e-CBMP Newsletter
Winter 2014
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Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program            Volume 8 Issue 1

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editorialFrom the Co-Chairs


Dear Friends,


Happy New Year and welcome back!


This issue of the CBMP Newsletter is focused on Arctic invasive alien species-existing and potential-now considered one of the most important challenges facing global biodiversity. Read the many excellent contributions from your colleagues to learn more about the status and trends, scientific endeavours and management response to Arctic invasive alien species.


The recent release of the 2013 Arctic Report Cards, which featured many contributions from the CBMP, showed that there were fewer snow and ice extremes than in 2012 and many regions and components of the Arctic environment were closer to their long-term averages. But the effects of a persistent warming trend that began over 30 years ago remain clearly evident. The CBMP and its expert networks led the development of the terrestrial and marine ecosystem chapters, which detail changes in plants, birds, benthos, fish, mammals and other species. With increasing pressures on these Arctic ecosystems comes the increasing need for a better understanding of how these systems function and how they respond to pressures. 


As new co-chairs we have continued the development of teams that bring relevant resources and expertise to maintain the continued success of this unique monitoring program and address these issues.


Our first task last summer was to develop a new four-year work plan to guide efforts and ensure continuity. The CBMP Strategic Plan 2013-2017: Phase 2 Implementation of the CBMP was submitted to the CAFF Board, approved, and recently released. The overall focus of the strategy is to ensure that the marine, freshwater and terrestrial Arctic Biodiversity Monitoring Plans developed under the CBMP expert groups will continue to progress and that activities under these groups will continue to expand in the coming years.  


Lastly, we wish to offer congratulations to the Terrestrial Steering Group on the October release of their Arctic Terrestrial Biodiversity Monitoring Plan, which will guide monitoring efforts in the Arctic terrestrial zone.


Hope that you enjoy and we wish you all a wonderful winter.


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


Section1Arctic invasive alien species:existing and potential


Invasive Species and the Arctic



The following short account is adapted from a chapter on invasive species in the recently released CAFF Arctic Biodiversity Assessment and presents a broad summary of the state of invasive species and related concerns in the Arctic.


American mink. Photo: 

"Minks have spread and become more and more common. I believe they come here both from south [of Finland] and from Norway. Minks are real pests; they eat fish from creeks and ptarmigans and whatever they can catch(Late Saami reindeer herder Ilmari Vuolab, Finland).


As human society has become more mobile, the transfer of species beyond their native ranges has similarly increased. Human-induced biological invasions now occur around the world and are widely recognized as second only to habitat alteration as a factor in the endangerment and extinction of native species. Indeed, many now consider invasive species and climate change to be among the most important ecological challenges facing global ecosystems today. The combined effects of invasive species and climate change on biodiversity and ecosystem function can be far reaching; for example, altering community composition, community structure, trophic pathways, native species distribution, habitat structure and even the evolutionary trajectory and fitness of native species. The impacts of invasive species are also not limited to ecological harm. In the U.S. and Canada alone, invasive species have been estimated to have an economic impact of over $150 billion USD per year.


While fewer invasions are currently known in the Arctic than at lower latitudes, the Arctic is not immune to invasion and changes in climate and the patterns of human use of Arctic resources are likely to increase the risks of Arctic invasion. Much of that increased risk of invasion may come from increased shipping, energy development, mineral exploration and their associated shore-based developments such as ports, roads and pipelines. Some of the best known Arctic invasions are American mink (Mustela vison) in Iceland and northern Scandinavia, Nootka lupin (Lupinus nootkatensis)in Iceland, and Pacific red king crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus)in the Barents Sea.


Because future change will be best understood when measured against a credible baseline, much more work is needed to define the current status of native and invasive species populations in the Arctic. The development of cost-effective early detection monitoring networks will be a challenge, but can be informed by Traditional Ecological Knowledge and may benefit from engaging a network of citizen scientists. There also needs to be increased and targeted prevention efforts to limit the influx of non-native species (e.g., ballast water treatment and the effective cleaning and treatment of ship hulls and drilling rigs brought in from other marine ecosystems).
Current potential range of the highly invasive non-native aquatic plant Hydrilla
if it invaded Alaska today and projected potential range with climate warming (adapted from Bella 2009).


