routes of chinook salmon, or determining if vessel traffic may need to be considered when writing your next research proposal.
Hard copies of the Ecological Atlas of the Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort Seas can be ordered, however the easiest way to check it out is to go to the following link http://ak.audubon.org/conservation/ecological-atlas-bering-chukchi-and-beaufort-seas.
Written by: Natalie Rouse