e-CBMP Newsletter
Winter 2017

Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program            Volume 10 Issue 1

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From the Co-Chairs Top

Dear Friends,

Happy 2017! It has been some time since we've last reached out to you via this newsletter, which just goes to show how busy the CBMP has been over the past year!
We're very happy to report that since last year the CBMP Marine Steering Group and Expert Networks have been working very hard, aggregating and analyzing data for sea ice biota, plankton, benthos, fishes, seabirds, and marine mammals, and evaluating current monitoring. They have now compiled their efforts in a State of the Arctic Biodiversity Report to be released at the Arctic Council Ministerial in May later this year.
The CBMP Freshwater and Terrestrial Steering Groups are hot on their heels, and producing their own State of the Arctic Freshwater Biodiversity Report and State of the Arctic Terrestrial Biodiversity Report, scheduled for release in 2018 and 2019 respectively. Work is underway to compile and report on the first efforts to pool circumpolar biodiversity data under these groups and publish datasets, where possible, alongside the report. The CBMP Freshwater Steering Group has also timed the release of their State of the Arctic Freshwater Biodiversity Report with a special issue of Freshwater Biology for maximum exposure of their work. The Terrestrial Steering Group is considering this approach with a similarly appropriate journal.
Meanwhile, the CBMP Coastal group is making excellent progress and engaging a wide range of scientific and traditional knowledge experts as they develop their Arctic Coastal Biodiversity Monitoring Plan. Meetings in Canada and Denmark this year have helped them engage with Northern communities, organize their work across the concept of "coastscapes," and pull together a list of potential Focal Ecosystem Components (FECs) to include in the Plan. In addition to our Coastal Expert country and Permanent Participant representation, we appreciate the active participation from coastal communities, industry representatives and others, and anticipate the Plan to be released later this year.

We've also re-launched the Arctic Biodiversity Data Service website to better aid in the navigation of the data holdings on our GeoNetwork. CAFF now has interoperability with the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), the Polar Data Catalogue (PDC) and acts as the Arctic Node of the Ocean Biogeographic International System (OBIS), so our records are shared between systems.

As co-chairs, we are currently reviewing CBMP priorities and efforts to formulate 2018-2021 Strategic Plan for the program, learning from what has worked to-date and expanding efforts that deliver on our mandate to harmonize and integrate efforts to monitor the Arctic's living resources.
Keep reading the articles below for details on the activities and projects we mention, and more from our larger networks as well. Please be in touch with us if you have any questions on CBMP efforts. Enjoy the newsletter!

Tom Christensen, Jason Taylor, and John Payne, Co-Chairs
Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program


Marine Steering Group met in Akureyri, Iceland

Attendees of the CBMP Marine Annual meeting in Akureyri, Iceland, October 2016. Photo: Kári Fannar Lárusson
Expert Networks met for the CBMP Marine Annual meeting in Akureyri, Iceland on October 25-27, 2016. Over 30 individual gathered to discuss the progress made on the implementation of the CBMP-Marine Plan. Members of the sea ice biota, plankton, benthos, fishes, and marine mammals expert networks talked over how to organize their work and presented their activities to date. 

Arctic Marine Biodiversity Monitoring Plan Annual Report 2016: Click to download.
The meeting focused on the development of 2017 State of 
the Arctic Marine Biodiversity Report. The Report, scheduled for release at the 2017 Arctic Council Ministerial, will describe the state and condition of key aspects of Arctic biodiversity and provide a regular reporting format for the implementation of the CBMP Arctic Biodiversity Monitoring Plans.

The Arctic Marine Biodiversity Monitoring Plan Annual Report 2016 has been released and is available online. This report describes the progress towards implementation of the CBMP-Marine Plan in 2016 and a work plan for the coming year.

Contact: Marianne Olsen (Norwegian Environment Agency), John Bengston (NOAA)

Pacific Arctic Marine Fishes Atlas and guide released
Pacific Arctic Marine Fishes.
Click to download.
The  Pacific Arctic Marine Fishes report ,  published in May 2016, presents results of the Russian American Long-Term Census of the Arctic (RUSALCA)  fish investigations conducted by bottom trawl in the Pacific Arctic region northward from Bering Strait. Species accounts provide documentation of the biodiversity and geographic distribution baselines with maps supported by citation of voucher specimens, catch records, and literature; habitat and morphological descriptions; and remarks on taxonomic issues with implications from DNA barcoding. Pages of fish photographs with labeled features are grouped separately in an identification guide.

