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Ledyard Bay Critical Habitat

Green Marker Ledyard Bay Critical Habitat
69.2717086703 -164.487304688
  • Wildlife & Habitats

Ledyard Bay Critical Habitat Unit (LBCHU)

Critical habitat for molting spectacled eiders was designated in Norton Sound and Ledyard Bay on February 6, 2001 (Federal Register 66(25): 9146-9185), and nesting and wintering habitat in other locations (none on the North Slope). In accordance with section 3(5)(A)(i) of the Act and regulations in 50 C.F.R. 424.12, critical habitat for a species contains those physical or biological features that are essential for the conservation of the species and which may require special management considerations and protection. Under the Act these features are considered "primary constituent elements" of critical habitat, and include, but are not limited to: space for individual and population growth, and for normal behavior; food, water air, light, minerals, or other nutritional or physiological requirements; cover or shelter; sites for breeding, reproduction, rearing of offspring, germination, or seed dispersal; and habitats that are protected from disturbance or are representative of the historical geographic and ecological distribution of a species.

The LBCHU was designated because of its importance to migrating and molting spectacled eiders, and includes waters of Ledyard Bay within about 1.85-74 km (1-40 nautical miles [nm]) from shore. Individuals from all three breeding populations molt in Ledyard Bay, including most (77%) females that nest on the North Slope (Petersen et al. 1999). Primary constituent elements identified for LBCHU are marine waters > 5 m and ≤ 25 m deep, along with associated marine aquatic flora and fauna in the water column, and the underlying marine benthic community. Conserving the ecosystem processes and physical and biological features of Ledyard Bay may be essential for the conservation of spectacled eiders

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