 Contact: Dennis Lassuy, Deputy Director, North Slope Science Initiative



Biological invasions of alien species in the Karelia, Russia.Karelia


The flowers of the Impatiens glandulifera. Photo: Antipina Galina 
Invasive alien species of cultivated vascular plants are a major environmental problem for Arctic regions including in the Republic of Karelia, in north-west Russia. 
Under the leadership of Dr. Galina Antipina, over 20 years of invasive species investigations have been carried out in the department of botany and plant physiology of Petrozavodsk State University. Three diplomas, ten scientific articles, and two theses have been prepared and defended on this theme. 
In Karelia about 300 species of vascular plants are cultivated and 120 of these are considered established in Northern conditions, as they are able to sustain themselves and germinate. They are considered invasive once they develop intensive seed germination (i.e., formation of germinating seed, high germination, and successful development of seedlings).  
Heracleum sosnowskyi
Photo: Galina Antipina
In the last decades, species such as
Impatiens glandulifera Royle (fam. Balsaminaceae) and Heracleum sosnowskyi  Manden. (fam. Apiaceae), originally from the Himalayas and the Caucases respectively, have become typical for Karelia. These species form stable self-replicating populations and are an example of invasive species with the occupation of new biotopes and different ecological niches. These species have:
  • high seed productivity: one plant  of Impatiens glandulifera forms around 460 seeds with 23% germination, while Heracleum sosnowskyi forms up to 3600 seeds with 60% germination;  
  • high density of growth: Impatiens glandulifera can establish four plants per kilometre squared, while Heracleum sosnowskyiand up to 80 plants
  • resistance to spring frosts. 

The main method, allowing avoiding the fast dissemination   of Impatiens glandulifera and Heracleum sosnowskyi is to prevent their fruiting. 


Other cultivated species, such as Lupinus polyphyllus Lindl. (fam. Fabaceae),  Symphytum asperum Lepech. (fam. Boraginaceae), and Xanthoxalis stricta (L.) Smoll (fam. Oxalidaceae) are considered potentially invasive, but have not yet reached the germination potential for mass escape from culture.


Contact: Prof. Antipina Galina and Prof. Sergienko Liudmila, Petrozavodsk State University

Muskox Health and Pathogen Biodiversity in the Canadian Arctic: Are recent muskox mortalities the result of a newly introduced pathogen?Muskox


Photo: Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary

The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary, together with the Governments of the NWT and Nunavut, regional Hunter and Trappers Organizations, the University of Saskatchewan, and the Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre, has been studying the health of muskoxen and emerging pathogens in the Canadian Arctic for several years. 


Recently, two lungworms, Umingmakstrongylus pallikuukensis and Varestrongylus sp. established in muskoxen on Victoria Island, Nunavut, and are rapidly expanding their range on the island. Concurrently, there have been multiple large-scale die-offs of muskoxen on Banks and Victoria Islands, NWT and Nunavut. The bacterium Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae has been implicated as a cause of these die-offs. Erysipelothrix was not previously isolated from muskoxen or the Canadian Arctic and full genome sequencing of several isolates from muskoxen is underway to better understand how long Erysipelothrix has been present in these populations. 

Photo: Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary


Research on the invading lungworms and Erysipelothrix is ongoing and aims to (i) understand the origin and patterns of invasion and expansion of these pathogens in the Arctic archipelago, (ii) their impacts on muskox populations, and (iii) the health, social, and economic impacts of these emerging diseases on the local communities. A community-based surveillance framework for muskox health/disease is being developed to provide early warning of emerging disease or changes in biodiversity.