The RUSALCA baseline objective coordinates well with the marine biodiversity monitoring objectives of the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna,  Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP)  and this atlas and guide became a priority for completion as a contribution to the CBMP as well as fulfilment of objectives for NOAA Arctic Research Office contracts for RUSALCA.

Contact:  Catherine W. Mecklenburg  (Department of Ichthyology California Academy of Sciences San Francisco, California, USA)

Circumpolar Seabird Monitoring Plan released
The  Circumpolar Seabird Monitoring Plan , released in October 2015, identifies a framework for an integrated monitoring program, including identifying monitoring parameters and appropriate species. 

This Circumpolar Seabird Monitoring Plan will help scientists and managers:
Circumpolar Seabird Monitoring Plan. Click to download.
  • monitor populations of selected Arctic seabird species, in one or more Arctic countries,
  • monitor, as appropriate, survival, diets, breeding phenology, and productivity of seabirds in a manner that allows changes to be detected,
  • provide circumpolar information on the status of seabirds to the management agencies of Arctic countries,
  • inform the public through outreach mechanisms as appropriate,
  • provide information on changes in the marine ecosystem by using seabirds as indicators,
  • quickly identify areas or issue in the Arctic ecosystem such as declining biodiversity or environmental pressures to target further research and plan management and conservation measures.
Grant Gilchrist (Environment and Climate Change Canada, 
Chair of CAFF's CBird Expert Group)

Freshwater Steering Group meeting held in Anchorage, Alaska
The FSG meeting participants (left to right): Steinar Sandoy (Norway), Petri Liljanemi (Finland), Jennifer Lento (Canada), Christian Zimmermann (U.S.), Willem Goedkoop (Sweden, Co-lead), Jón S. Ólafsson (Iceland), Kirsten Christoffersen (Kingdom of Denmark), Joseph Culp (Canada, Co-lead), Kári Fannar Lárusson (CAFF Secretariat). Photo: Kári Fannar Lárusson
met for a writing meeting in Anchorage, Alaska on October 3-6th, 2016. This meeting focused on the development of the first State of the Arctic Freshwater Biodiversity Report (SAFBR) which is scheduled to be released by CAFF in 2018. The release of this report will be accompanied by a special issue of the journal Freshwater Biology  focused on the information and analysis conducted for SAFBR.

Issues addressed at the meeting included refining and creating an annotated outline for the SAFBR and planning for the associate articles for the special issue of Freshwater Biology and further development of the SAFBR database a comprehensive database containing information from across the circumpolar world on Arctic freshwater biodiversity.    
Contact:  Jennifer Lento (University of New Brunswick)

Fennoscandian Freshwater writing workshop held in Uppsala

CBMP Freshwater Fennoscandian meeting attendees
Fennoscandian members of the CBMP Freshwater group met in Uppsala, Sweden in December 2016 to produce a strategy for the completion of the manuscripts that will form the backbone of the State of the Arctic Freshwater Report. 

The meeting brought everyone up to date on the status of the CBMP Freshwater work, the production of the State of the Arctic Freshwater Report, and the special issue of Freshwater Biology that will be produced.

Contact: Willem Goedkoop (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences)

CBMP Terrestrial annual meeting, Uppsala, Sweden

CBMP Terrestrial Steering Group and Expert Network meeting attendees, Uppsala, Sweden, April 2017
The CBMP Terrestrial Steering Group and Expert Networks met in Uppsala, Sweden, April 5-7, 2017 to review the status of the work undertaken by the terrestrial group for the past year, and organise development of the State of the Arctic Terrestrial Biodiversity Report (START). The meeting brought together 19 experts from across the Arctic including a Traditional Knowledge holder. The majority of the work conducted during the meeting was to further refine how the groups will report on the status and trends of their Focal Ecosystem Components which will form the basis for the reporting conducted in the START report. A series of presentations were provided focussing in recent developments in Arctic terrestrial monitoring, data issues, monitoring protocols and a wide variety of subjects.

