Arctic Biodiversity Assessment 2013


By the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF), and the biodiversity working group of the Arctic Council.


Key Findings


Key finding 1: Arctic biodiversity is being degraded, but decisive action taken now can help sustain vast, relatively undisturbed ecosystems of tundra, mountains, fresh water and seas and the valuable services they provide


Key finding 2: Climate change is by far the most serious threat to Arctic biodiversity and exacerbates all other threats.


Key finding 3: Many Arctic migratory species are threatened by overharvest and habitat alteration outside the Arctic, especially birds along the East Asian flyway.


Key finding 4: Disturbance and habitat degradation can diminish Arctic biodiversity and the opportunities for Arctic residents and visitors to enjoy the benefits of ecosystem services.


Key finding 5: Pollution from both long-range transport and local sources threatens the health of Arctic species and ecosystems.


Key finding 6: There are currently few invasive alien species in the Arctic, but more are expected with climate change and increased human activity.


Key finding 7: Overharvest was historically the primary human impact on many Arctic species, but sound management has successfully addressed this problem in most, but not all, cases.


Key finding 8: Current knowledge of many Arctic species, ecosystems and their stressors is fragmentary, making detection and assessment of trends and their implications difficult for many aspects of Arctic biodiversity.


Key finding 9: The challenges facing Arctic biodiversity are interconnected, requiring comprehensive solutions and international cooperation.

Obviously all the unique and amazing Arctic species are totally dependent for their survival on the Arctic environment of snow and ice, and the Arctic seasons. If the Arctic snow and sea ice is allowed to melt away, most of these Arctic species could not survive, especiailly at the unprecedented rate that the Arctic is changing.


That is only part of the picture concerning the year round frozen Arctic's important for species, because the Arctic has global importance for species.

IPCC AR4 2007 Tundra and Arctic/Antarctic ecosystems

The report says that the initial results suggest that impacts of changing land use, climate change, invasive species and exploitation have not negatively impacted overall vertebrate abundance in the Arctic during the past 34 years.


26% decline in high Arctic species populations The report dfoes say that this averalll assessments masks losses ithe high Arctic

The Arctic plays host to a vast array of biodiversity, including many globally significant populations. Included among these are more than half of the world´s shorebird species, 80% of the global goose populations, several million reindeer and caribou, and many unique mammals, such as the polar bear. During the short summer breeding season, 279 species of birds arrive from as far away as South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and South America to take advantage of the long days and intense period of productivity. Several species of marine mammals, including grey and humpback whales, and harp and hooded seals, also migrate annually to the Arctic. (UNEP 2012)


AN Arctic meltdown is a global catastrophe for species, and it is being allowed because world powers plan to exploit the Arctic for more fossil fuels.

Arctic migration paths map migratory bierd spcies Arctic continents