Contact: Taya Forde, Arctic Institute of North America, Sylvia Checkley, University of Calgary, Karin Orsel, University of Calgary, and Susan Kutz, University of Calgary  



The Invasive Species Specialist GroupInvasives_group


The Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) is a global network of scientific and policy experts on invasive species, organized under the auspices of the Species Survival Commission (SSC) of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).


The two core activity areas of the ISSG are policy and technical advice, and, information exchange through online resources and networking.


The ISSG promotes and facilitates the exchange of invasive species information and knowledge across the globe and ensures the linkage between knowledge, practice and policy so that decision making is informed.


ISSG has developed, and maintains the Global Invasive Species Database - GISD a premier resource of global invasive species information. The GISD is under restructure and will feature new information components and improved search options.


Two other resources at prototype stage are the  Island Biodiversity and Invasive Species Database IBIS and the Invasive Alien Species Pathways Management Resource. ISSG is also developing a Global Register of Introduced and Invasive Species - GRIIS- see below.


ISSG publishes the newsletter Aliens: Invasive Species Bulletin, and operates a list service. Aliens-L  with over 1200 subscribers.


Contact: Shyama Pagad, Programme Officer or  Riccardo Scalera, Manager, Species Information Services


The Global Register of Introduced and Invasive SpeciesGlobal_register


 The Global Register of Introduced and Invasive Species (GRIIS) was developed as a concept and prototype in 2006 as part of a project undertaken by the ISSG on the Regulation of Live Animal Imports into the United States.


The concept was revisited and expanded by the ISSG to address Aichi Target 9 and support its achievement. The Global Register of Introduced and Invasive Species [GRIIS] will compile annotated and validated country-wise inventories of introduced and invasive species. These inventories of species will form the basis of the Global Register. This tool will be integrated into the Global Invasive Species Database [GISD].


"Aichi Target 9: By 2020, invasive alien species and pathways are identified and prioritized, priority species are controlled or eradicated, and measures are in place to manage pathways to prevent their introduction and establishment."


Supported by the Convention on Biological Diversity initiative -the Global Invasive Alien Species Information Partnership (GIASI Partnership) the ISSG has compiled inventories for over 120 countries that are in the process of being validated by country experts.


For the countries that are part of the Arctic region, draft country inventories have been compiled and are awaiting validation.


Contact: Shyama Pagad, Programme Officer 



Non-native plant species in Arctic Alaska and YukonYukon


Non-native plant species currently have a limited distribution in Arctic Alaska and Yukon, where they are restricted to the warmer margins of the ecoregion (Fig. 1.). The majority of the non-native species are cosmopolitan cold-tolerant weeds such as Capsella bursa-pastoris, Chenopodium album,and Taraxacum officinale. Short growing seasons and low temperatures appear to limit the number of non-native plant species. Areas with less than 120 frost free days have no recorded non-native plant populations in Alaska or Yukon, despite substantial survey effort (Fig. 1.). 


However, areas with approximately 150 frost-free days are capable of supporting a small cohort of 22 non-native plant species, including more ecologically damaging species like Melilotus albus. Climate projections predict that in 50 years the majority of Arctic Alaska and Yukon will have greater than 150 frost-free days, suggesting that the region will transition from resistant to vulnerable to establishment of the cosmopolitan cold-tolerant weeds (Fig. 2.). 


Western Alaska is more vulnerable to current and future plant invasion, where larger human settlements are present and the growing season (currently 160-215) is projected to increase by approximately 15 days in 50 years. Locations with high connectivity to weed sources, such as the MacKenzie River delta, are also expected to see increases in non-native plant establishment.  



Figure 1 (left). Non-native plant occurrences (circles) and absence records (crosses) in Alaska and Yukon (AKEPIC 2013) overlaid on estimated 2010-2019 growing season length (SNAP 2013). The polar ecoregion (Nowacki et al. 2001) is outlined in black.


Figure 2 (right). Estimated 2060-2069 growing season length, based on the A2 emissions scenario of downscaled PRISM climate data (SNAP 2013). The polar ecoregion (Nowacki et al. 2001) is outlined in black.