Contact: Starri Heidmarsson (Icelandic Institute of Natural History)

CBMP Coastal Biodiversity Monitoring Background Paper released
The  CBMP Coastal Biodiversity Monitoring Background Paper, published in February 2016, outlines how the Arctic Coastal Biodiversity Monitoring Plan will be created and develops a framework for integrated and cost-effective monitoring of Arctic coastal biodiversity.
Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Programme Coastal Biodiversity Monitoring Background Paper. 
Click to download.
The Coastal Plan will use existing monitoring programs to develop a multi-disciplinary, multi-knowledge base, integrated, circumpolar, long-term Coastal Plan that:
  • identifies and ensures better coordination of existing monitoring information and networks;
  • identifies and promotes the monitoring of a suite of focal ecosystem components and prioritized parameters for each focal ecosystem component;
  • ensures more efficient and effective synthesis and delivery of results of monitoring related to the informational needs, management objectives and questions of decision makers, Indigenous organizations, governments, local communities, scientific community, industry and other stakeholders; and
  • is based on science, Traditional Knowledge and community based monitoring, including input from industry as well as other relevant networks.

Contact:  Donald McLennan (Polar Knowledge Canada) and Tahzay Jones (US Fish and Wildlife Service, Alaska)

Coastal Expert Monitoring Group met in Ottawa, Canada

TK Holders meeting participants (left to right): Stacy Fritz, Pitsey Moss Davies, Baba Pedersen, Patrick Gruben, Carolina Behe, John Cheechoo, Qaiyaan Harcharek, Roy Ashenfelter, Quitsak Tarriasuk, Jimmy Johannes, Martha Flaherty, Cyrus Harris, Donald McLennan. 
Photo: Laura Thomsen
The  Coastal Expert Monitoring Group Workshop brought together a diverse group of coastal experts to develop a biodiversity monitoring program for coastal ecosystems across the circumpolar Arctic. 

Meeting participants, including northern residents, industry and Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) representatives, scientists, and government regulators gathered in Ottawa from March 1-3, 2016, to discuss current biodiversity monitoring efforts, understand key issues facing 
biodiversity in the Arctic coastal areas and suggest monitoring indicators, or Focal Ecosystem Components, for the 
Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Programme Coastal Expert Workshop Meeting Report. Click to download.

A Traditional Knowledge Holders meeting was held on February 29, 2016 in conjunction with the workshop. This one-day meeting allowed for Traditional Knowledge holders and Arctic Council Permanent Participant representatives to become familiar with the  Coastal Expert Monitoring Group  and to openly discuss the use of TK within the CEMG.

The  summary of the CBMP Coastal Expert Workshop and  full Workshop Report detail workshop activities and outcomes and  has been released and is available online.

Contact:  Donald McLennan (Polar Knowledge Canada) and  Tahzay Jones (US Fish and Wildlife Service, Alaska)

Satellite data to support biodiversity assessments and monitoring

Arctic Land Cover Change Initiative MODIS Satellite data. Click to download.
CAFF,  through the CBMP is working to produce a set of satellite-based remote sensing produ cts with a geographic focus on the pan-Arctic. Satellite products are being developed for use by different stakeholder groups and products will be organized by terrestrial, marine, coastal, and freshwater disciplines.
In October 2015 the  Land Cover Change report was released. This report summarizes the initial set of satellite data products included in the CAFF Land Cover Change (LCC) Initiative .

Cursory analyses have been conducted to display the potential of the MODIS suite of products in studying the pan-Arctic ecosystem. These include early warning indicators such as:

Land surface temperature

The Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI) is assisting CAFF on selecting and providing MODIS satellite products for this system. This is an ongoing effort that will continue to evolve and improve over time. In cooperation with the Arctic Spatial Data Infrastructure (ASDI) CAFF is also working to make this data available through the Arctic Biodiversity Data Service (ABDS) and on the ASDI Geoportal Work on phase II of the  Land Cover Change index has begun and will expand existing remote sensed products to include additional temporal/spatial scales and time-series analysis. Data acquisition will include targeted products for terrestrial, marine, coastal, and freshwater applications. Additional objectives include data acquisitions and analyses to support further understanding of the role of different spatial and temporal scales in remote sensing data products for biodiversity assessment and monitoring.

There is also a new Webinar that features CAFF's Land Cover Change Index and explores how remote sensing can support biodiversity assessments and monitoring, specifically the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP). Presenters include CAFF's partners from the Michigan Tech Research Institute, Liza Jenkins and Robert Shuchman and John Payne of the North Slope Science Institute.

