Severe population declines were reported for common eiders (Somateria mollissima) in western Greenland over the period 1960–2000. A monitoring program, concurrent with more restrictive hunting regulations on common eiders, revealed breeding numbers increasing by 212%, from 2,558 active nests in 2000 to 7,982 nests in 2007. Though it was not possible to directly link harvest reduction and population growth in West Greenland, a similar increase in breeding numbers in Canada was correlated with the harvest reduction in Greenland and linked to increasing adult survival and recruitment of first-time breeders, and a similar explanation is suggested for West Greenland. The study emphasizes that appropriate restrictions in hunting can be efficient in wildlife management and that common eiders can sustain dramatic rates of increase during population regrowth. It also shows that cost-efficient monitoring programs can be established through cooperation with local residents.
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Vol. 74 • No. 8