Matthew L. CarlsonAlaska Natural Heritage Program, Lindsey A. Flagstad, University of Alaska Anchorage, Bruce A. BennettYukon Conservation Data Centre




Establishing a baseline for early detection of non-indigenous species in ports of the Canadian ArcticPorts_Canada


The combination of global warming, resource exploitation and the resulting increase in Arctic shipping activity are expected to increase the risk of establishment of non-indigenous species (NIS) in Arctic waters in the near future. The top three ports at highest risk for introduction of NIS of the Canadian Arctic were surveyed in 2011-2012: Churchill (Manitoba), Deception Bay (Quebec) and Iqaluit (Nunavut). Coastal benthic invertebrates were sampled to survey for NIS by incorporating historical information to identify new records. Based on cross referencing comparisons of species composition and distributions, 14.9% of the taxa identified can be considered new records within the port regions surveyed and 8.1% within the more extended, adjacent surrounding regions. A total of six polychaetes, one ascidian and one amphipod were identified as cryptogenic, meaning that we cannot confidently describe them as being either native or introduced. Further research is required to better understand the status of these new taxa. For the remaining new records within the regions and for the ports, increased survey effort is the most likely explanation. This study provides a great opportunity for identifying native and introduced biodiversity, crucial to analyzing the changes taking place along one of the longest coastlines in the world, the Canadian Arctic coast.
Contact: Jesica Goldsmit, Universit� du Qu�bec � Rimouski, Kimberly L. Howland, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and Philippe ArchambaultUniversit� du Qu�bec � Rimouski


Overviews of Red king crab and snow crabKing_crab


The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) addresses aquatic alien species that have an influence on and/or occur in the marine environment. This work is primarily carried out by experts, such as those in the Working Group on Introduction and Transfers of Marine Organisms (WGITMO). 


The group keeps annual records on new invasions in the ICES area and provides management advice upon request.


Below you will find updates on two alien species in the Norwegian and Russian zones, the Red king crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus) and the snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio).


Red king crab (Paralithodes camtschatica). Photo: Sasha Isachenko
Red king crab (
Paralithodes camtschaticus)



  • Almost no changes in the distribution of the red king crab in the last five years
  • Distributed in southern Barents Sea from Cape Kanin in Russian zone to 23�E along the north Norwegian coast (Figure 1)
  • More offshore distribution in Russian than in Norwegian waters, probably due to differences in underwater topography

Stock development

  • Stock indexes on legal male crabs (Cl>130 mm) were obtained by using a survey model based on annual surveys, and a population production model
  • No data available on the development of the total stock due to difficulties sampling juvenile crabs


  • Russian annual landings between 3-9 thousand tonnes, Norwegian landings about 1 thousand tonnes in recent years


  • There are different management aims in Russia and Norway. In Russia: aiming for a sustainable harvest. In Norway: long-term harvest in a limited geographical area; eradication outside this area. Current Norwegian plan slows further spread

Impact on resident ecosystem

  • Severe reduction in number of species and biomass in soft bottom communities where the red king crab have been in high densities for several years
  • May impact recruitment in local fish species such as lumpsucker due to egg predation by crabs


Figure 1. Historical development in relative biomass of legal male red king crab in Norwegian waters. Line indicate median, vertical bars are interquartile range, and vertical lines 95 % confidence interval.


Figure 2. Shaded area indicate tentative distribution of the red king crab in the Barents Sea.

The snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio) in the Barents Sea


Snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio). Photo: Forrest Bowers, Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Introduction and distribution
  • The origin of the snow crab in the Barents Sea is not known
  • First recordings were at the Goose Bank, west of Novaja Zemlja in 1996 (Kuzmin et al. 1999).
  • Is now distributed in whole northern part of Russian EEZ, in international waters and into the Svalbard fishery protection zone

Stock development

  • No survey targeting this species, only data from bycatch (bottom trawl)
  • Preliminary model estimates indicate that the snow crab biomass may be 3-4 times the red king crab biomass in the Barents Sea (Bakanev, Pers. comm.)
  • Expected further increase in stock abundance due to observations of new strong year-classes