Contact:  Michigan Tech Research Institute

Education kits on Arctic wildlife available for students and teachers

Life Linked to Spring.
Click to download.
CAFF has produced a series of educational resources to help children and their educators explore and understand processes and ecosystems of the Arctic.
Each education kit includes:
  • a pocket guide for children (ages 8-12)
  • an accompanying leader's manual for teachers, parents and other instructors.
Life Linked to Ponds.
Click to download.
The pocket field guide is intended to highlight species and aspects of Arctic biodiversity to built an appreciation for the diversity and functioning of ecosystems. The Leader's Manual provides background information about the processes, the organisms, the nature of ecosystems and some of the changes and threats that could affect Arctic ecosystems and biodiversity. In addition, the manual includes a number of challenges and projects designed to get young people, either individually or in groups, out on the land and actively investigating the natural world around them.

There are tree kinds of education kits:
Life Linked to Tundra. Click to download.
These documents are available in the following languages in both International A4 and North American letter size:       
CAFF is in the process of translating the children's pocket guide into additional languages and both Finnish and Northern Saami will be available soon.
Contact: CAFF Secretariat

CBMP (and related) Events CBMPeventsinitiatives
  • Upcoming Events
    • CAFF Biennial meeting: February 1-2, 2017, Kautokeino, Norway
    • Lumpsucker fisheries bycatch meeting: March 5-6, Tórshavn, Faroe Islands
    • CBird Annual Meeting: March 7-9, Tórshavn, Faroe Islands 
    • CBMP Terrestrial annual meeting: March 25-27, Akureyri, Iceland
    • CAFF Flora Group meeting: March 28-29,  Akureyri, Iceland
    • Arctic Flora Inventory meeting: March 30,  Akureyri, Iceland
    • AMAP International Conference on Arctic Science: Bringing Knowledge to Action: April 24-27, Reston, Virginia, USA
    • CBMP Marine annual meeting: October 2017, Alaska, USA

Partner News PARTNERnews

Biomorphology and Population's Structure of Plantago Maritima L. in Intertidal Zone on the Holarctic Sea's Coasts
Liudmila Sergienko.
Photo: Liudmila Sergienko

Sergienko L. A., Dyachkova T. Yu.,Androsova V. I., Markovskaya E. F., Fokusov A. V., Biomorphology and Population's Structure of Plantago Maritima L. in Intertidal Zone on the Holarctic Sea's Coasts
( In Russian).

The object of this thesis is Plantago maritima L. (family Plantaginaceae) what is the dominant species of coastal habitats in the intertidial zone on the Western coast of the White Sea near the village Kolezhma (North Karelia, Russian Federation). That coast has been chosen as a reference because it is characteristic for all coasts of the Holarctic Seas. 

Research on Plantago Maritima L.
Photo: Liudmila Sergienko
This research has showed Plantago maritima L., that  originates from Central Asia, moved to the coast of the
White and Barents Seas only in late Cenozoic time and it is a well-adapted and widespread species in the new territories and new habitat condidtions. This study also supports the conclusion of M. G. Popov, that "adaptive evolution is primarily somatic, mainly affecting on the vegetative organs" (Popov, 1963, p. 13).  The high level of variation in biometric and population indices of the individuals of P. maritima suggests that this pool has the adaptive capacity of the species implemented  in the coastal zone  in a wide range of the tidal gradient.
Contact: Liudmila Sergienko (Petrozavodsk State University)

Swedish targeted monitoring of Arctic butterflies

The Swedish Butterfly Monitoring Scheme  coordinates targeted monitoring of butterflies and moths protected by the EU Habitats Directive since 2011. Two butterflies, the Glandon Blue,  Plebejus aquilo, and the Dusky-winged Fritillary,  Boloria improba, and the subspecies  catena of the Silver-spotted Skipper,  Hesperia comma, are monitored yearly at a number of sites in northernmost Sweden. In addition, the noctuid moth  Xestia borealis is monitored every six years. During 2016, 32  aquilo sites, 31  improba sites, 1  H. comma ssp.  catena site and 14  borealis sites have been visited. 

