Bird Conservation International

The significance of Southwest Greenland as winter quarters for seabirds

a1 National Environmental Research Institute, Department of the Arctic Environment, P. O. Box 358, DK-4000 Roskilde, Denmark
a2 Guldbergsgade 22, 5., DK-2200 Copenhagen N, Denmark
a3 Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, P. O. Box 570, DK-3900 Nuuk, Greenland

Article author query
boertmann d   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
lyngs p   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
merkel fr   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
mosbech a   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


The coastal and offshore waters of Southwest Greenland are internationally important winter quarters for seabirds. We crudely estimate a minimum of 3.5 million seabirds using the region in winter, mainly from Arctic Canada, Greenland and Svalbard, with smaller numbers also from Alaska, Iceland, mainland Norway and Russia. The most numerous species are Common Eider Somateria mollissima, King Eider S. spectabilis, Brünnich's Guillemot Uria lomvia and Little Auk Alle alle. The most immediate threat to the seabirds in Southwest Greenland is hunting, and current levels of usage of the Greenland breeding populations of Brünnich's Guillemot and Common Eider are considered unsustainable. Conservation measures are required for these populations.

(Received November 1 2002)
(Accepted January 6 2004)