  • Two vessels are fishing for the species in international waters at the moment
  • Several vessels planning to participate
  • Plans for a Russian fishery during 2014


  • No management yet, neither in the Norwegian nor in the Russian zones
  • Plans for implementing management plans in both zones during 2014

Impact on resident ecosystem

  • Not known, but impacts on the soft bottom communities could be expected regarding the size of the snow crab stock
Figure 3. Distribution of the snow crab in the Barents Sea. Based on bycatch data in the period 2004-2012

Kuzmin, S.A., Akhtarin, S.M. and Menis D.T. 1999. The first findings of the snow crab Chionoecetes opilio (Decapoda, Majidae) in the Barents Sea. Canadian Translations of  Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, No. 5667. 5 pp.


Contact: Jan. H. Sundet, institute of Marine Research, Norway



CBMP News and Updates


stratplanCBMP Strategic Plan 2013-2017 Phase 2 Implementation of the CBMP

Strategic Plan 2013-2017. Click to download

The CBMP has developed the
Strategic Plan 2013-2017: Phase II implementation of the CBMP, a document to assist the continued development, guidance and implementation of the program.


The first five-year CBMP implementation plan focused on developing and implementing the strategy for building and maintaining a comprehensive and cost-effective pan-Arctic monitoring program. This next generation CBMP strategic plan will focus on further implementing those strategies while continuing to interpret, integrate and communicate biodiversity information.


Increased participation of TEK holders will be encouraged, and focus on establishing greater capacity for community-based monitoring and industry participation will also be emphasized. To manage the resulting data output from the CBMP-Marine Plan, CBMP-Freshwater Plan and the CBMP-Terrestrial Plan, the continued development of the Arctic Biodiversity Data Service will also be a continued focus to ensure effective discovery, access and use of Arctic biodiversity data. The successful and sustainable implementation of the CBMP is dependent upon access to sufficient financial, organisational and institutional support. In order to generate this support, significant resources within the CBMP are employed to develop the necessary strategic partnerships. To learn more please read the Strategic Plan 2013-2017: Phase II implementation of the CBMP.


Contact: Tom Christensen or John Payne, CBMP Co-Leads



marinemeetMarine meeting held in Akureyri, Iceland


Attendees of the Marine Steering Group and Marine Expert Network Meeting, October 2013, Akureyri, Iceland. Photo: K�ri Fannar L�russon

The CBMP Marine Steering Group and Marine Expert Networks held their annual meeting in Akureyri, Iceland on October 28-31, 2013.


Over 40 individuals met to discuss the progress made on the implementation of the CBMP-Marine Plan. Representatives from all Marine Expert Networks presented their activities to date, and updates can be found on newly developed sea ice biota, plankton, benthos, fish and marine mammals web pages on the CBMP site.


The CAFF Secretariat and CBMP coordinating office were able to provide an overview in the strategic direction, data and communication efforts of the CBMP.


Invited representatives from the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS), International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) and Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME) presented their programs and connected with the Expert Networks and Steering Group on future or further collaboration.


It was announced that in 2014, Reidar Hindrum (Norway) will join Thomas Juul-Pedersen

(Greenland) as co-chair of the CBMP Marine group.


Contact: Thomas Juul-Pedersen, or Reidar Hindrum, Marine Steering Group Co-Chairs



freshwaterFreshwater Steering Group release their Annual Report


The Freshwater Annual Report. Click to download.

The Freshwater Steering Group has released the Arctic Freshwater Monitoring Plan Annual Report 2014: annual report on the implementation of the CBMP's Arctic Freshwater Biodiversity Monitoring Plan.