Amanda Karlsson counting butterflies at site 11/12 Crater Lake, Björkliden. Photo: Leif Björk
Dusky-winged Fritillary, Boloria improba, near Jiebreneohkka, Torne Trask. Photo: Leif Björk

Contact: Lars Pettersson (Lund University)

Expedition O2A2-2016: Open Ocean: Arctic Archipelagos - 2016

Dr. Maria Gavrilo, scientific lead of the O2A2 Expedition, conducts shipboard surveys of marine birds and mammals. Photo: Liudmila Sergienko
During summer 20 16,  the scientific expedition Open Ocean: Arctic  Archipelagos - 2016 was performed on board MS Alter Ego in the northern Novaya Zemlya and Franz-Josef Land, the National Park Russian Arctic. 
The study priority was given to the Focal Ecosystem  Components (FECs) indicator species, following CAFF/CBMP framework documents and  the list of  marine arctic indicator species developed by Ministry of Natural  Resources of Russia.

The seabird colonies and walrus haul outs were monitored, the seabird and marine mammal watching as performed along the vessel route. Two new breeding colonies of ivory gull have been discovered. Very few bowhead whales have been observed on the way comparing to the previous five-year period.
Miroslav Babushkin sampling biopsies  from  walrus on the coast of Franz-Josef Land.
Photo: Liudmila Sergienko
Alexey Krasheninnikov conducts freshwater research in the Russian Harbour (northern
Novaya Zemlya). Photo: Liudmila Sergienko

Large part of the program was the studies of coastal, freshwater and terr estrial biodiversity, which are the least studied components of the entire Russian high-Arctic. The pilot survey performed within the expedition included quantitative sampling of the entomofauna and freshwater benthos, coastal vegetation, as well as complex descriptions of the fresh waterbodies and wetland habitats.
The expedition team will report to CAFF/ CBMP on the  status of studied FECs, will propose the sites for monitoring the freshwater, terrestrial and coastal biodiversity in the Russian sector of the Barents Sea. New species of invertebrates and plants will be proposed as additional indicators for the circumpolar high-Arctic areas.

The expedition was organized by the Association Marine Heritage: Explore and Sustain (Saint-Petersburg) and financed by the UNDP/GEF project " Mainstreaming biodiversity conservation into Russia's energy sector policies and operation ".

Contact:  Maria Gavrilo (Russian Arctic National Park),  Liudmila Sergienko (Petrozavodsk State University),  Daria Martynova (Russian Academy of Science)

DNA barcoding Alaska's non-marine arthropods

Staff at the University of Alaska Museum Insect Collection. Photo: UAM
We at the  University of Alaska Museum Insect Collection (UAM), with support of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service's Alaska Region NWRS Inventory and Monitoring Initiative, are building a DNA barcode library to facilitate future monitoring of non-marine arthropods. 

Working with the Canadian Centre for DNA Barcoding, we obtained DNA barcodes from recently collected and authoritatively identified Alaskan non-marine arthropod specimens. We obtained DNA barcodes for 1,662 species and 1,788 Barcode Index Numbers (BINs), of primarily terrestrial, large-bodied arthropods. We estimate there are now over 4,000 Alaskan non-marine arthropod species represented by DNA barcodes, after including all records in BOLD of species that occur in Alaska. Thus, almost half of the 8,277 Alaskan, non-marine-arthropod named species have associated DNA barcodes. 

Photo: UAM
We believe we are the first to deliberately begin development of a DNA barcode library of the entire arthropod fauna for a North American state or province. Although far from complete, this library will become increasingly valuable as more species are added and costs to obtain DNA sequences fall. These data are available through the Barcode of Life Datasystems database, and through UAM's online database,  Arctos.

Contact: Derek S. Sikes (Curator of Insects, Associate Professor of Entomology, University of Alaska Museum (UAM))

East Bay Island migratory bird research 2016 field season report from Canada

Jenna Cragg holding an eider duck
Jenna Cragg holding an eider duck
Our studies at East Bay have been ongoing for 20 years and were initiated in response to concerns that northern common eiders were being  overharvested on their wintering grounds in west Greenland. Since then, many new issues have emerged and our long-term dataset has allowed us to expand our research to respond to concerns raised by northern communities and environmental assessment initiatives. Current efforts focus on:
  1. Investigating relationships between polar bear predation on eider nests and diminishing sea ice. 
  2. Identifying key seabird marine habitats in an effort to mitigate potential issues related to northern industrial development, particularly year-round shipping. 
  3. Understanding the physiological mechanisms linking climate variability, reproduction, and survival of Arctic breeding migratory birds. 
  4. Investigating direct effects of changing sea-ice regimes on eider reproduction and population dynamics. 
Read the full 2016 field season report from our research team. 