This report describes the progress made since December 2012, when implementation of the CBMP-Freshwater Plan began. The Freshwater Steering Group (FSG) is a continuation of the earlier Freshwater Expert Monitoring Group, with representation from each Arctic nation, Permanent Participants, and Arctic Council Working Groups (e.g., Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program). A Freshwater Expert Network (FEN) has been established for each currently participating Arctic nation (Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and USA), with members selected to maximize the coverage of expertise and to incorporate multiple affiliations (e.g., government, academia). FENs are tasked with collecting and analyzing national monitoring data to assess the status of Arctic freshwater biodiversity, detect trends, and determine the causes of any changes. The FSG is responsible for implementing the CBMP-Freshwater Plan, coordinating and overseeing the work of the national FENs, and developing the first State of Arctic Freshwaters Report in 2016.


At their 2013 Annual Meeting, held in June in Uppsala, Sweden, the Freshwater SG outlined the steps necessary to complete a circumpolar assessment of Arctic freshwaters, and devised a series of six projects to be completed by the national FENs in order to achieve that goal. In the first year of implementation, FENs (led by the FSG) have worked towards completion of Project 1, which entails the collection of national metadata summarizing existing paleo, historical, and contemporary monitoring data. This project will be completed by March 2014 and form the base of information for the subsequent projects and will be vital to the completion of a circumpolar assessment of biodiversity.


Read the entire report here.


Contact: Joseph Culp and Willem Goedkoop, Freshwater Steering Group co-leads


terrestrialplanArctic Terrestrial Biodiversity Monitoring Plan released


The Arctic Terrestrial Biodiversity Monitoring Plan. Click to download.

The  Arctic Terrestrial Biodiversity Monitoring Plan has been released and is available online. The goal of the  CBMP-Terrestrial Plan is to improve the collective ability of Arctic traditional knowledge (TK) holders, northern communities, and scientists to detect, understand and report on long-term change in Arctic terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity.


The CBMP-Terrestrial Plan aims to address these priority management questions:

  • What are the status, distribution, and conditions of terrestrial focal species, populations, communities, and landscapes/ecosystems and key processes/functions occurring in the Arctic?
  • How and where are these terrestrial focal species, populations, communities, and landscapes/ecosystems and key processes/functions changing?
  • What and how are the primary environmental and anthropogenic drivers influencing changes in biodiversity and ecosystem function? 

The implementation of the  CBMP-Terrestrial Plan is guided by the  CBMP Terrestrial Steering Group who will have their first implementation meeting in February 2014.


Contact:  Tom ChristensenJohn Payne, or Marlene Doyle




tposterArctic Terrestrial Biodiversity Monitoring Plan scientific poster

The Arctic Terrestrial Biodiversity Monitoring Plan scientific poster. Click to download.


The CBMP has created a scientific poster that provides an overview of the Arctic Terrestrial Biodiversity Monitoring Plan. The poster is intended for presentations at conferences and meetings and details the CBMP-Terrestrial Plan's key management questions, benefits, and approach.



Contact: Courtney Price, CAFF Communications Officer

migbirdsThe Arctic Migratory Birds Index: a component of the Arctic Species Trend Index

Red Knot banding
Red Knot banding. Photo: Peter Prokosch, UNEP GRID Arendal


In cooperation with the Convention on Migratory Species, the CBMP is working to develop an Arctic Migratory Birds Index to assess the status and trends of some of the 279 species of migratory birds that breed in the Arctic.


Much of the data for migratory birds can be collated from the Arctic Species Trend Index (ASTI), a larger index that tracks trends in over 300 Arctic vertebrate species, but we are interested in receiving population time series data contributions i.e., measures of abundance, density, or population size, including any data sets that are not necessarily considered to be comprehensive - for a period of at least two years for any bird species that migrate to the Arctic region. 


If you are interested in contributing, please download the following data description (PDF) and data template (MS Excel) that also contains a list of species in which we are interested. Please be assured that it is possible to mark these records as confidential, which means that they will only be used as part of a wider analysis, and will never be reproduced individually. If potential data contributions already exist in a spreadsheet format please feel free to submit in that form. Contributions are appreciated by January 12, 2014.


The ASTI was commissioned by CAFF/CBMP in partnership with the Zoological Society of London, WWF and the UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Centre. The ASTI forms the Arctic component of the Living Planet Index.  Click here to access ASTI reports.