Contact: Project leads: Grant Gilchrist 
(Environment and Climate Change Canada) and Oliver Love (University of Windsor)

Hudson Strait common eider and polar bear surveys 2016 field season report from Canada

2016 field crew: Top row L to R Kov Ottokie, Samuel Richard, Charlie Qiatsuq, Luutaaq Qaumagiaq, Daniel Taukie, Cody Dey, Adamie Qaumagiaq, Megan McCloskey, and Sjoerd Duijns. Bottom row L to R David McGeachy, Numa Ottokie and Salamonie Aningmiuq.
project in Hudson Strait aims to address information gaps in scientific data for credible habitat assessment of marine wildlife in the eastern Canadian Arctic using a variety of new techniques, an established multi-disciplinary research team, and a collaborative approach. We are working to quantify the distribution and abundance of marine birds in the Hudson Strait-Foxe Basin region throughout the year, as well as the biological and physical factors determining those patterns. Collectively, this information will be integrated into computer simulation models that will assess, as well as anticipate, the possible interactions between bird populations and proposed development activities such as year-round shipping. 

Read the full 2016 field season report from our research team including information on 1) eider population monitoring and response to polar bear activity, 2) polar bear behaviour and genetics, 3) disease monitoring, and more.

Contact: Primary investigators: Grant Gilchrist (Environment and Climate Change Canada), Christina Semeniuk (University of Windsor) and Evan Richardson (Environment and Climate Change Canada) and project coordinator Jake Russell-Mercier (Environment and Climate Change Canada)

Marine habitat use by thick-billed murres 2016 field season report from Canada

Brian Malloure (L) Isabeau Pratte (R) attach a GPS tracker to a Thick Billed Murre at Cape Graham Moore. 
Photo: Environment and Climate Change Canada
Recent increases in resource development activities are projected to increase shipping traffic in Canada's eastern arctic marine regions. However, there is not enough information to properly assess potential ecological impacts of year-round shipping lanes on marine wildlife. Our goal is to work in partnership with industry to determine the distribution and abundance patterns of thick-billed murres, in an effort to identify key marine habitats. 

At the Digges Island colony in Hudson Strait, we are investigating whether birds breeding at various locations within the colony itself use different marine habitat areas, and whether this changes between breeding stages (incubating eggs vs. feeding chicks). We are also examining how foraging behaviour influences the physiology and energy budgets of thick-billed murres. At the Cape Graham Moore colony on Bylot Island in the high Arctic, we are collecting data on foraging movement and physiology, which we will compare to our previous work at Digges Island to understand the differences between colonies. 

Our work will establish a baseline of marine habitat use which may be used for murre assessing the potential future impact of planned shipping lanes and marine protected areas in the region. These projects will also help to provide the information necessary to develop efficient monitoring protocols for Canada's northern thick-billed murre colonies. 

Contact: Project leads:  Grant Gilchrist (Environment and Climate Change Canada), Oliver Love (University of Windsor), and Dr. Kyle Elliot (McGill University) and project coordinator Mike Janssen (Environment and Climate Change Canada). 

AIP2 Coats Island infrastructure improvement 2016 update from Canada

Environment and Climate Change Canada has been working at the Coats Island seabird research station since Canadian Wildlife Serviec personnel began seabird research and monitoring there in the early 1980s. The research station was built in 1988, with additions added over time. Under the Arctic Research Infrastructure Fund (ARIF), administered through Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development (AANDC), the site received some non-structural upgrades in 2010 and 2011. Since then, the buildings have deteriorated significantly. In addition, the frequency of polar bear visits to the camp has increased, so measures were required to reduce interactions between bears and researchers at this site. Through Environment and Climate Change Canada Arctic infrastructure funding (AIP2), we were able to secure funding to build a new sleeping cabin and a new kitchen cabin near the original camp site, install an electric bear fence around the camp perimeter, as well as build a new cabin by the landing strip. 

Contact: Grant Gilchrist  
(Environment and Climate Change Canada)

Arctic Biodiversity Data Service (ABDS) ABDSnews

New datasets available now

The  Arctic Biodiversity Data Service (ABDS) is the data-management framework for information generated via CAFF and the   Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Programme (CBMP). The ABDS is an online, interoperable data management system that serves as a focal point and common platform for all CAFF programs and projects and dynamic source for up-to-date circumpolar Arctic biodiversity information.

The datasets that has recently been published are:
The ABDS provides metadata to the Polar Data Catalogue (PDC), a metadata portal for Arctic and Antarctic researchers to ensure CAFF data holdings are accessible to users beyond the biodiversity world.
Efforts continue to rescue and develop new datasets for inclusion within ABDS. Upcoming releases include the 2016 edition of the Arctic protected areas database and the first circumpolar database focused on Arctic geese breeding areas and migration routes.

Contact: Kári Fannar Lárusson (CAFF Secretariat), Hólmgrímur Helgason (CAFF Secretariat)

Collaboration between CAFF and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility

Data between CAFF and Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) are being exchanged, including 300+ records underlying the  Arctic Species Trend Index (ASTI), with the global data integration services offered by  GBIF. The aim is to enable researchers and other GBIF users to have access to the rich data from CAFF providers that documents distribution of Arctic species over time, and thus improves knowledge of the region's biodiversity. 

At the same time, the two organizations are investigating how best to integrate Arctic data from natural history collections, research teams and observer networks shared by hundreds of GBIF data publishers into the  Arctic Biodiversity Data Service (ABDS) , through freely available web services. An important challenge in this collaboration will be to avoid duplication of data from institutions in Arctic nations that may already be contributing to both networks. 

CAFF and GBIF have signed a  Resolution of Cooperation  that will encourage sustainable workflows to keep this data exchange up to date, and ensure that governments and stakeholders get maximum benefit from the complementary activities of the two networks.
Contact: Tim Hirsch (GBIF) and Tom Barry (CAFF Secretariat)

CAFF's Arctic Biodiversity Data Service (ABDS) now the Arctic Node of the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS)
The Arctic Biodiversity Data Service (ABDS) is the Arctic Node of the Ocean Biogeographic Information System and CAFF participates in the steering group of OBIS. 
OBIS seeks to absorb, integrate, and assess isolated datasets into a larger, more comprehensive pictures of life in our oceans. The system hopes to stimulate research about our oceans to generate new hypotheses concerning evolutionary processes, species distributions, and roles of organisms in marine systems on a global scale. The abstract maps that OBIS generates are maps that contribute to the 'big picture' of our oceans: a comprehensive, collaborative, worldwide view of our oceans.

OBIS provides a portal or gateway to many datasets containing information on where and when marine species have been recorded, including data provided through CAFF. Datasets from CAFF's ABDS are integrated so users can search them all seamlessly by species name, higher taxonomic level, geographic area, depth, and time; and then map and find environmental data related to the locations.
Contact: CAFF Secretariat

Arctic Spatial Data Infrastructure online visualizations map CAFF data

The  Arctic Spatial Data Infrastructure Geoportal is displaying CAFF's data on a coherent and authoritative online Arctic reference map agreed upon by the eight national mapping agencies of the Arctic on a 1:250,000-scale. The ASDI Geoportal provides access for all users to Reference Map Services covering the Arctic region and its Metadata Catalogue Service.The searchable Metadata catalogue contains base maps and other geo-referenced thematic data and services that can be mapped. 

The  Arctic Spatial Data Infrastructure (Arctic SDI) is cooperation between the eight National Mapping Agencies of Canada, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, USA and Denmark (including the administrations of the Faroe Islands Home Rule and the Greenland Self-Government). The aim of the Arctic SDI is to provide politicians, governments, policy makers, scientists, private enterprises and citizens in the Arctic with access to geographically related Arctic data, digital maps and tools to facilitate monitoring and decision making.

CAFF is assisting the Arctic SDI and the  Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) on the development of user case studies for the Arctic SDI. The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is an international consortium of over 521 companies, government agencies and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available interface standards. The Arctic SDI has also been engaged on the development of a Pan-Arctic Digital Elevation Map. This will provide coherent Arctic elevation data to serve the Arctic science community by making available for the first time a reference layer of 2-meter resolution elevation data for the entire Arctic.
Contact: ASDI Secretariat