Data contributions will also feed into CAFF's Arctic Migratory Birds Initiative: Protecting Arctic Lifestyles and People through Migratory Bird Conservation, the goal of which is to improve the status and secure long-term sustainability of declining Arctic breeding migratory bird populations.

Tom Barry, CAFF Executive Secretary



CBMPEventsCBMP Events & Initiatives

CongressThe Arctic Biodiversity Congress
Arctic Biodiversity Congress. Photo: Lars Holst Hansen/ARC-PIC.com

The Arctic Council's Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) working group is organizing the first Arctic Biodiversity Congress in Trondheim, Norway on December 2-4, 2014.


The Arctic Biodiversity Congress will promote the conservation and sustainable use of Arctic biodiversity through dialogue among scientists, policy-makers, government officials, industry, civil society and indigenous peoples.


It is closely linked to the findings and recommendations of the first Arctic Biodiversity Assessment (ABA) released in May 2013.


The Arctic Biodiversity Congress will:

  • Present and discuss the main scientific findings of the ABA
  • Facilitate inter-disciplinary discussion, action and status updates on the policy recommendations in the ABA
  • Provide scientific, policy, management, NGO, academia, Indigenous peoples and industry audiences the opportunity to collaborate around the themes of the ABA
  • Advise CAFF on national and international implementation of the ABA recommendations and on the development of an ABA Implementation Plan for the Arctic Council
  • Highlight the work of CAFF and the Arctic Council on circumpolar biodiversity conservation and sustainable development
  • Contribute to mainstreaming of biodiversity and ecosystem services, ensuring that the recommendations of the ABA are implemented by not just governments, but many organizations and people across disciplines


Further details on the Arctic Biodiversity Congress will follow early in 2014.


A concept paper describing the purpose and goals of the Congress can be downloaded here.




ABABOOKOrder the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment books!


The three books arising from the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment are now available for sale. Purchase the following at the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment online store:

  • Arctic Biodiversity Assessment: Status and trends in Arctic biodiversity- a comprehensive peer-reviewed scientific assessment report identifying status and trends in Arctic biodiversity. This report provides detailed scientific information and is geared towards researchers, scientists, students and managers who need in-depth information on Arctic biodiversity. 674-pages, full colour, $55 US. 
  • Arctic Biodiversity Assessment: Synthesis- A summary document of the main findings of the larger scientific assessment. It is designed for managers, practitioners, scientists, students and others working to understand and conserve Arctic biodiversity. 128-pages, full colour, 20 cm x 20 cm, $20 US.
  • Arctic Biodiversity Assessment: Report for policy makers- A brief summary of the report as relevant for a policy and decision-making audience in government, industry and scientific circles. The document provides nine key findings and 17 policy recommendations. 24-pages, full colour, 20 cm x 20 cm, $10 US.




Contact:  CAFF Secretariat




AlaskaMSSCBMP session at the Alaska Marine Science Symposium


Over 100 people attended the lunch-time session on the CBMP at the 2014 Alaska Marine Science Symposium. CBMP Marine Steering Group member Kathy Crane, CBird member David Irons and lead of the CBMP Marine Mammals Expert Group Rosa Meehan provided a detailed program overview and accomplishments. Katrin Iken (Benthos Expert Group), Bodil Bluhm (Sea ice biota Expert Group) and Russ Hopcroft (Plankton Expert Group) also provided overviews of their groups.


The Alaska Marine Science Symposium is an annual conference where scientists from Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, and beyond communicate research activities in the marine regions off Alaska. 


Contact: Rosa Meehan, Marine Mammals Expert Group

CBMPContactContacting the CBMP


The CBMP welcomes its new staffers from the Co-Chairmanship teams and the new CAFF Secretariat data manager! 


Need help contacting folks at the CBMP? Visit our "contact uspage to access steering committee, data team or communications team members. 


You can always contact caff@caff.is and we can address your request to the right person.